NailTrap : The Entanglements of the Nail Salon Industry, Vietnamese Diaspora/identity, and Community

Paige Chung Kalamazoo College
Faculty Sponsor(s): Shanna Salinas Kalamazoo College
A poetic exploration of Vietnamese refugees resettled in the U.S. through the nail salon space as they ‘belong’ there but not in other spaces; reveal entanglements of relationships between family, community, customer/technician, and Vietnamese/refugee/Americans; and an exploration of my family’s journey. While this research acknowledges the factors of race, labor and chemical toxins, the primary focus is about the relationships between people, place, and understandings of one another. Rather than considering points of view as unique and perspectives as insular, my poetic collection demands that the many entities that exist in this space be considered a multiplicity of linear perspective.

As a Critical Ethnic Scholar, I use these tools: conversation as a research method, poetry as an argument and visiting. The poetic collection is primarily situated in San Juan, Puerto Rico (Borinquén) as well as Los Angeles, California (Tongva) where the majority of my relatives working in nail salons are based in. Scholars such as Lisa Lowe, Trinh Minh-ha, Omi and Winant, and Michelle Wright have led me to this culmination of knowledge and argument within this poetic collection. This paper acts as the artist statement and preface discussing my process, research, and conversations.
Competitive Paper--All Disciplines (includes an Oral Presentation)
Competitive Paper (includes an Oral Presentation)

When & Where

10:45 AM
Jordan Hall 276