Karla Lucht is a Doctoral Student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include cultural representation (or lack thereof) in library collections for youth, conflicts of race, ethnicity and culture in youth literature, and information-seeking behaviors of youth.
She will be speaking on Tuesday, November 6th in the course LIBR 521 Contemporary Literature and Other Materials for Children.
Location: Room 461, Barber Learning Centre
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Students not enrolled in the course are welcome to attend.
Title: “The Search for Hapas: Identifying Titles Featuring Mixed-race Asian Protagonists in Youth Literature.”
To gain a richly nuanced understanding of multicultural literature for children, it is important that there are no barriers when identifying books that offer reflection and complexity. What a book may actually represent is richer than the subject headings allow. My research includes the exploration of the ever-growing community of multiracial Asians in North America, many who go by identifiers such as “hapa” or “halfie.” For young people, it is essential to introduce these terms early to give them a language to help bridge the disconnect that some may feel as a result of their multiethnic makeup; providing young people with books in which they see themselves represented is an important strategy to achieve this goal. In my talk, I will discuss early challenges that have arisen which include limits with resources when trying to access the depth of cultural patterns in the titles that feature North American protagonists with a mixed-race Asian identity.