Julie Thi Underhill is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and activist based in Berkeley, California. She’s interested in vocabularies of remembrance, amidst continuously remade notions of identity, belonging, and home. She has published writing and photography in Inheriting the War: Poetry & Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees; Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora; BOMB Magazine; positions: asia cultures critique; Nuclear Impact; Completely Mixed Up; TrenchArt Monographs; Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace; Embodying Asian/American Sexualities; ColorLines; and Hayden’s Ferry Review. Julie is a member of She Who Has No Master(s), a collective of Vietnamese writers. Julie holds degrees from The Evergreen State College (B.A.) and UC Berkeley (M.A.). Having previously taught Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley and Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, she currently lectures in Writing+Literature and Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts.
As part of our effort to reach out to Francophone Vietnamese populations, we offer a translation of an English language article by diaCRITICS managing editor Julie Thi Underhill. She comments upon the practice of self-immolation and the political suicide of Tạ Phong Tần’s mother, Bà Đặng Thị Kim Liêng, before reprinting an article about the circumstances surrounding her July 2012 death.
diaCRITIC Julie Thi Underhill reflects on Mark Wahlberg's rise to fame as a rapper, actor, and media mogul after his anti-Vietnamese hate crimes committed in Boston, in the city's largest neighborhood of Dorchester, as a teenager.
Julie Thi Underhill moderated a discussion in San Francisco following Natalia Duong’s appearance in Trở Về Nước, a collaborative performance with Patricia Nguyen that investigated the notion of home and the politics of memory and migration for women in the Vietnamese American diaspora.
…Granted, the academic interest in Chăm history and culture, exemplified by recent conferences held in HCMC and Phan Thiết, shows that we are still "on the map" for some scholars, even as we sometimes disappear within the "family" of Việt Nam rubric whereby no indigenous peoples are recognized as such, by the current government.
In this exclusive new diaCRITICIZE, Julie Thi Underhill offers an in-depth introduction to the sometimes fraught relationship between Chăm Americans and Vietnamese Americans. She raises difficult questions, including why Vietnamese and Vietnamese Americans would rather forget the conquest of the Chăm, the continuing existence of the Chăm people, and whether or not the Chăm can be compared to Native Americans.