Vivek Bald, Associate Professor of Writing and Digital Media, reads from a new essay that uses a teenage encounter with police and the justice system to explore questions of immigrant acceptability, racialization, and the South Asians American embrace of model minority status. He also provides an update on his documentary film, In Search of Bengali Harlem, recently funded by the PBS-affiliated Center for Asian American Media, and currently being edited by Comparative Media Studies master’s alum, Beyza Boyacioglu. Between the essay and film, Bald reflects on South Asian American experiences of multi-racial identity and histories of cross-racial community-making.
Bald is a scholar, writer, and documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on histories of migration and diaspora, particularly from the South Asian subcontinent. He is the author of Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (Harvard University Press, 2013), and co-editor, with Miabi Chatterji, Sujani Reddy, and Manu Vimalassery of The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power (NYU Press, 2013).