angry reader of the week: vincent pham

You know what time it is. Time to meet another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Vincent Pham, representin' the Midwest.

Who are you?
Vincent N. Pham. My Vietnamese name is "Vinh Son." My parents are crafty with names.

What are you?
A doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A second generation Vietnamese American and the youngest out of five kids (3 older sisters and a brother). I'm an avid cyclist, a pseudo-artist, an information junkie, a music fiend, and lover of the (Asian American) arts. Importantly and hopefully, a soon-to-be-professor (Like next year. Keep an eye out!). A Midwesterner at heart but I like to believe I can fit in pretty much anywhere.

Where are you?
Central Illinois! Two and a half hours south of Chicago, where corn mazes and barn dances (I'm not kidding) are the norm. It's actually not too bad. We have some decent restaurants and it's easy to bike from one end of town to another. It does help that my research is in California and in Chicago though so I get out of here often.

Where are you from?
The south suburbs of Chicago. Notable for I spent most of my childhood weekends in the southside or the northside of Chicago, visiting extended family.

What do you do?
I just finished my stint as the graduate intern on special pop culture programming at the Asian American Cultural Center at my university. I also teach undergraduate courses on Organizational Communication and am looking forward to teaching the Asian American Popular Culture class next year.

I'm working on my dissertation on Asian American media organizations. It grew out of my experience with the Asian American Artists Collective in Chicago back in 2004 and my interest in the intersection of arts, media, community, and cultural politics. My advisor Kent A. Ono and I co-authored a book, Asian Americans and the Media (Polity Press 2008) and my dissertation kind of grew out of that experience and my continuing curiosity with organizations, Asian Americans media representations, and notions of community. It's a good book, that's meant for upper level undergraduates but I think it's pretty accessible. There's a certain blogger who we write about in the chapter on Asian American New Media. He goes by the name "Angry Asian Man." I hear he's pretty popular.

In my free time, I visit my family, who all live in the Chicagoland area. I also ride, fix, and teach other folks how to fix bicycles and am involved with the bike cooperative in town. I also try to help out with the Foundation for Asian American Independent Media in Chicago, which just celebrated their 15th anniversary. A small but committed bunch of folks, they're good fun.

What are you all about?
Social movements and activism, on different levels (from the bloggers to the institutional changes). I'm all about community, in all its possible and potential forms along with the good and bad that comes along with it. I'm all about Asian Americans and the media, both old and new. I love talking and meeting other people who are passionate, yet critical, about what they do. I do love a good Asian American film festivals and arts gatherings too.

What makes you angry?
A lot of things make me angry but I tend to let it go for if it's not pressing. Besides, it's tough being angry all the time. But since you asked, here's a short list.

People who abuse their power. Students who believe they have no power to change the world. Folks who oversimplify complex issues. Drivers who get to close to cyclists when passing. White-washing of movies and other Asian American media representations. Racism in the media. People who believe that "race doesn't matter." People who fill up their plate at an all-you-can-eat joint, take one bite, and say "I'm finished." Yeah, that makes me angry.

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