THE CANON, PC AND RACIST SHOW-AND-TELL
Featuring: DAS RACIST, EGO TRIP MAGAZINE, LATOYA PETERSON (RACIALICIOUS), THUY LINH TU, HAROLD AUGENBRAUM (NATIONAL BOOK FOUNDATION), ROBERTO BEDOYA
Exhibits: The Canon, NEA Litigation
Much of ‘90s multiculturalism was less about race than inventing polite ways to talk about racial taboos. Terms like “diversity” and “political correctness” blunted the unsavory aspects of dealing with racism, even as the right struggled to make English the national language and tamp down transgressive art, multicultural threats to the canon, and Ebonics. To kick off AFTER 1989, Ego Trip Magazine, the folks who gave us The Big Book of Racism, curates a slideshow of racialized advertisements—with call and response by hip hop trio Das Racist, who will judge whether the ads are racist or not. National Book Foundation Executive Director Harold Augenbraum, an early proponent of Latino and Asian American literature, discusses the canon. Roberto Bedoya will discuss the litigation between artist Karen Finley and the National Endowment for the Arts at the height of the Culture Wars—a lawsuit for which he was a co-plaintiff. NYU Professor Thuy Linh Tu interviews Latoya Peterson, editor of Racialicious, to break down how the Internet has unleashed the Pandora’s Box of racial discourse.
This event is the first in the five-part series After 1989: Race After Multiculturalism. More info below.
A project of The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, where we’re inventing the future of Asian American intellectual culture.
After 1989: Race After Multiculturalism
The 90s are back! Although they're being resurrected in youth culture as the age of Cosby sweaters, animated gifs and 16-bit Nintendo soundtracks, the 1990s were at once the age of multiculturalism, premised on the idea that we could all just get along, as well as a decade divided with tense, often surreal, racial spectacle. offers an alternative racial history of the 1990s through a feisty five-part event series that's part symposium, part late night talk show, part Youtube nostalgia-fest.