Crimson staff writer
Elyse D. Pham
As I reflected on my own relationship to racial fetishization, I discovered that it was overwhelmingly forged through ambiguity: ambiguous interactions, ambiguous responses, and ambiguous feelings. The instances that prompted my immediate, visceral disgust felt secondary to the instances that left me uncertain, on the precipice of being shoved into a tired cultural script but clinging to the hope that I’d hold my ground.
This counterintuitive revelation — that the road to love can be paved with scientific rationality — is the foundation of Ury’s book, as well as her career more broadly.
Whether porn reflects existing racial stereotypes or creates a monster of its own is a classic chicken-or-the-egg question. Porn and racism, most likely, engender a mutually reinforcing cycle. But Akira’s individual responsibility within this cycle is, at most, ambiguous.
Final clubs were made for white men. Now, people of color — who were never supposed to step through their gates at all — are carving out communities inside them. They’re drinking their alcohol and smoking their cigars. They’re reveling in these spaces, instrumentalizing the white men’s mansions for pure fun.
“You’re scattered all over the country, all over the world. You’re literally taken away from the community that you’re trying to organize in,” says Zoe L. Hopkins ’22, incoming president of the Harvard Organization for Prison Education and Advocacy. “The meaning of community organizing just changes completely.”
The AAPI COVID-19 Project, housed at Harvard’s Department of Sociology, comprises a team of eight researchers from multiple universities. Under Shaw’s leadership, they seek to investigate how COVID-19 — as both a virus and a social construction — is impacting Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) individuals and communities.