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.

Betty Lee Sung: Teaching Asian American Studies at CUNY An Interview


Following is an excerpt:
This interview was conducted on April 23, 2015 at the home of Prof. Betty Lee Sung.

Wong: Thank you for sitting down with us to be interviewed for CUNY FORUM Volume 3:1. What is your current opinion on the state of Asian American Studies on the East Coast in 2015, and in particular within The City University of New York (CUNY)? You stated in your essay for CUNY FORUM Volume 1:1 back in 2013 that Asian American Studies at CUNY was “barely holding its head above water.” Has your view changed within the past two years?

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Prema Ann Kurien: An Interview with CUNY FORUM


Following is an excerpt:
This interview was conducted via e-mail by Russell C. Leong in March 2015 for CUNY FORUM.

Sociology, Religion, and Migration
Leong: You have stated that sociologists of religion rather than sociologists of immigration, have different approaches to the role of religion in shaping migration patterns. How do you situate yourself as a sociologist who studies both religion and immigration?
Kurien: Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to discuss my work. I started out as a sociologist of immigration with no training in the sociology of religion. Religion was not on my radar at all, and I stumbled onto the importance of religion in shaping patterns of migration by accident during my dissertation research. I have since found it to be central to all my projects, even ones where I had decided not to focus on religion! I think this makes me different from most other sociologists of immigration who generally do not include religion in their analyses. I still see myself as a sociologist of immigration first, but someone who understands how religion can interact with migration and settlement processes through a variety of direct and indirect mechanisms. My interest in how religion can impact the lives of migrants and their children in indirect ways distinguishes me from most sociologists of religion, who tend to focus on religious institutions or on people’s religious beliefs and practices.

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An Interview with Historian Judy Yung


Following is an excerpt
The following is an abridged version of an interview by Te-hsing Shan, which took place on August 10, 2014 in San Francisco. Video of Judy Yung’s talk at the Asian American and Asian Research Institute, of The City University of New York, on March 6, 2015, can be viewed online at

I. Forging Paper Identities and Real Names
Shan: May we start with your name? Your formal English name is Judith Yung and all of your books are published under the name Judy Yung. According to Chinese newspapers in the U.S., your Chinese name is Yang Bifang (楊碧芳). But several years ago, Mrs. Laura Lai told me, right in front of Mr. Lai, that your real Chinese surname is Tan (譚). And you told me last April that your real family name is Tan, and that your real Chinese full name is Tom Bick Fong (譚碧芳). Can you say something about the story behind your name, or other people like yourself, with fluid names, in the context of Chinese American history?

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Tales from the Field: Research Methods and Approaches to Studying Community

By: , , , and

Following is an excerpt:
Mapping OF Asian Americans in New York (MAANY), is a CUNY-based interdisciplinary research collective, which aims to compile current knowledge, initiate collaborative projects and disseminate information about Asian American communities in New York City. Its current focus is on presenting lectures and holding seminars to start building a dynamic intellectual platform that brings together academics, artists, community activists, and advocates.

Tarry Hum (Urban Planning, Queens College/CUNY)
“What are the challenges and joys of community-based research?”
Beginning in Fall 2014, when Peter Kwong first convened the “Mapping of Asian Americans in New York,” comprised of a group of Asian Americanists from across various CUNY campuses, one of our goals has been to provide a space for us to share our research and have an opportunity to get feedback from one another. This is the final event of the semester and we are finally getting an opportunity to do that through this dialogue: Tales from the Fields (December 15, 2014).

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