‘The Chinese-American Dream’: presented by Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk — May 23, 2013




w/ Anchee Min (author, The Cooked Seed)

with moderator Elif Armbruster (Asst. Professor of English, Suffolk University)

co-presented with Suffolk’s

Rosenberg Institute of East Asian Studies

Thursday, May 23, 6:30-8 pm


(Boston, MA 02114) Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University presents The Chinese-American Dream with Anchee Min; discussion moderated by Elif Armbruster; co-presented with Suffolk University’s Rosenberg Institute of East Asian Studies. Thursday, May 23, 6:30-8:00 pm. Admission is free and open to all. C. Walsh Theatre at Suffolk University, 55 Temple St., Boston. Wheelchair accessible and conveniently located near the Park St. MBTA Station. For more information, contact Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University: 617-557-2007, www.fordhallforum.org.

Twenty years after penning her first memoir on growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, author Anchee Min now releases The Cooked Seed: the true story of her journey to, and within, America. Min draws us in to bear witness to her trek from a land of deprivation to one of surrounding bounty that is just out of her reach. She works five jobs at once and suffers rape, exhaustion, and divorce. As these revolutionary personal events shape her world view, they culminate in the biggest shift of all: the birth of her daughter.

Moderator Elif Armbruster (Associate Professor of English, Suffolk University) helps Min present her unique immigration narrative within the universal struggle of building a life despite precious few fundamental tools.

Further background information on the participants:

Anchee Min is an acclaimed author of historical fiction and non-fiction. In 1994, she made her literary debut with a memoir of growing up in China during the violent trauma of the Cultural Revolution. At 17 years old, Min was sent to a labor camp near East China Sea where she worked for three years before being cast a propaganda film. Mao died before the film was completed and Min was labeled a political outcast by association. In 1984, with the help of a friend overseas, Min left China for America. Her new memoir, The Cooked Seed, is her story of immigrating from the shocking deprivations of her homeland to the sudden bounty of the promised land, without language, money, or a clear path.

Elif Armbruster is Associate Professor of English at Suffolk University. Her teaching and research interests focus on 19th and 20th century American literature, women writers, Latina literature, and studies in the American Dream. Armbruster published her first book, Domestic Biographies: Stowe, Howells, James, and Wharton at Home in 2011, and is currently working on two new projects: a group biography of three prominent 19th century women related by marriage; and a study of Harriet Beecher Stowe in fact and fiction. She has edited new editions of Stowe’s best-selling Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Wharton’s novella Summer, and has presented numerous papers in national and international conferences. Armbruster is the Co-President of the New England American Studies Association and sits on the Board of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association.

Established in 2007, the Rosenberg Institute serves as the lead platform in the field of Asian Studies at Suffolk University. It presents a regular series of lectures on topics of current and academic interest about Asia to the faculty and students of Suffolk. Its programs, which are free and open to the public, have been attended by scholars and students from many universities and colleges in the Boston and New England area, along with professionals and members of the interested public. In this sense, the Institute’s activities are presented as a public service available for all interested parties. Further information can be found at www2.suffolk.edu/college/30051.html.


Coming up next in Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University’s Spring Series:


Rise Of The Individual

Nicco Mele (Founder, EchoDitto and author, The End of Big) and Kevin Bankston (Director, Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology);

moderated by Dharmishta Rood (Fellow, Harvard University Psychology Department).

Thursday, May 30, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University


The invention of the internet has opened an entirely new world of communication and, therefore, organization. With so much power now in the hands of the individual, one questions whether we need institutions anymore. As this technology progresses, we face an inevitable need to restructure our government systems, safety measures, and concept of ownership, as well as their attached legal implications. But while the world touts the internet as the prime conveyer of a bold, new democracy, we consider how it also ushers in sharper methods of surveillance and control. Moderator Dharmishta Rood (Fellow, Harvard University Psychology Department) leads Nicco Mele (Founder, EchoDitto and author, The End of Big) and Kevin Bankston (Director, Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology) in a bold discussion on how the internet is giving rise to the individual.


About Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University:


Ford Hall Forum is the nation’s oldest free public lecture series. The Forum provides an open venue for sharing opinions and discussing controversial points of view. It advances the First Amendment through freedom of expression, encouraging attendees to engage directly with speakers. Ford Hall Forum discussions illuminate the key issues facing our society by bringing to its podium knowledgeable and thought-provoking orators from a broad range of perspectives. These experts participate for free, and in settings that promote a culture of involvement in a non-partisan environment.

The Forum began in 1908 as a series of Sunday evening public meetings held at the Ford Hall, which once stood on Beacon Hill in Boston. While the original building no longer exists, the public conversations have continued throughout the Boston area with the generous support from state agencies, foundations, corporations, academic institutions, and individuals. In its 104th year of programming, the Forum continues to build upon its partnership with Suffolk University. Suffolk is now housing the Forum’s administrative offices just a block away from where the original Ford Hall once stood.

Ford Hall Forum programs are made possible through the generous contributions from individual members as well as corporations and foundations, including American International Group (AIG), AMES Hotel, Broadway Video, Compass Eight, The Fred & Marty Corneel Fund, Gray Media, Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council, Helen Rees Literary Agency, Iron Mountain, Jackson & Company, LCMG Certified Public Accountants, The Lowell Institute, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Penny Pimentel, The Pfizer Foundation, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, Prince Lobel & Tye, Saturday Night Live, Suffolk University, True North, and WBUR 90.9 FM.

For more information on Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University, visit www.fordhallforum.org. Information about Suffolk University’s partnership with the Ford Hall Forum can be obtained by contacting Mariellen Norris, (617) 573-8450, mnorris@suffolk.edu.

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