If you’re attending this year’s American Studies Association conference, “Solidarity: What Love Looks Like in Public,” November 2-5, in Montreal, Canada, don't miss the AC Ph.D. student presenters and their projects: 


November 2nd


Henry E. Chen, “Alien Matrimony: Race, Marriage, and Citizenship in Asian America.” Thu, November 2, 8:00 to 9:40am, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, Salon 1 (Level 2)

Abstract: While scholars of Asian American history have devoted considerable attention to interracial marriage in the 19th and 20th centuries, few have considered how intra-racial marriage, too, shaped discourses of race, citizenship, and alienage during the Exclusion Era. Following historian Beth Lew-Williams’s call to study the “terms of inclusion” by which some Asian Americans were incorporated into the national fabric despite exclusionary legislation, this paper examines intraracial Chinese American marriages between 1907 and 1934. During this period, a federal policy of marital expatriation dispossessed American women of their citizenship if they married “alien” men—a policy which historian Nancy Cott argues disproportionately impacted second-generation Asian American women. At the same time, a nascent fascination with Chinese wedding rites in white public culture also signaled a willingness to incorporate some Asians—merchants, students, and other privileged classes—into American society. Using marriage certificates, genealogical records, and newspaper articles from two case studies, I examine how Chinese American couples negotiated the shifting boundaries of citizenship and alienage, public and private life, and curiosity and hostility at the opening of the twentieth century. In doing so, I argue that marriage was a vexed site of both cultural assimilation and legal alienage for Chinese American women in the early 20th century.


Loveleen Brar, “Reimagining Asian/American Publics: Family, Fandoms, and Food.” Thu, November 2, 8:00 to 9:40am, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, Salon 1 (Level 2)

Abstract: How have people in Asian/American communities built alternative forms of care and solidarity, and how does an examination of these intimate spheres augment feminist, queer, and anti-capitalist frameworks? This interdisciplinary panel brings together research on “everyday” intimacies in order to unpack the cultural, political, spiritual, and gastronomic definitions of intimacy and care that shape vaster diasporic and transcultural solidarities. Using historical, ethnographic, and digital humanities approaches, the four papers on this panel discuss reproductive labor of Punjabi truck stop employees; early 20th-century intra-racial Chinese American marriages and alienage; queer affinities within the English-speaking digital fandoms of popular K-pop group Stray Kids; and digital food cultures of the cult following of Jollibee’s Chickenjoy. Through a navigation of the impact of these different forms of intimacy and care, this panel underscores the importance of exploring alternative modes of solidarity that rely on horizontal networks of care that serve communities directly. Moreover, we reprioritize joy, care, and radical senses of belonging as central tenets of an Asian/American framework. In doing so, we recenter peripheral modes of intimacy to complicate what love can look like in public.


November 3rd


Kerry White, “Solidarity: What Love Looks Like In Public.” Friday November 3 from 10-11:40 AM EST in Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, Salon 5 (Level 2)

Abstract: Our roundtable explores the ways in which urban ethnographers approach the study of urban life. While past predecessors of urban ethnography have investigated the city through a deficit lens, often focusing on the poverty and social conditions experienced by historically marginalized members, new directions in urban ethnography have come to center solidarity, modes of resistance, resilience, and social justice within urban communities. This panel brings together urban ethnographers across the Americas—New Orleans, Chicago, Baltimore, New Jersey, Havana, and Phoenix– to share how they approach the study of urban ethnography through a politics of solidarity grounded in love, vulnerability, and care and the benefits and challenges of translating such approaches in the field.
Panelists will discuss how they work alongside their respective communities, ensure that their research reflects the lives and concerns of community members in the field, and consider the impact their research will have on these communities. As such, the roundtable will be guided by the following questions: How might we see the incorporation of solidarity, love, vulnerability, and care as the next step to urban ethnographic research in American Studies? How does centering these dimensions impact the communities we work with, and how might this approach offer new directions in understanding urban space and belonging?
Panelists will answer these questions by sharing examples from the field that center community members’ lives and voices and demonstrate how urban residents transgress urban space as acts of resistance, activism, and social and cultural transformation. Each panelist will have 15 minutes to reflect on their research and approach to urban ethnography through vulnerability and care. Then the chair will lead a discussion with the audience for a deeper engagement with the panelists’ ideas. The roundtable will conclude with key takeaways and future direction and approaches in urban ethnographic research that center community and care in urban spaces. 


Kyle Lindsey, “Against Endurance: Black YouTubers’ Labor Against ‘Cancel Culture.” Fri, November 3, 12:00 to 1:40pm, Novotel Hotel, Alsace

Abstract: “Cancel culture” has become a thorn for black content creators in recent years. As content creators find themselves amid racist controversy, be it inaugural or seasonal, “cancel culture” is wielded by these creators and their audiences to transmute any critique of their violence into moral panic or dogpiling. This wielding manifests in claims of their racism being in the past and imperatives for audiences to remain and invest their viewing hours as they work on themselves and unlearn their racial biases, whether that comes to fruition or not. 

By bringing together close readings of long-form videos regarding Shane Dawson’s 2020 controversies with scholarship on “cancel culture” and black digital culture, I hope to argue that black YouTubers, new, old, and retired, engage in rhetorical strategies of disassembly to convince audiences, particularly black audiences, to divest from enduring racist content for the sake of their favorite creators on YouTube that is not weak to demand more of the people you watch. In making this claim, I highlight the diligence of black content creators as a whole in the preservation of viable online criticism and interpretation. Despite “cancel culture” operating as a co-optation of the critical black digital practice of canceling, as noted by Meredith D. Clark, I argue that the staying power of the term has galvanized black content creators across the web to engage with this term to disprove its existence, seeking to preserve the landscape of digital criticism and interpretation that finds itself in crisis.


Julianna Loera-Wiggins, “Love and Laughter/Amor y risa: The First Latina Comedy Festival of Chicago.” Fri, November 3, 4:00 to 5:40pm, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, Salon 2 (Level 2)

Abstract: In 2022, the comedy showcase Las Locas hosted Chicago’s First Annual Latina Stand-Up Comedy Festival in the Logan Square neighborhood. 14 Latina comedians performed their “tight-5” minute sets to a sold-out, standing-room show. Producer, host, and Mexican American comedian Jess Martínez opened her set with the following: “Everyone you’re going to see here tonight is súper chingona. They’re all based in Chicago, so California and Texas got nothing on us!” The audience whooped, cheered, and clapped as Martínez raised a fist over her head.This paper is organized around the First Annual Latina Comedy Festival from its conceptual stages to the evening of its debut. I argue that Las Locas Comedy and the successful evening of Latina-centered and produced comedy models similar practices and theorizations of Chicana and Latina social movements. I consider the First Annual Latina Comedy Festival to be a Chicana movida. The Latinas in this paper recruit, showcase, and promote each other within Chicago and its suburbs, establishing solidarity and making visible Latina/x labor and talent. I call these strategies of performing comedy and networks of support movidas cómicas. Movidas cómicas function as a framework to show how Latina/x comedians respond to their unique positions as Latina/xs residing in the Midwest and how they realize their experiences when performing stand-up comedy.As part of my theorization of movidas cómicas, I draw on Latina and Chicana social movement literature. I also argue that stand-up comedy parallels with the Latinx written genre of testimonio. Stand-up comedy maintains the key facet of testimonio in that it is told from the body and voice of the minority subject. However, considering the “live” and intimate context of stand-up comedy extends testimonio from a written tradition into a performed tradition.[i] Comedy, as a form of testimonio, allows Latina/xs’ experience of marginalization to serve as a basis for movement building and political resistance, and a demonstration of collective love for one’s culture.Movidas cómicas offer a praxis to understand how Latinas work to change and challenge the Chicago stand-up industry for broader Latina/x representation and push the boundaries of stand-up comedy as a performance genre itself. Their solidarity and desire to build a larger network of comics inspired by their race and gender identity broadens current scholarship about Latina organizing in the Midwest. I frame these community-building and support networks within the Chicana feminist framework of a movida. Inspired by the anthology of Chicana and Latina movement histories Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era (2017), I show how Latina comedians engage in their own maneuvers, or movidas, across Chicago to make themselves visible within the comedy industry. My paper builds on the Chicana and Latina social movement literature by considering how forms of creative expression suggest other dimensions of feminist empowerment and loving perception toward one another as minoritized subjects.


November 4th


Melisa Hussain, “An Intolerable Activism: Daniel Maldonado.” Sat, November 4, 8:00 to 9:40am, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, Salon Lamartine (Level A)

Abstract: Daniel Maldonado was convicted of receiving “training” from a “foreign terrorist organization” in 2007 after serving as a soldier in the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia. Although the Union loosely received support from the UN for the unprecedented security they provided during the collapse of the country, the United States government still deemed the Union a foreign terrorist organization. Daniel, in turn, is labeled as a terrorist, portrayed as the Jihadi figure in a post-9/11 era rather than a foreign freedom fighter. In various news articles such as The Sun, they titled his article, “‘Polite teen,’ then trainee in terrorism.” This title is a stark contrast to how Western journalists portray the participants in the War in Ukraine. When writing of the violence in Ukraine, one journalist notes, “It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blond hair … being killed every day.” This quote demonstrates how Western media outlets imagine the Global North as virtuous and righteous when engaging in conflict as opposed to Muslims who are marked as terrorists. It begs the question: what classifies a freedom fighter, and does this classification exist for the Global South?
During the War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration and Barbra Bush portrayed the war as a protection of human and women’s rights. Part of Daniel’s alternative narrative as a Muslim for Muslims, tackles the Western idea of protecting and maintaining human rights because of his first hand account of the battlefield and his larger commitments to the global Ummah through social justice. Using oral history as a method, I highlight this counter narrative of a prevailing history that demonizes Muslims, especially those who fight overseas.
In a semi-structured interview that I had with Daniel, three themes emerge: rap consciousness in American Islam, freedom fighter and terrorist dichotomy, and belonging behind bars. The first key finding enabled me to connect Daniel’s relationship to conscious rap with the receptivity, desire, and solidarity with the black experience against white supremacy. The second finding highlights an intersectionality that Daniel had for the Somalian Muslims as an outsider, and lastly, the third finding reveals an authority defined by solidarity to lead the Muslims behind bars as an Imam. This presentation is a part of a larger work that further analyzes Daniel’s childhood relationship to conscious rap in the early 1980s that led him to embody the activist figure and turning that activist figure into a militant fighter for the people of Somalia. This insight from Daniel speaks to scholarship in Arab and Muslim studies that explores how American and European Orientalism comes together to both racialize Muslims as terrorists and gives the white savior a monopoly of the image of the freedom fighter. Through a close reading of the transcript, this presentation will center the encounters that Daniel had with the Somalian people, specifically the women, where Daniel is seen as the protector and maintainer of rights rather than a malevolent figure.


Charlotte Juergens, “Stitch in Time: Lineages of Memory Work in Today’s COVID Memorials.” Sat, November 4, 10:00 to 11:40am, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, Salon Nelligan (Level A)

Abstract: After seven months of isolation and loss, the City of Detroit invited bereaved families to a temporary pandemic memorial at Belle Isle Park. The city organized fifteen funeral processions starting at several funeral homes across Detroit. Participants followed one another in their cars to Belle Isle Park, where hundreds of photo billboards lined the road. Each billboard featured a photograph and name of a person who had died from COVID. White-gloved volunteers greeted families with bouquets of flowers as they passed through. This proved to be the nation’s first city-wide COVID memorial and Detroit’s largest public art installation to date. The Belle Isle Memorial Drive emerged from a collaboration led by Rochelle Riley, Director of Arts and Culture for the city. Riley was tasked with “creating a memorial for our city’s residents who could not have funerals… so I planned a funeral. And I planned it for 1,500 families as if I were planning it for one.” When the Memorial Drive ended, Riley immediately felt that a more ambitious and inclusive memorial would be necessary to recognize the loss and trauma Detroiters continued to experience during the pandemic. That impulse led to a monumental textile commemoration known as the Healing Memorial, which has been shaped by community leaders, artists, and thousands of individual families.
In this paper, I consider the emergence of COVID memorials like the one described above. I argue that the methodologies they employ are outgrowths of the commemorative strategies developed to memorialize the AIDS epidemic in the United States. First, I review the key strategies employed by American memory workers to commemorate AIDS, focusing on the NAMES Project AIDS Quilt and the commemorative Instagram account @theaidsmemorial. Second, I consider the development of tactile, in-person COVID memorials, paying special attention to the Healing Memorial in Detroit. Third, I explore virtual and hybrid COVID memorials, spotlighting the New York Times online memorial What Loss Looks Like and the New York City-based soundscape project Memory Opus. Ultimately, this research suggests that COVID-19 has prompted the rapid adaptation and expansion of commemoration practices created for AIDS, responding to the unique needs of the present crisis, fostering solidarity among bereaved individuals, and nurturing networks of care.
This essay draws from Tung-Hui Hu’s metaphorical concept of “the graft,” which presents new media structures as grafted or layered on top of preexisting networks. Deliberately or not, new networks map themselves onto the physical and metaphorical contours of their predecessors. Hu contends that “the graft may have more than a descriptive use; the graft may also serve as a method of analysis, a way of uncovering a structural relationship between power and networks.” This paper views lineages of memory work through the lens and methodology of the graft. Illustrating the grafting of COVID commemorative practices atop those developed for AIDS, it traces the emergence of a new tradition of pandemic commemoration in the United States, which caters to the present rather than the future and adopts a participatory, community-driven, modular approach to memorialization. 


pruneah Kim, “We're Here with the Food: Mutual Aid, Art, Pedagogy.”Sat, November 4, 12:00 to 1:40pm, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, Salon Drummond East (Level 3)

Abstract: In his 2020 book, Dean Spade defines mutual aid as “work to meet survival needs and build shared understanding about why people do not have what they need” (Spade 2020, 9). Rooted in a perspective of radical political praxis, this roundtable session addresses the intersections of critical and social art practice, the community-based tradition of mutual aid, and the liberatory possibilities of arts pedagogy. In the context of an ongoing pandemic that has been dangerously neglected by the U.S. government despite continued patterns of illness and death, and amid ruthless austerity measures that have gutted cultural and educational institutions and resources in favor of deeply unequal neoliberal profits, in what ways have working class people created shared spaces and strategies of community, survival, discourse, and resistance? How do creative acts of mutual aid—or mutual aid as itself a creative act—work to de-normalize alienating social relations, cultivate bonds of care and celebration, and lift up and build solidarity across disparate positionalities, cultures, languages, and neighborhoods? In what ways do processes of coming together to enact alternative forms of teaching and learning and to share food, skills, labor, stories, and knowledge open up different considerations of aesthetics than what has traditionally been privileged within art world centers? And how can art strengthen mutual aid efforts? Thinking about these questions and more, this roundtable creates dialogue among a group of mutual aid organizers, practitioners, teachers, and theorists addressing the practices, networks, and relays of care-based resistance work and accompanying modes of radical pedagogy and learning.


Jasmine Ehrhardt, "Love and Struggle: Abolitionist Solidarity and Infrastructures of Care and Critique Across Prison Walls." Sat, November 4, 12:00 to 1:40pm, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, Salon 2 (Level 2) 

Abstract: This roundtable features four currently and formerly incarcerated media-makers and abolitionists and their inside-outside media projects. This session carves space for scholars and radical intellectuals who are currently locked up to communicate their theories and conceptions of solidarity across prison walls – whether that be solidarity between prisoners on the same block, within the same facility, across other state and federal prisons, immigration detention, local jails, or juvenile detention centers. Against censorship, retaliation, and widespread repression, imprisoned organizers manage to organize work stoppages, strikes, and study groups, while producing media for political education, agitation, and for documenting the many violences of incarceration. The purpose of the session is on the one hand to connect to and engage with imprisoned organic abolitionist intellectuals and on the other to put into practice the theme of ASA 2023. In asking what solidarity looks like from the inside out, this roundtable will center the methods and strategies that currently and formerly incarcerated people theorize, and deploy to resist their own conditions of political and social death. 
At the 2022 ASA conference, the organizers presented a similar panel focused on abolitionist media projects created in collaboration between imprisoned organic intellectuals and outside supporters. This year, in collaboration with formerly and currently incarcerated folks, the organizers feature discussion of solidarity projects, solidarity-building, and political education campaigns across the prison walls. With this session, the organizers create an infrastructure of care and critique  to think critically about inside-outside relationships, cultivate political education, solidarity, and collective self-defense. We will also engage with the difficult questions of in/visible, covert, and illicit organizing that evades capture/legibility by the state and the non-profit industrial complex–including the academy. 
The 90-minute session features short presentations by and discussions with imprisoned intellectuals via phone call or Zoom. We will have prepared discussion questions and remarks with the panelists beforehand. We’ll also provide biographies, contact information, and other writings by panelists, as well as stamped envelopes and paper for letter-writing. The goal of these activities is not to facilitate a one-time connection between incarcerated panelists and ASA participants, but to encourage participants to continue building with each other beyond the scope of the event and enter into a relation of political struggle. 
Following Stephen Wilson’s insistence on the importance of print media to prisoners’ movements, participants will gather the insights and resources shared here and produce a paper zine to be printed and distributed to imprisoned readers. We will also distribute the zine from our 2022 panel at the 2023 meeting."


Adrian King, “Judging Houses: Dominique Jackson’s Reality TV Performances and Her Accompanying TV Career.” Saturday, November 4th at 4pm, at Novotel Hotel, Oxford-Cambridge

Abstract: “I AM BALLROOM,'' says Dominique Jackson, as a guest judge on the ballroom reality television competition show Legendary. Jackson is most known as the sharp-witted frenemy Elektra in FX’s television drama Pose, but has several other television appearances: in Oxygen’s reality modeling show titled Strut, STARZ’s American Gods, in an episode of the Hulu television documentary series Defining Moments with OZY, and on an episode of House Hunters. As an icon in the house-structured ballroom scene and as a model, Jackson’s television appearances often center her relationship to these two different, but often overlapping scenes. In this paper, I will look closely at Jackson’s reality television appearances on Legendary in the episode “Circus Bezerkus,” Strut, and on House Hunters in “Glam v. Land New York.” I seek to examine how Jackson’s television career is made possible through her participation in ballroom and modeling and alternatively, how the reality television genre shapes her appearances on television as a Black trans women with particular talents. Ultimately, I hope to gesture towards her engagement with other Black trans and queer people via the medium of reality television.
Jackson’s appearance on Legendary is significant because through the show’s attempt to showcase (and capitalize on) ballroom as a competitive performance style, functions as a site in which Jackson has status and expertise and appears in community alongside other Black and Brown and trans and queer people. On Strut, Jackson appears as one of several Black trans models who are represented by Slay Model Management, framed as the first all transgender modeling agency. Over the course of several months, Strut follows the agency and models as they attempt to gain notoriety and find work opportunities and clients. Finally, Jackson appears on “Glam v. Land New York” with her husband and manager, Edwin Torres. True to the House Hunters franchise, Jackson and Torres look at three different houses with a realtor, each house exceeding, meeting, and failing particular criteria. Here, unlike her other appearances, Jackson appears without other Black trans and queer people and without the context of ballroom or modeling.
Using trans of color critique, I will first consider Jackson’s appearances on Legendary, Strut, and House Hunters as they come to fit into the larger context of her television career and what kind appearances and roles are offered to her. What might be required of Black trans performers in order to star in unscripted content? Finally, I will close read a scene from “Glam v. Land New York,” Jackson’s only lifestyle reality television appearance. I imagine this to be part of my dissertation project that looks at how during a moment of increased trans visibility, Black trans television performers sought to develop their television careers as well as shape the meanings of Black trans gender.


November 5th


Michael Brier, “The New Neighborhood Watch: Ring Doorbells and the Growing Network of ‘Neighborly’ Surveillance.” Sun, November 5, 8:00 to 9:40am, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, Salon 4 (Level 2)

Abstract: Since 2018, more than ten million Americans have purchased Ring Video Doorbells. Although Ring sells smart home security systems, Ring’s marketing campaign primarily highlights the ways in which Ring products facilitate acts of neighborly care and community-building. Indeed, the Ring Youtube channel features mostly light-hearted content: a neighbor finds another neighbor’s missing cat with the help of Ring; a son sends a sweet message to his father via the video and audio doorbell; a dog is caught stealing some hamburgers when no one is watching. In short, Ring’s marketing campaign aims to demonstrate that the Ring Video Doorbell enables its owner to be a better parent, a better neighbor, and a better citizen.

This marketing campaign raises two main questions: Better for whom? And better according to what normative framework? With these questions in mind, this paper argues that Ring’s marketing campaign is part of a growing effort by private surveillance technology companies to represent surveillance as a civic duty and an ethical responsibility. While this association between surveillance and civic duty is not totally new - think Homeland Security's “See something, say something” mantra - this paper suggests that the network of surveillance enabled and encouraged by Ring is much more pernicious than a vague suggestion to report suspicious behavior. As the paper shows, Ring does not only induce its users to perform various surveillance act on behalf of local police departments and Ring’s owner, Amazon; the marketing campaign of Ring products also encourages the users to conceive of these surveillance practices as acts of “community-building.” Keeping in mind the legacy of racial profiling and anti-blackness that has plagued past neighborhood watch programs, the paper considers the following question: who is part of Ring’s imagined community, and who is excluded, endangered, and othered by the surveillance practices that Ring encourages?

The first section of the paper offers background on Ring, Amazon’s acquisition of the company, and the various ends to which Ring’s security tools have been applied. This section explains how Ring is used to monitor Amazon’s delivery workers, and highlights the ways in which Ring entices its users to become unpaid labor surveillance on behalf of Amazon. Second, the paper considers how the Ring Video Doorbell and the “Neighbors by Ring” application complicate the binary between public and private surveillance; insofar as the footage is shared between local police, Amazon, businesses, and private users, this network of monitoring not only expands the surveillance network, but also changes its modalities. Finally, the last section of the paper highlights the way that Ring encourages Americans to conceive of their surveillance activities as acts of care and civic duty. This paper reads the rhetoric of community-building and neighborly care in two ways; first, these rhetorics are crucial methods for encouraging private citizens to become surveillance agents; and second, the encouragement of 'neighborly' surveillance represents a shift toward an ethical landscape in which being a “good neighbor” is equivalent to being a ruthless surveillance agent on behalf of powerful corporations and the state.


Caroline Hsu, “Community, Intimacy, Visibility, and Risk on Subtle Asian Traits." 2:00 pm on Sunday, November 5, in Salon 5 of the Le Centre Sheraton Montreal

Abstract: Founded in 2018, the Facebook group Subtle Asian Traits (SAT) quickly became one of the most popular groups on the entire platform. SAT’s virality is often attributed to its ability to connect members of the Asian diaspora from across the world, creating a seemingly intimate, racially homogenous community among 1.9 million+ globally scattered strangers. Users post memes, art, reviews of popular Asian/Asian American media, and personal stories, creating an evolving account of Asian diaspora youth culture that has developed significant mainstream influence. Notably, despite SAT’s founders being Chinese Australians who marketed the group to Asians across the diaspora, the content of the group is overwhelmingly geared towards Asian Americans.
Although there are many similar Asian diaspora accounts on other social media platforms, I argue that SAT’s success, pop cultural leverage, and affective power is largely due to its relationship with its host platform, Facebook. In this paper, I will consider the specific affordances and risks that Facebook offers to Asian American users and communities through SAT. I argue that Facebook’s private group feature is particularly well-suited to addressing contemporary Asian American desires for intimacy, visibility, and community. The possibility of fulfilling these desires motivates Asian American users to accept the inherent risk of submitting themselves to surveillance by Facebook as a corporation.
In my analysis of SAT’s structure, I draw from Wendy Chun’s work on “homophily,” which she defines as “the principle that similarity breeds connection” (18). Chun writes, “Homophily fosters the breakdown of seemingly open and boundless social networks into a series of poorly gated communities” (18). Although the homophily that Chun describes in Discriminating Data is largely algorithmic, I argue that SAT takes the “gated community” principle of homophily one step further. SAT is both the process and product of self-homophilization. Put differently, SAT users take on the algorithmic work of homophily themselves, actively sorting themselves into a racially segregated online gated community, thus making it much easier for Facebook to datafy and commodify on the basis of race.
In this paper, I will be close reading individual SAT posts that offer meta-commentary on the importance and emotional power of SAT. In moments of celebration and crisis, SAT users often post reflections on their relationship with the Facebook group itself, pinpointing the features of the group that are most valuable and salient to its users. In addition to close reading individual posts, I will discuss the format of the group itself, including its size, privacy features, content moderation, and the types of posts and interactions that are afforded by the platform. These attributes allow SAT to blur dichotomies between private/public, homogeneity/heterogeneity, and intimacy/distance, creating opportunities for solidarity, humor, and care among the Asian diaspora, but also vulnerabilities and risks. In other words, the same attributes that allow SAT to function as a large, but paradoxically intimate group of strangers are also what make this group vulnerable to increased surveillance, datafication, and commodification.