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Left to right: Headshot of Britney Hong, Hong's zine

Britney Hong’s final SURF project was a virtual zine she created featuring the interviews she collected this past summer. (courtesy of Britney Hong)

Virtual ‘zine’ highlights Southeast Asian American writers in N.C.

When junior Britney Hong began planning her Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, she knew she wanted to pursue research that was rooted in her own life experiences.

Hong’s SURF project, funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research, was “Revealing History: Southern Asian American Writers Making their Mark.” She is pursuing a double major in American studies and human development and family studies with a minor in creative writing.

Through a series of oral history interviews, Hong sought to explore the question: How do Asian American authors from the South use writing to reconcile their intersecting identities?

With the help of her mentor, Kita Douglas, UNC teaching assistant professor of American studies, Hong set her focus on Southeast Asian American authors living in North Carolina. She interviewed five writers who were willing to share their personal and professional experiences.

Each author’s experience shed light on Hong’s initial question of what it means to be an Asian American writer in North Carolina, research that she compiled into a virtual self-published magazine or “zine.” Hong hopes those who read her zine will better understand the value of writing, media and literature for historically marginalized groups in the United States.

Read Hong’s zine at go.unc.edu/SURF-zine. Stay tuned to college.unc.edu for more stories about College student and faculty researchers during University Research Week Oct. 10-14.