Indians in the US have felt animosity for 100 years, now a feeling of déjà vu creeps in


From News India Times: If the Indian community feels increasingly vulnerable and targeted by the Trump Administration, on the immigration front, it’s nothing new in the United States. Animosity towards Indians has been brewing for more than a century, points out Prema Kurien, Professor of Sociology at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, in the recently published book ‘Asian American Matters – A New York Anthology’ (Asian American / Asian Research Institute of City University of New York; 256 pages; $25).

The Indian community was viewed as a ‘bigger threat than other Asiatic groups,’ in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1910, a Senate Immigration Commission declared that Indians (then called ‘Hindus’) were “universally regarded as the least desirable race of immigrants thus far admitted to the United States”, Kurien, the author of ‘A Place at the Table: Multiculturalism and the Development of an American Hinduism,’ says in a commentary piece in ‘Asian American Matters’.

‘Asian American Matters’ has several other thought provoking essays, with one by Erik Love, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, and the author of ‘Islamophobia and Racism in America’, highlighting the perpetuation of the xenophobia angle in the brutal murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a turbaned Sikh American killed on September 15, 2001, the first post 9/11 hate crime victim.

Allan Punzalan Isaac, Chair of American Studies, at Rutgers University, in his essay, delves into the subject of how the Trump era is empowering Whites, while demeaning minorities…. Isaac analyzes the vexatious H-1B visa issue, saying it “threatens the space and place of whiteness,” and “changes the naturalized trajectory of whiteness.”

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AAARI-CUNY Publishes Asian American Matters: A New York Anthology


“A generation ago, scholars held out for the promise that, in addition to the West and the Pacific, Asian American studies could be anchored in communities that were ‘east of California.’ Asian American Matters: A New York Anthology delivers on that promise, with a collection of incisive writing by activists and educators that is necessary, timely, and vital.”

– Theodore S. Gonzalves, Ph.D.
Curator, Asian Pacific American Histories, National Museum of
American History, Smithsonian Institution
President, Association for Asian American Studies (2018-2020)

“Situated against a backdrop of increased xenophobia, reinvigorated nativism, rising Islamophobia, and intensified racism in the United States, Asian American Matters potently reminds its readers of the possibilities of coalitional activism and political dissent. Such capacious dynamics, consistently at the forefront of Asian American Matters, evocatively reflect and refract the revolutionary legacies which brought the very notion of “Asian America” into being.”

– Cathy Schlund-Vials
Director, Asian and Asian American Studies Institute
Professor of English and Asian/Asian American Studies,
University of Connecticut
President, Association for Asian American Studies (2016-2018)

“Students of Asian America should add Asian American Matters: A New York Anthology to their bookshelves. Editor Russell C. Leong brings together academics and writers to piece together the diverse strands that make Asian America a political possibility and a community of connections and intersections.”

– Deepa Iyer, Author, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future

Asian American Matters

“Why do Asian American matters, matter?” asks editor Russell C. Leong in his introduction to this pathbreaking collection of essays by forty New York and U.S. scholars, writers, artists, and activists. Asian American Matters, published by the Asian American / Asian Research Institute (AAARI), of The City University of New York (CUNY), is the first national anthology to address post 9/11 issues around Asians, Asian Americans, South Asians, and Muslims in relation to Asian American Studies and communities.

Editor Leong contends that for 300 years, Asians have been migrating to the Americas beginning with the Spanish galleon trade and Manila sailors in the 16th century. From that time until the present, Asians in the Americas have developed a transnational relationship that spans nations on both sides of the Pacific. Through this “long lenses” of history, Asian American mattersfrom history, immigration, and community, to faith, gender and social justice issues, to art and literatureare addressed in this book.

Within Asian American Matters, the 50-year history of Asian American Studies as a scholarly and cultural discipline, together with video, open-source, and on-line educational sites, are provided by renowned writers, including Shahidul Alam, Meena Alexander, Tomie Arai, Moustafa Bayoumi, Sylvia Chan-Malik, John J. Chin, Margaret M. Chin, Loan Thi Dao, Mariam Durrani, Raymond Fong, Luis H. Francia, Molly Higgens, Yibing Huang, Tarry Hum, Shirley Hune, Allan Punzalan Isaac, Mary Uyematsu Kao, Peter Nien-chu Kiang, Prema Kurien, Peter Kwong, Son Ca Lam, Vinay Lal, Russell C. Leong, Robert Lee, Zai Liang, Vivian Louie, Erik Love, Joyce Moy, Kevin L. Nadal, Don T. Nakanishi, Phil Tajitsu Nash, Songkhla Nguyen, Glenn Omatsu, Vinit Parmar, Raymond Pun, David K. Song, Samuel Stein, Rajini Srikanth, Eric Tang, Shirley Suet-ling Tang, Antony Wong, Ming Xia, and Judy Yung.

Leong, a former CUNY Thomas Tam Visiting Professor at Hunter College, edited the first anthologies on Asian American film and video, and on comparative sexualities, etc. for UCLA, and is the founding and current editor of CUNY FORUM in New York.

Purchase Information
Asian American Matters (ISBN 978–692-94978-8, 256 pp., illustrated, $25) is available for purchase online at a limited time only special sale price of $15 (plus $5 S&H), until March 2, 2018, at Bulk discounts are also available for schools and libraries. For book review copies, please contact Antony Wong.

AAARI-CUNY Publishes CUNY FORUM Volume 4:1


The Asian American / Asian Research Institute (AAARI), of The City University of New York (CUNY), announces the publication of CUNY FORUM Asian American/Asian Studies Volume 4:1 – Fall/Winter 2016-2017. CUNY FORUM is an East Coast-based print and online commons for scholars, practitioners, artists and activists who are committed to writing and conducting research on Asian and Pacific Americans, and Asians.

AAARI’s fourth issue of CUNY FORUM is concerned with how Asian American Studies, as a radical education initiative begun forty-years ago, can become a “change-creator,” providing a counter narrative to what is already known or practiced. Here, East Coast scholars, activists, artists and institutions, through their work and research bring critical transcultural perspectives and uncommon meanings to both voice and practice.

This 152 page journal features three sections, each examining through essays, commentaries, and research:

I. Transcultural Voices

The Rise of the Individual through Tibetan Thangka Painting
Ming Xue

Joe Bataan on Heavy Rotation: Studying the Repertoire of a Mixed-race Composer
Theodore S. Gonzalves

Writer in Exile/Writer in Revolt: Critical Perspectives on Carlos Bulosan
Jeffrey Arellano Cabusao

Ching Ho Cheng / 氧化 oxidation
Russell C. Leong

II. Asian American Studies

Origins: The First Asian American Course at the University of Maryland, College Park
Shirley Hune

The University of Maryland, College Park: Remembering AMST 298
Sam Cacas

Deep Roots and New Sprouts: The Growth of Asian American Studies at Maryland
Janelle Wong

Asian American Leadership at CUNY and in Higher Education
Joyce O. Moy

Asian American Studies Online: Digital Tools for Education & Open-Source Learning
Antony Wong

Asian American and African American Communities after the Peter Liang Case
Peter Kwong

III. Research & Reports
Consuming Gangnam Style: Nation-Branding in Koreatown, New York and Los Angeles
Angie Y. Chung, Jinwon Kim & Injeong Hwang

Obesity Risk Reduction Behaviors Among Chinese Americans in the New York Region
Doreen Liou, Kathleen Bauer & Yeon Bai

The Opposite of a Fairy Tale: A Commentary on Elder Abuse
Betty Lee Sung

Emile Bocian: Photojournalist for The China Post, NYC
Kevin Chu

Purchase Information
CUNY FORUM Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 are available for purchase online at a limited time only special sale prices from $5 to $10 per issue (plus $3 S&H) at Bulk discounts are also available for schools and libraries.

Envisioning the Next Revolutions: How Today’s Asian American Movements Connect to Worldwide Activism


Following is an excerpt:
In the early 1990s, I ended my article, “The Four Prisons and the Movements of Liberation,” about the state of Asian American activism with a series of questions: Will we fight only for ourselves, or will we embrace the concerns of all oppressed people? Will we overcome our own oppression and help to create a new society, or will we become a new exploiter group in the present American hierarchy of inequality? Will we define our empowerment solely in terms of individual advancement for a few, or as the collective liberation for all people?

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Forty-Five Years of Asian American Studies at Yale University


Following is an excerpt:
I. Forty-Fifth Anniversary of Asian American Studies at Yale

It is a great honor and pleasure to be invited back to Yale and to participate in this important conference.

This gathering has historic significance. It was forty-five years ago during the Spring semester of 1970 when the first class in Asian American Studies was offered at Yale. It was the first Asian American Studies class offered by any Ivy League college and, along with the first class offered at City College of New York,1 one of the first two that was taught east of the West Coast.

Full PDF article download: 2015 CUNY FORUM – Don T. Nakaniski

Freedom from the Four Prisons: Evolution of a Course and a Teacher


Following is an excerpt:
Twenty years ago, Glenn Omatsu published “The Four Prisons and the Movements of Liberation,” as a chapter in Karin Aguilar-San Juan’s 1994 book, The State of Asian America: Activism and Resistance in the 1990s.  Building on the work of Iranian philosopher Ali Shariati, Prof. Omatsu helped me to understand the origins of Asian Pacific American (APA) Studies in the 1960s and 70s, and chart a way forward into the 90s and beyond. The Omatsu/Shariati analysis combined history, politics, science, and psychology to define four “prisons” that hold us back from full liberation as individuals and as a society.

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Planting Roots: Asian American Studies in the Midwest


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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Steps Along the Curved Road

By: , , , and

Following is an excerpt:
In October 1986, an invited gaggle of fifty faculty and students convened at Cornell University for a historic East Coast Asian American Scholars Conference to lay the initial groundwork for an Asian American Studies network “East of California.” Resolutions unanimously passed by participants included statements of support for institutionalizing an Asian American Studies program at UMass Boston and an Inter-College Research Institute in Asian American Studies at the City University of New York, along with a call to reconvene in the future to assess the progress of East Coast Asian American Studies programs.1 Russell Leong, then editor of UCLA’s Amerasia Journal, was one of two non-East Coast participants. We greatly appreciate Russell’s fresh invitation from CUNY FORUM after all these years.

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Second Generation Asian America: Inheriting the Movement


Following is an excerpt:
Each generation of Asian Americans faces its unique set of alienations: invidious stereotypes resulting in a unique double-consciousness. Such “two-ness” was akin to the conflicted feelings of generations of African Americans whose worth was earlier measured through the eyes of others, as W.E.B. Du Bois points out.

For Asian Americans, such stereotypes included that of the perpetual foreigner, model minority, job-stealer, and alien, which have recurred during generations and waves of immigration. Other names — entitled, whitewashed, ghetto, terrorist — are newer. These perceptions made by others had also created a sensation of “double-consciousness” among Asian Americans.

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