Interview with Angie Wong3 min read

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Angie Wong is a second-generation Chinese person born in Canada. She is a scholar of the Humanities, teaching across the interdisciplinary fields of Settler Colonial, General, Social Justice, and Postcolonial Studies. Angie is a full-time Senior Consultant on Indigenous Health innovation and research with Alberta’s provincial healthcare system and an active independent community researcher.

Laughing Back at Empire examines The Asianadian, the first Asian Canadian serial promoting Asian Canadian arts, culture, and politics. What inspired you to analyze the magazine and its contributors? What was the process like?

I was inspired to interview the editorial collective and contributors to The Asiandian because of their knowledge of anti-racism and how to combat anti-Asian racism, specifically. This took place first through a philosophical investigation, which involved interviewing the collective on their experiences with working on the magazine, the context of race relations across Canada at the time (the late 1970s into the 1980s), and how this little grassroots magazine changed perspectives on life, grassroots activism, and the dynamic social justice landscape (which through and through involved cross-coalition building). Interviewing the collective was like talking to old friends: the editorial collective spoke fondly of their radical vigour and the making of life-long friendships; contributors and volunteers immortalized The Asianadian as among the only spaces where Asian Canadians felt comfortable and welcomed to submit their writing, art, music, and photography. As I have gotten to know the collective better, we talk about more about life experiences and our worldviews on the function of racism. These dialogues (usually through email exchange given our dispersal across the country) feel like conversations that the editorial collective used to have on any given evening while planning the next issue at Tony or Bobby’s house—it is a phenomenon that I am honoured to be a part of and demonstrates how anti-racism is a continuous practice and ongoing conversation.

What do you hope readers take away from Laughing Back at Empire and your analysis?  

I hope readers have a deeper understanding of Canadian settler colonialism and the varying responsibilities Asian Canadians have beyond citizenship. I emphasized the responsibility of younger generations to learn about the histories of their countries (the ones they come from and the ones they find themselves in) in order to wake up their social and political consciousness. Beyond an appreciation for celebrating the legacy of The Asianadian, I hope readers realize that intellectual and artistic resources for combatting racism and sexism exist, have always existed, and will continue to be deployed by those who investigate the past to understand the present.

You are an active independent community researcher – are you able to share what you are currently working on?

At this time, I’ve had to take a break from my independent community research activities to support a CIHR-funded Alberta Health Services intervention project studying racism against Indigenous Peoples and the awareness of racism by providers in emergency department settings in Alberta.


Angie Wong will be featured at LiterASIAN Festival 2024.  Please check out the lineup of the festival at

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