MONTAGNARD / ASIAN COMMUNITY DISPARITIES RESEARCH NETWORK
Team: Bob King, Andrew J. Young
Title: DMA-DEGA (2011)
Brief: (From Bob King’s course site, DMA-DEGA)
Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase Global Village circa 1964 in reference to the way electric media had, even by then (e.g., prior to the internet) interconnected the entire planet. We are revisiting and working with McLuhan's concept in light of current events and circumstances.
We are also working with the Montagnard community the North Carolina Piedmont region --part of the global village in our own backyard, so to speak. Many Montagnards came to NC after the war in Vietnam ended, bringing with them rich cultural and artistic traditions that we are learning about and entering into dialogue with.
Our basic approach is to explore and document the intersection of McLuhan and Montagnards in contemporary life by taking a human-relationships/social-networking based approach that we are calling inside-out or autobiographical anthropology. Rather than starting with abstractions (culture, identity, etc.) we are starting and staying with actual people, their stories, and interactions.
This project is inevitably situated within the current discussion and experimentation about the fate of formal education in the 21st century. With so many of us now having ample, constant access to vast amounts of information and perspectives, what becomes of schools? The response this project offers is, in part, that schools can be re-contextualized as 'nodes' in a larger network that includes social service agencies, online information, and personal and professional social networks. In other words, what becomes of schools in the 21st century? They become networked in a way that is much deeper and expansive than having the internet in every classroom, integrating technology into teaching and learning, etc.
April 5 Skype meeting: Greensboro to Winston-Salem. Class meeting and questions for two Montagnard community women
April 18 Refugee family reunification at the Triad International Airport.
April 30 Glenwood Neighborhood Association annual festival. Included UNCSA students meeting Montagnard weavers.
May 5 Montagnard cooking demonstration. Montagnard women talk about their lives in Vietnam following the end of the American war
May 8 Visit to a Montagnard urban garden and talk with a former Montagnard fighter
May 11 Montagnard traditional musicians came to perform at UNCSA
May 19 Montagnard contemporary rap artist Skypes with students
May 20 Center for New North Carolina director Raleigh Bailey and I present past and current information about Montagnard refugee resettlement in the US
May 21 Mosaic International Festival in downtown Greensboro includes Montagnard youth acting as reporters and sharing their impressions of the day
June 2 A post DMA-DEGA review with a Montagnard journalist living in New York City.
Bob King's DMA-DEGA course site
Andrew J. Young's documentation
Backstrap Weavers (2009 – present)
College-Community Course (2019)