Celebration through contemplation: Alex Tizon visits Dickinson College

In celebration of 2016’s Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the Popel Shaw Center invited author Alex Tizon to Dickinson to discuss some of the themes featured in his acclaimed 2014 memoir Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self, including questions of identity, authenticity, and self-esteem.

Mr. Tizon reflected on the art of personal writing on Monday, April 11, 2016, before a diverse audience in Althouse 106. He also visited Visiting Professor Rebekah Collins’s Creative Non-Fiction Writing course on Tuesday, April 12, to work with her seminar students who are in the process of developing their own stories. That afternoon Vincent Stephens, Director of the PSC, interviewed Mr. Tizon on Dickinson’s radio station WDCV 88.3 FM. Tizon reflected on a variety of themes, including themes that inspire his stories, challenges of moving beyond race, and Asian American masculinity, among other subjects.

Here is the full interview:


Alex Tizon was born in the Philippines and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1964. He teaches at the University of Oregon in the School of Journalism and Communication. Mr. Tizon holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Oregon and a graduate degree in communication from Stanford. He has a highly distinguished career in journalism having served as a former national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and written for The Atlantic, Salon, The Sun Magazine and Newsweek. While reporting for The Seattle Times, he won the Pulitzer for his story on corruption and inequities in a federally sponsored housing program for Native Americans. 

Check out his most recent story in the April 2016 issue of The Atlantic.


Written by Vincent L. Stephens, Ph.D., Director, Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity