Wendy Hsu – Ethnomusicologist and Musician

Charlottesville, VA

I recently started Dzian!, a NAKASHI (Taiwanese burlesque) band. We play a selection of obscure and popular 1960-1970s tunes ranging from: Taiwanese agogo, Japanese eleki…

hsu.wendy1Who are you?

I am a Taiwanese American passionate about music and social life. I work to pursue social justice through education and musical performance.

What do you do?

I am a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of Virginia. I’m writing a dissertation about the Asian American experiences with independent rock music. My work has delved into social and musical life of bands such as The Hsu-nami, The Kominas, Carol Bui, Exit Clov, etc. I’m also a musician. I have performed actively on the experimental music circuit as a member of the Pinko Communoids since 2006. I recently started Dzian!, a NAKASHI (Taiwanese burlesque) surf rock band. We play a selection of obscure and popular 1960-1970s tunes ranging from: Taiwanese agogo, Japanese eleki, Indonesian garage rock, Thai shadow music, and Ventures hits loved by Taiwanese puppetry bands and audiences.

Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?

Over the years, I have learned to embrace and channel my 1.5-generation Taiwanese American experiences as a cultural vantage point. My lived experiences have driven me to challenge notions of ethnic essentialism and cultural chauvinism in various areas of my work and personal life. My strong ties to Taiwan have enabled me gain a transnational perspective on the US and world issues, informing my scholarly pursuit in global cultural landscape.

What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?

I hope that Taiwanese America will exist in a peaceful relation to other U.S. ethnic minority groups, especially those of Asian descent, joining movements for social justice, particularly related to immigration reform, ethnic solidarity. Without inter-ethnic and international alliances, Taiwanese America would come to a lonely place in not just Pacific, but in the Americas.

Any additional information you would like to share?

http://beingwendyhsu.info/

hsu.wendy2

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