Evaluating Me: (Reflections on) an Annual Report

I just wrote and submitted my annual report to my dissertation chair and the Graduate Committee in my department. I have a strange impulse/shamelessness to share this with 'the public.' Partly, I'm hoping that by sharing it, I will be held accountable for fulfilling the goals that I articulated for this academic year. Partly, I just want to get feedback and advice from my friends and readers on my efforts toward developing my newly carved-out professional identity of "scholar-performer."

Last note: graduate work is isolating at times. Every now and then, I need to jump outside of the 'grind' and get a reality check. Talk to me about what you think!


I completed my field research for my dissertation project during the academic year of 2008-09. I analyzed some field research data for the purposes of writing the three conference papers. This process of doing field research and writing analytical ethnographic papers allowed me to better hone my research focus while being ‘in the field.’ It also encouraged me to further flesh out the details of my dissertation chapter organization. Through the exposure of my dissertation blog YellowBuzz, my dissertation project has received some non-academic interest from national biweekly Pacific Citizen and blogs such as Boston Progress Radio.

With the financial and intellectual support from the NEH-funded Graduate Fellowship in the Digital Humanities, I will add an exciting dimension of digital ethnography to my dissertation project. In the coming year, I intend to complete 2-3 chapters of my dissertation and present my dissertation work at conferences including Cross Roads in Hong Kong and the annual meeting for the Association for Asian American Studies in Austin in 2010. In the meantime, I hope to secure solid funding for dissertation writing for the year 2010-2011.

Throughout this year, my performance life was active as a member of improvised music trio Pinko Communoids. We recorded our second album and performed at the Feminist Theory and Music 10 Conference in Greensboro, NC in May 2009 and a number of well-known venues such as The Red Room in Baltimore and ABC No Rio in New York City. With an invitation to contribute to EcoSono DVD curated by Matthew Burtner, the trio did an on-site performance recording in Bar Harbor, Maine in May 2009.With an invitation, my duo Grapefruit Experiment performed at the ninth annual Queering Sound Festival in Washington DC in June 2009. As one half of a duo with Tomie Hahn, I was invited to do a two-day residency consisting of lectures, workshop, and performance at Wheaton College in Norton, MA, in September 2008.

In the coming year, I hope to focus on personal development as an improviser in the academic world while maintaining my ties with my field research informant musicians and fellow improvisers. This includes a performance at FFMUP, an improvised music series at Princeton University, in February 2010.

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