Following is an excerpt:
I am grateful that editor Russell Leong has invited me to share my reflections about Asian American studies from the Midwest perspective and to be sharing this stage, so to speak, with colleagues whom I am sure have served and led their respective institutions for far longer than I have. After obtaining my masters in Asian American Studies (AAS) and my doctorate in History at UCLA, I moved to America’s “heartland.” For the last thirteen years, I have been affiliated with Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the last three years, I have been in positions of leadership in the Department of Asian American Studies, starting as Associate Director and then as head of the department. So what I have to say about Asian American Studies comes from this midwestern Big-10 perspective. In what follows, I offer an account of my current research project on hispanismo, a kind of interdisciplinary study that has been made possible by my positioning in the Midwest. I also offer a view of the current opportunities and challenges being at the University provides for Asian American Studies and a perspective for moving it forward in the future.
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