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Stephen Pihlaja

Assistant Professor, Malaysia

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Posts by Stephen Pihlaja


The Korean-American graffiti artist David Choe is, perhaps, most well-known now for being a Facebook millionaire, one of the people who were given stock in lieu of cash for work done for the company. In Choe’s case, he painted a mural at the Facebook headquarters in 2005 and instead of taking USD$60,000, he was given a small …

Do good

I had wanted to comment briefly on the conversation about elephants to start to build my own paradigm for understanding my place here, both in Malaysia and on this blog. I will start with this: I don’t think we overcome the imperial past (or present, in the case of my American citizenship) without giving over power in meaningful …

Speak to me

In 2003, when I first went to Japan, I had only intended to stay for a year and then return to the US to do an MFA in Creative Writing. I ended up staying five years, in part because I became infatuated with the language and obsessed with becoming, as much as I could, ‘fluent’. …

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Looking at and past

Happy to find this blog, happy to be a new member of the Nottingham community, and happy to do some thinking about the complexity of my presence as a white Westerner (American, but educated in England, with a Japanese wife–we get triple imperial points, I think) in Malaysia.  I will be blogging here intermittently, but …

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