CSC professor wins publication award

“Diaspora” means “the scattering of people away from their homeland”. Shafiqur Rahman, associate professor of communication arts, employs this term in his new book; “The Bangladeshi Diaspora in the United State After 9/11: From Obscurity to High Visibility”.

According to the book’s description, it centers around how “After 9/11, Bangladeshi-Americans felt pressured to see their identities in binary Muslim vs. American terms. They refused to accept this identity not only because it does not fit, but also because it curtails their ability to engage society in multiple terms and to exercise their rights as citizens.” The one-pound tome is part of a series called “The New Americans: Recent Immigration & American Society” which Texas-based LBF Scholarly Publishing has created to focus on the diverse populations of America.

After its publication on February 15th, “Bangladeshi Diaspora” has already won the Honor Award for the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association’s Award for Literature for 2011-12, under the adult non-fiction category.

The Eagle sat down with Rahman to discuss his new book.

Q. Why are you so interested in the diaspora concept?

A. “Because I’m a part of one. Historically the term was used to describe the Jewish peoples’ exile from Jerusalem, but now there are so many small packets of people it has become a modern term. I also specialize in international communications, which diaspora is an important part of. So many people are moving around the world; I wanted to address the issues of their life, their identity, and their problems. Our numbers are growing. I certainly hope people will learn about Bangladeshis, and all our interesting stories and histories.”

Q. When did you immigrate to America?

A. “Sept. 1st, 1999, I moved to Louisiana, where I got my masters, and then I lived in Illinois, where I got my Ph.D. from Southern Ill. University.”

Q. So you came to America to continue your studies?

A. “I looked to Canada and the U.K, but only America’s financial assistantship allowed me to continue my scholarly work and education. It would have been difficult to support my education in Bangladesh.”

Q. In the book’s title it says “ from obscurity to high visibility.” What does that mean?

A. “Bangladesh is a tiny country, not strategically important, and so not usually known to Americans. 500,000 people of Bangladeshi origins live in the U.S. All these people are rarely noticed. Suddenly, after 9/11, we became “visible” to the government. People connected us to the idea of an unwelcome people. I tried to capture that feeling in my work.”

Q. How does it feel to win this award?

A. “I didn’t know I was participating. My publisher sent in the book, I think routinely. I had no clue, then I found out Tuesday. They are an association of librarians, so I am very happy about how much promotion it will mean. It’s a good feeling, having recognition, it gives me confidence to pursue other works. “

Rahman is currently working on another book, about a Bangladeshi artist, living in N.Y., which he hopes to have published.

The APALA will present Rahman with a plaque this June in Anaheim, CA.


Comments are closed.

Recent Lifestyles Articles

Sexual assault speaker provides new perspective

Nov. 24, 2015

Unlike other sexual assault awareness event, Brian Banks brought a new perspective to students by sharing his own story during his session Tuesday, Nov. 17 in Memorial Hall Auditorium.

CSC’s math, science department celebrates weekly science days

Nov. 24, 2015

From a young age we tell our children that they can be anything they set their mind to. By introducing ideas early The Math and Science Department of Chadron State College hopes to see those children pursuing these degrees in the field for their future. Science Days is this idea in action.

International students destroy stereotypes

Nov. 24, 2015

Russians drink vodka all the time; people of Macedonia drive on the left side of the road; all people of Africa live in mud houses; and Chinese are bad drivers. These are some false stereotypes the International Club addressed Thursday, Nov. 19 in the Sandoz Center atrium.

Community members create swag for campus, community

Nov. 24, 2015

Colorado Blue Spruce, Mugo Pine, Pinyon Pine, Concolor Fir, Wichita Blue Juniper, Arborvitae, Black Hills Spruce, Chinese Juniper, Blue Rug Juniper, Ponderosa Pine and Western Juniper are all types of trees found on campus that were used in this years holiday swags.

Students play stress away with Play Doh

Nov. 19, 2015

CSC students were able to relieve their stress through playing with PlayDoh at 6 p.m., Monday, in the Gold Room during the PlayD’off your Stress event.