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When Half is Whole: The Multicultural Person, Family, and Society in a Globalized World
- Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu (Faculty, Asian American Studies at Stanford University)
Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu will discuss When Half is Whole, a beautiful book of stories about multicultural persons, families, and societies that range from Occupied Japan to Massachusetts and contemporary Okinawa. His stories explore the increasingly transnational and multiethnic nature of identities in a globalized world through the lives of persons of mixed ancestry. The narratives take place on both sides of the Pacific, showing how lives are influenced by legal, political, and social forces and how people assert themselves in ways that overcome victimization, claim agency, and bring cultural change. The stories reveal how identities are constructed beyond existing categories of race, nation, and ethnicity.
Publisher’s Weekly calls When Half is Whole, “a comprehensive ethnic studies volume and an enlightening memoir of pushing back against categorizing humans with singular, rather than multiple identities. As the son of an Irish-American father and a Japanese mother, born in Japan during the post-WWII American occupation when mixed-race children were often seen as a symbol of foreign domination, he adds a personal dimension with his reflections, which allows a deeper comprehension and occasional contrast to the Asian-Americans he profiles. Carefully sequenced interviews and first-person narratives illuminate the quest for identity against conflicting”
Faculty, Asian American Studies at Stanford University
Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu taught at Temple University Japan Campus (TUJ) before becoming a tenured professor of education at the University of Tokyo, where his work included cross-cultural teaching, research, counseling and conflict resolution. He also became consultant for the U.S. Marines and Navy in Japan, training Japanese and Americans in cross cultural understanding and communication. He is an internationally recognized scholar on diversity in Japan and the United States, editor of Transcultural Japan and Japan’s Diversity Dilemmas, and author of Amerasian Children, and Multicultural Encounters. He currently teaches Asian American Studies at Stanford University.