Project by Veronica Anne Francisco
Advised by Dr. Jane Wong
Boba icon and logo designed by Gretchen Visperas
Website design help from Madison Lindell, Rey Kistler, and Kiersten Shjerven
Inspired by Dr. Jane Wong and Michelle Peñaloza
“Where are you from?” is a Western Washington University Spring 2021 honors capstone project exploring the experiences of 23 different Asian American students from four Pacific Northwest universities: Western Washington University (Bellingham, WA), Seattle University (Seattle, WA), University of Washington (Seattle, WA, with satellite campuses in Bothell and Tacoma), and Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA).
The project was inspired by a September 2019 trip to the Philippines, Dr. Jane Wong’s “A Poetics of Haunting,” and Michelle Peñaloza’s “Q&A” poems from her book, Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire.
Through a series of remote, virtual interviews and a poetry exercise, participants from graduating classes of 2020–2023 shared their personal experiences as Asian Americans attending or having attended a PNW university, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020–2021 academic year.
These interviews were conducted amid the rising anti-Asian hate and prior to the March 16, 2021, Atlanta shooting. While the scope of this project may specifically regard PNW university students’ experiences, please take the opportunity to acknowledge and learn from their and others’ experiences to help combat against anti-Asian and other racist and racialized hate and systemic issues. If possible, please visit Stop AAPI Hate and the Asian Mental Health Collective to learn more about what resources are available and what you can do to help.
Veronica Anne Francisco
Class of 2021
Veronica Anne is a Filipina American writer from Tacoma, Washington. A Spring 2021 graduate of Western Washington University, she received a BA in English creative writing with minors in Japanese, Asian American studies, and honors interdisciplinary studies. She will be pursuing an MA in Asian American studies at San Francisco State University in Fall 2021, with the intent to study Asian American women and LGBTQ+ representation in literature and media. If she’s not wasting her time reading webcomics, she’s likely watching YouTube video essays, scrolling through memes on Instagram, or listening (and poorly singing along) to K-pop and Pinoy music.