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Frank H. Wu
Frank H. Wu a Distinguished Professor at University of California Hastings College of the Law. He also is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White.

Entries by Frank H. Wu

The Remarkable Reincarnation of John Watson as Joan Watson

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 12:08 PM

Among the myriad revisions of Sherlock Holmes, who continues to be the world's most famous consulting detective, the American television version, Elementary, has made the most radical change to the universe introduced by "literary agent" Arthur Conan Doyle. In this iteration, the game is...

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"Microaggression:" Allow It to Pass or Make a Fuss?

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 4:15 PM

People who know that I write about race and civil rights sometimes wonder if I see racism and prejudice everywhere, all day. To the contrary, whenever any incident occurs around me I try to observe as neutrally as possible -- realizing objectivity in these matters is impossible. Random encounters may...

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The Importance of Asian Immigrants: Tom Hanks and Yick Wo

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 2:37 PM

You only rarely see a fictitious lawyer in a movie cite a real case. I cannot recall ever hearing any character utter the name of a Chinese immigrant among the many Asian Americans who litigated all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. Yet Tom Hanks, playing attorney...

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How Autonomous Vehicles Will Come to the Road: Rule of Law

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2015 | 4:23 PM

The State of California has just released proposed regulations for autonomous vehicles, aka self-driving cars. Enthusiasts are critical. Whatever people think about the prospect of riding down the road as if seated in a living room, this development is important as a signal of the continuing...

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What Colleges Can Learn From Motorcycle Manufacturers

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 8:53 PM

As the head of a standalone law school, I have witnessed the worst challenge faced by legal education since formal training became required to enter the profession. I also am a motorcycle enthusiast. In my day job, I learn from my hobby.

Law schools should differentiate themselves. We all offer...

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From China to America and Back Again

(3) Comments | Posted October 18, 2015 | 3:50 PM


Image courtesy of Harvard University Press

My friend Gordon Chang, a history professor, has written a learned book, Fateful Ties, on the lengthy arc of US-China relations. In an era of American anxiety about what until recently was called "the Orient,"...

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I Love Teaching

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 6:51 PM

I love teaching. I have returned to the classroom. I am co-teaching a course I taught regularly before entering higher education administration. We decided, the chief academic officer and I, that we both should be doing more of what the institution is dedicated to.

There is a standard trick question...

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Perhaps I Have Ruined Running

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 9:47 PM

I have realized I belong to the crowd accused of ruining running. You see, I have started to enter half marathons. This year, I have finished five; for its remaining duration, I have signed up for another half dozen.

I'm either the fastest walker or the slowest...

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Four Models for Higher Education

(0) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 4:51 PM

There are four models of success for institutions of higher education. These choices are available not only in higher education, but most sectors in a competitive economy, from gadgets to commodities: the high end, the low end, the middle and the unique. The first has become so alluring, however, that...

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How to Start Law School: 'I Know Kung Fu'

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 11:37 AM

I love to welcome students to law school. There is such enthusiasm this time of the year. Here is what I shared with our incoming 1Ls at UC Hastings.

When I was a kid growing up in Detroit in the 1970s, I was a stutterer. Back then, the treatment for...

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I am an American

(36) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 7:18 PM

I write to make a simple point about China-bashing. As a native-born Chinese-American, I hope we will remain true to our democratic principles. The Chinese government and Chinese businesses, which may well deserve criticism, are not the same as Chinese immigrants and their American descendants, who have made the choice...

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Touching 'Nappy' Hair

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 1:48 AM

As someone who is neither black nor white literally, I usually see racial issues in terms that are neither black nor white figuratively. I do not believe every claim of racism. I also don't disbelieve every claim related to race.

I am persuaded by the facts, especially the evidence...

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An American Artist Rediscovered: Yasuo Kuniyoshi

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 3:52 PM


Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Circus Girl Resting, 1925, oil on canvas, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Advancing American Art Collection. © Estate of Yasuo Kuniyoshi/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. has...

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Starting to (Half) Marathon: Finishing San Francisco

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2015 | 7:13 PM

I finished the back half of the San Francisco marathon today. I share that to encourage others, not to congratulate myself. I grew up as the classic geek, the stereotype of an Asian American nerd, much more likely to be reading a book or programming a computer than...

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Sherlock Holmes, Family Man

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2015 | 3:37 PM

The new Mr. Holmes film does what could not have been predicted and does it wonderfully. In an adaptation that betters the book, the sleuth is an elderly retiree minding his bees on the seashore. That much is consistent with the canon. The remainder of the revisionist triptych...

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Who's in Charge? Our Assumptions About Race and Gender

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 12:04 PM

Every now and then, one of my close colleagues will observe that someone else at the college which I head -- perhaps a student -- is displaying behavior that not only is disrespectful but likely different than they would dare with a leader of a different identity. That may be....

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Call Me Mr. Bennett: First Names, Last Names, Respect, and Diversity

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 8:10 PM

The more I take on the responsibility to lead diverse groups, the more I am aware of the importance of perceptions, symbols and subtleties, and the more I am skeptical of abstract rules. We often fail to communicate what we intend, without fault. I see these mishaps begin...

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Chinese Who Cheat Versus Cheaters Who Happen to be Chinese

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 3:03 PM

There are so many reports of Chinese students cheating, either before they have arrived (for example, through identity fraud on standardized tests) or after they have enrolled. As a Chinese American higher education administrator, I feel compelled to comment on the phenomenon. I am...

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An Appreciation of an American Architect, I.M. Pei

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 5:26 PM

A recent review of the work of architect I.M. Pei repeated a common criticism of his work: That his career has been devoted to corporate clientele. I have always thought this disapproval to be misplaced. It seems likely that any design professional at that level of prestige would...

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Hollywood Has Met the Enemy, and He Is Us

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 5:28 PM

A new storyline is emerging in Hollywood blockbusters: The revolution of the malcontents has replaced the revolution of the idealists. (Spoiler warning: This blog ruins the surprise of the movies mentioned.)

Among the earlier films with this theme was the excellent Arlington Road (1999). With a modest budget...

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