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.

From Bihar to Brooklyn, to Berlin: A Quest for Sustainability and Soul


Black like coal. From the air and into my being. One could not wipe it away. Beads of sweat drew streaks of coal dust that stubbornly stuck to damp skin. Did I wash my hands? asked my grandmother before allowing me to eat. Yes. But I could not scrub away the grit embedded under my nails. Did I wash my feet? Yes, but now the towels were gray. Did I wash my mouth? Yes, and with a gargle that could not shake the ooze stuck in my nose. I associated that coal with visits to my grandfather’s home during Dhunbad summers in Bihar, India. His cement home was made ugly by the industry that supported his comfortable life from the 1950s to 1970s.

Journey to the West: Poems and Stories of Chinese Detainees on Ellis Island


Following is an excerpt:
In 1985, during the renovation of the immigration station at Ellis Island in New York City, preservationists uncovered more than 400 square feet of inscriptions in eleven languages on the walls, columns, partitions, and doors left by detained aliens sometime between 1901 and 1954. There were messages of hope and despair. One Italian immigrant wrote, “Damned is the day that I left my homeland.” There were also drawings of boats, birds, flags, and people. Others simply put their hand on the wall and drew its outline as evidence that they had been there.

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See No Evil: A Tailored Reality? A Review


Following is an excerpt:
Global sex trade and trafficking is not a well-researched topic in a social scientific sense despite the hyperbole and sensationalism found in news coverage and public debate. Criminologists Ko-lin Chin and James O. Finckenauer launched a cross-national empirical research project on Chinese women in the global sex trade to gather hard data directly from sex workers and their facilitators. The goal of the research was two-fold: First, to depict a more nuanced picture of global sex trafficking with ideological and emotional detachment; and second, to counter the “prevailing trafficking paradigm” that focuses on smuggling, coercion, fraud, violence, enslavement, and organized crime in the trade.

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The Hidden Story of What Drives Success: Institutions and Power


Following is an excerpt:
For all the comparisons between groups, both historical and in the present day — who’s up, who’s down, who’s got the winning formula, who doesn’t — the real point goes missing. The hidden story of what drives success has to do with the power of institutions to shape what opportunities groups have or don’t have, and what they can do. That said, we do not often bring into the dialogue that institutions and policies do matter. And that’s why this loop — the fascination with why some groups are motivated to do well and others are not — keeps replaying.

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A Guide to Responding to Microaggressions


Following is an excerpt:
In recent years, academic literature has focused increasingly on the subject of microaggressions. Microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental actions (whether intentional or unintentional) that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward members of oppressed or targeted groups1 including: people of color, women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons, persons with disabilities, and religious minorities. Some scholars today argue that racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination are no longer as blatant as they may have been in the past. Instead, people may demonstrate their biases and prejudices in more subtle ways, otherwise known as microaggressions. The purpose of this article is twofold: (1) to discuss how different types of microaggressions affect people’s lives, and (2) to provide a hands-on guide to strategies, approaches, and interventions to address microaggressions.

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Culture and Historic Preservation: Recommendations for New York City Chinatown’s Future

By: and

Following is an excerpt:
In Fall 2008, the Chinatown Working Group was formed to create a community-based plan to ensure appropriate development for New York City’s Chinatown and its surrounding areas — parts of Lower Manhattan that are not currently protected by zoning. The CWG is comprised of 46 stakeholders, including community organizations, property owners, tenant groups, and Manhattan Community Boards 1, 2 and 3. In Spring 2013, with funding from LMDC, the CWG selected the Pratt Center/Collective team as their planning consultant to create recommendations and implementation strategies in the areas of Affordability; Culture & Historic Preservation; Economic Development; and Zoning & Land Use. Pratt Center/Collective concluded their research and report in December 2013.

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Lonesome Journey: The Korean American Century

By: , , and

Following is an excerpt:
Our Collective History

The story of organized Korean immigration is over one hundred years old now, but much of it remains to be told to the outside world. A singular irony is that its beginning chapter, spanning the first seventy-five years, is still missing, although its current pages brim with shining tales of one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the United States.

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“From Dump to Glory”: The Transformation of Flushing’s Downtown and Waterfront


Following is an excerpt:
Recent weather patterns have underscored the prospect of a “new normal” defined by more frequent superstorms and subsequent devastation. For New York City — an urban metropolis of 8.3 million residents whose 520 miles of waterfront wraps around all five boroughs — the upheaval and destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 raised concerns around the sustainability of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s waterfront redevelopment legacy particularly in Zone A areas.2 Although not as well-known as New York City’s numerous gentrified waterfront neighborhoods, the Queens waterfront in Flushing, dotted by numerous brownfields (former industrial sites), is also slated for development. Flushing’s waterfront is a key element in the 2004 New York City Economic Development Corporation’s (NYC EDC) Downtown Flushing Framework, that envisions the waterfront as a linkage between a revitalized downtown Flushing and new developments in Willets Point and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.3 Although Flushing’s waterfront is integral to the city’s development vision, few residents, and community stakeholders are even aware of a waterfront or of its potentially transformative role in Northern Queens.

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