Harlow’s Monkey has been assigned as a reading for the students in the spring course, Topics in Asian American Studies: Cultures of Korean Adoption: Adoptee Experience. [Edited to add that this class is being taught by Kim Park Nelson, who was recently inteviewed in the Minnesota Monthly article, Asian Fusion which I posted about in December. This is the second year for this course at the University of Minnesota.]
I would like to welcome all the new readers, and extend to you an invitation to be a part of this blog experience! On the left hand column of the blog, you can find out more about me in the "About Harlow’s Monkey" links. The right side has the category cloud if there are specific sub-topics you’re interested in) but the majority of the essays or posts do have some relation to adoption issues. There are also many links to different adoptee blogs, adoptee organizations and adoptee web pages.
Many of the readers of Harlow’s Monkey are transracially adopted individuals – but there are a lot of adoptive parents who read, as well as a few who are interested in the cultural/sociological implications of transracial adoptive families. Many of the adoptive parents who read Harlow’s Monkey do so to get the adult international adoptee perspective.
I welcome comments from everyone but especially from those of you new readers who are domestic, transracial or international adopted individuals. And no, you will NOT be graded!!
For those of you who are not students, here is a description of the course.
This course examines Korean adoption and the experience of Korean adoptees in America over the past 50 years. It centers on the experience of Korean adoptees focusing largely on the social and cultural production of this ever-growing population. It includes an overview of American domestic (in-race and transracial) adoption history and practice, covering legal and policy decisions that have affected the practice of transnational adoption, social welfare research concerning Korean adoption and changing attitudes about adoption from American mainstream and Asian American perspectives.
Using the Korean War as a historical baseline, the course considers the geopolitical and socioeconomic relationships between the United States and South Korea during and since the Cold War that have shaped the history of Korean adoption. The course concludes with an overview of Korean adoptee networking, advocacy and community-building efforts worldwide.
Through reading, writing and discussion, we will focus on the following questions: What does it mean to be Korean adopted for adoptees and others? What are major themes in Korean adoptee cultural production, and what does that convey about Korean adoption as a practice? What can the experience of Korean adoptees tell other transracial and transnational adoptees groups? How does our understanding of Korean adoptees change our understanding of family? Of what it means to be American? Of what it means to be Asian American?
It is really exciting to be a part of this historically significant curriculum. And again, welcome to my blog!