University of Wisconsin–Madison


< 2017 >
  • 05


    Rethinking Equality: Legibility, Belonging, and the Politics of Marriage in Minnesota

    Presented by Kong P. Pha, PhD Candidate in American Studies, University of Minnesota.

    Abstract: In 2012, a ballot initiative was enacted in Minnesota in order to determine whether or not residents wanted to define marriage as being a union between one man and one woman. Opponents and proponents both established gigantic campaigns on their respective sides. Minnesotans United for All Families was the organization established to defeat this ballot imitative. I was involved in the efforts to defeat of the ballot imitative with several other queer and allied activists, organizers, and community members. Through my ethnographic and activist participation, I examine the efforts of queer Hmong American youths in defeating this ballot imitative. In doing so, I show how queer Hmong American youths are remaking the very notions of queerness, gender, and sexuality in relation to Hmong American social and political belonging at the dawn of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S.

    This lecture is free and open to the public.



  • 06


    Pen-Ek Ratanaruang directs this gritty thriller about crime, gangsters, and the will to survive in the wake of the 1997 Asia economic meltdown. After losing her job at a Bangkok bank, Tum wakes up one morning to find a box stuffed with cash on her doorstep. When the two hapless gangsters who had misdelivered the box come back to reclaim it, Tum finds herself with a pair of dead criminals in her apartment and a lot of explaining to do — especially to her nosy neighbor, Pen.

    The film screening will be followed by a discussion and is free and open to the public.



  • 11


    In this Vietnamese drama, a young peasant girl named Mui is hired to work for a well-to-do family in Saigon. Although the household’s fortunes change for the worse, Mui stays with them as a servant and grows infatuated with one of their friends, the handsome Khuyen. Years later, Mui is employed by Khuyen, who has become a renowned pianist. Although Khuyen has a girlfriend, he gradually begins to realize his own strong connection with Mui.

    The film screening will be followed by a discussion and is free and open to the public. 

  • 13


    Sakti is a handsome young architect living in Jakarta with his nagging mother. He is so deep in the closet that even he has not figured out he likes men. But those around him begin to suspect something is up when Sakti meets Nino, a good looking TV producer. Nia Dinata directs this satirical comedy about friendship, homosexuality, adultery, the shallowness of the nouveau riche – but most of all, about our ability to accept each other no matter the circumstances.

    The film screening will be followed by a discussion and is free and open to the public.

  • 18


    In the early ’90s, Cambodian soldiers return to civilian life in Phnom Penh. Living with his uncle, kickboxer Savannah begins a romance with 19-year-old bar girl Srey Poeuv, who is trapped by her debts to the bar’s owner. Savannah makes the mistake of teaming up with an ex-soldier pal for a crime that he hopes will raise money to clear Srey’s debt.

    The film screening will be followed by a discussion and is free and open to the public.