Chua Xiong, director of the Brown County Department of Public Health, will speak about public health issues and the Hmong community today (Nov 2) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in MAC Hall Room 223. She is the first Hmong public health director in the state. The talk is sponsored by the Hmong Studies Center.
Dr. Yan Gao, from the art department at Bijie College in Guizhou Province, China, will lecture about the traditional culture and dress of Hmong residents of the province from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday (Oct. 26) in a free public talk in MAC Hall Room 223. The campus visit is sponsored by UW-Green Bay’s Hmong Studies Center under the direction of Sociology Prof. Ray Hutchison. Titled “Changes in Hmong Dress in Northwestern Guizhou Province,” Yan’s talk will review both traditional dress for the Hmong from this region (different in some ways from that of the Hmong in Laos), and the changes that industrialized production of textiles has brought to the region. Bijie College is located in the Hmong Autonomous Region of Guizhou Province, home to more than 300,000 Hmong, described as the largest Hmong community in China and the largest Hmong population in the world. Yan has studied Hmong culture and dress for many years.
Sociology Prof. Ray Hutchison has additional details to share regarding the panel session he is organizing for the Spring 2015 Hmong Conference at UW-Madison in April. An abstract: In Hmong Refugee’s Death Fugue, author Sheng-mei Ma presents an analogy of the Hmong story-cloth tradition with the usual Hmong narrative of the loss of homeland and subsequent life as refugees in the United States as a means of explaining the Hmong experience to outside groups, and to organizing the community from the inside. Within this narrative, Hmong participation in the Second Indo China War and later social organization among groups associated with the General Vang Pao military leadership became the dominant feature of Hmong social and political life in the United States. Although contested by some, particularly among the younger generation, this narrative continued to dominate until recent years. But now, with the passing of General Vang Pao and the emergence of a new cohort of Hmong leaders, it is appropriate to ask what the New Hmong Narrative will be: How will we deal with the earlier history of Hmong involvement in the American war? How do we explain the almost singular focus on these issues among Hmong leadership from the time of arrival in the United States? Can a new generation of Hmong leadership be incorporated within this older structure, or is a new set of institutions required? Participants in the discussion include Vincent Her (UW-La Crosse), Mai Na Lee (University of Minnesota), Pao Lor (UW-Green Bay), and Chong Moua (UW-Madison). Hutchison, director of the Hmong Studies Center at UW-Green Bay, will serve as moderator for the discussion.
Profs. Ray Hutchison (Sociology and Urban and Regional Studies) and Pao Lor (Education) have received word that their paper “Educational Achievement of Hmong College Students has been accepted for presentation at the Hmong Studies Conference sponsored by the Hmong Studies Consortium (Southeast Asian Studies Center) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison April 10-11. Hutchison (who serves as Director of the Hmong Studies Center at UW-Green Bay) has published research on marriage patterns, educational achievement, and language use of the Hmong in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and Lor has written extensively about educational issues in the Hmong community. And to make this line-up even more interesting, as an undergraduate before earning his Ph.D., Lor worked on the original Acculturation in the Hmong Community study that was part of a research grant Hutchison received from the UW Institute on Race and Ethnicity shortly after he arrived at UW-Green Bay.