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A red gradient poster featuring an origami crane, a small red bird skull (the logo for Red Canary Song), and a small photo of Empress Wu. Transcription in text body.

15th Annual Balgopal Lecture: Body of Work

Event Type
Department of Asian American Studies
Levis Faculty Center, Third Floor, 919 W Illinois St, Urbana
Apr 12, 2023   4:00 - 6:00 pm  
Originating Calendar
Asian American Studies

The Department of Asian American Studies presents The 15th Annual Balgopal Lecture on Human Rights and Asian Americans, established by a generous endowment from Pallassana R. Balgopal and Shyamala Balgopal in 2007.

Join Wu, a collective member of Red Canary Song, in a talk that explores organizing at the intersection of labor, criminalization, race, and gender. A brief presentation will explore documenting marginalized history as an activist pursuit, to be followed by a broader Q+A about Red Canary Song’s work, moderated by Dr. Maryam Kashani, Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies.

Empress Wu is the sex worker alter ego of MJ Tom (all pronouns), a cultural activist based in NYC. They are a core organizer for Red Canary Song and Kink Out Events, as well as a cofounder of the artist collective Veil Machine. Their work centers around non normative intimacies made possible through queer SM, sex work, digital landscapes, and conflict. Find them at

Red Canary Song (RCS) is an abolitionist grassroots collective advocating for the rights and resources for Asian migrant massage workers and Asian sex workers, organizing transnationally.

This event is cosponsored by the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.

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