Treasure Box

Treasure Box: May 2017

Welcome to this month’s Treasure Box! Recurring themes for May were Asian awesomeness (coinciding with Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!) and UC Davis excellence, for no particular reason.


Incense box from Edo-period Japan. 

♦ I’m always interested in badass women’s history, and my family’s from Myanmar, so I was doubly interested by this article by Charmaine Craig on her mother, Louise Benson, Burmese beauty queen and rebel leader (her book Miss Burma is now on my TBR.)


♦ Pizzagate conspiracy theorists are now suspecting…Father John Misty, which kind of just works.

♦ May 13 was World Binturong Day, apparently. What is the binturong? It’s this kinda weird animal!

♦ Like so many people, I adore Hamilton, but this thread from scholar Debbie Reese about the show’s Native erasure is really important.

♦ A fun read from the inimitable folks at Merriam-Webster about the word “glamour” and how it comes from “grammar”—and magic.

♦ You might’ve seen the pics of the new South Korean president’s bodyguard but…ahem.


♦ I knew my college town was known for biking, but I didn’t realize we actually were the first city to have bike lanes!

♦ I love, love, love, love this mashup trailer!

♦ Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812’s Denee Benton’s Black Princess Project!

I've decided to keep the #blackprincessproject going past black history month bc it's awesome! Lol, our next Princess is truly astonishing. She is a renaissance woman who has accomplished so much instagram didn't let me fit it all, so go to the website at the bottom to learn more 🙂 …….. Princess Elizabeth Bagaaya of Toro. She is a Ugandan lawyer, politician, diplomat, model and actress. She was the first female East African to be admitted to the English Bar. She was accepted to the University of Cambridge the third African woman in the institution's history. In 1962, she graduated from Cambridge with a law degree. Elizabeth later completed an internship at a Ugandan law firm, and became Uganda's first female lawyer. Due to corrupt regimes She was a virtual prisoner in her own country until Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom sent her an invitation to model in a charity fashion show. The princess was a smash hit, and soon became a highly successful fashion model, being featured in many magazines. Vogue magazine would devote an entire layout to Bagaya in their 1968 summer issue – the first time a black model would be accorded such an honour. After gracing the cover of Harpers Bazaar she became black Model to be on the cover of a top American Fashion magazine It was the first time a top fashion magazine. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis met Elizabeth at a party, and convinced her to move to New York City and helped sign with Ford Models and eventually transition to acting. In 1971, the current Ugandan regime was overthrown by General Amin, and Elizabeth returned to Uganda. In 1974, Amin appointed Elizabeth minister of foreign affairs. She eventually was exiled after realizing he was more repressive than the previous regime She eventually returned when her Nephew became king and Following a period of service as Uganda's Ambassador to Germany and the Vatican, Elizabeth accepted an appointment as Uganda's High Commissionerto Nigeria. She is now 81 and still reigning Princess.

A post shared by Denée Benton (@deneebenton) on

♦ In addition to the #AsianLitBingo challenge, Reading (As)(i)an (Am)erican hosted a wonderful interview series with many Asian authors for May!

♦ And here’s the story of Hazel Lee, the first Chinese-American female military pilot!


♦ I’ve had a lot of UCD pride lately, what with the emergency contraception vending machines and Hasan Minhaj’s (very good) Homecoming King comedy special on Netflix, so here’s UC Davis leading the way again to “let science drive gun legislation. What a concept.”

♦ 😦

♦  I only really know about Zoroastrianism from high school Quiz Bowl, so this BBC article about how the once-influential Persian religion shaped Western thought was really interesting.

♦ Finally, I’m too secular a feminist to get into Goddess spirituality, but I have always loved goddesses—I really enjoyed Natsuo Kirino’s The Goddess Chronicle this month—so I enjoyed this video from Crash Course: Mythology.

See you all next month!


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