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.

Dadah: A Meditation on Opium


Following is an excerpt:
My Meditation
MY MEDITATION ON OPIUM is drawn from close personal experience. A beloved cousin died of a heroin overdose. A revered granduncle, brother of my maternal grandmother, became an addict who died penniless, wasted, and sick. During my father’s last days, he staved off the pain of cancer by swallowing opium pellets purchased illegally from the streets. Growing up in Malacca, Malaysia, one was surrounded by opium all around—in next door neighbors’ waftings from their evening pipe, in shady dens and opium houses visible at marketplaces and alleyways, and in crime scenes attributed to purveyors and desperate addicts of dadah (the Malay word for heroin) in the nation’s capital. Moving to Vermont, I see that opium has followed me here too, with addiction and crime reaching alarming proportions, so much so as to prompt the governor to announce it publicly at his recent State of the State address.

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Smokin’ Houston


Following is an excerpt:
Driving in the night heat and humidity of Houston,
We passed a secluded mansion,
Spiked and wired walls around,
Mysteriously quiet.
My eyes caught the PRC emblem
In a flash of street light.
My country?
Weird, like in a wet dream.
“It must be the heat.” I dabbed the sweat on my forehead.
I had rolled down the windows,
Turned off the air-con,
Figured it would cool down with the night breeze.

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Artist Profile


Following is an excerpt:
Rahul Mehra was born in New Delhi and educated in Zambia, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. Art has been his passion since his early years. He is influenced by the vibrancy of the Indian subcontinent’s colors and pigments—reds and vermilions juxtaposed between the ochre and the yellow with the blue. Moreover, his works are deeply connected to themes found in Indian mythology and the social milieu of the subcontinent.

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The History of the Poor is Hardly Ever Written


Following is an excerpt:
Toward the end of May 2014, I was driving on the Taconic highway and listening to a report from India on NPR. A reporter was at a bus station in Gujarat, asking the youth selling tea there if they thought they could become Prime Minister. This was because the right-wing leader, Narendra Modi, had just led his party to a massive win in the Parliamentary elections. As a teenager, Modi had sold tea at a bus station in Vadnagar. Each one of the youth being interviewed said yes.

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You Did Not Give America to Me: Two Poems


Following is an excerpt:
You Did Not Give America to Me
You did not give America to me.
I went looking for it and found it
twisting from branches of jacaranda trees.
You did not discover America for me.
I found it in your hunger

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Traversing Syaman Rapongan’s Island Imaginaries


Following is an excerpt:
Towards Trans-Pacific Indigeneity

Using Syaman Rapongan’s works as anchor texts, this essay focuses on transpacific flows and indigenous formations which traverse international boundaries. His work offers an oceanic perspective to balance continental ways of thinking, and supplements and challenges transnational approaches to imperialism, indigeneity, and globalization.

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Passages: Tribute to Yuri Kochiyama (1921–2014)


Following is an excerpt:
Yuri Kochiyama: Rites of Passage

One of the unspoken rites of paSsage for a third generation Japanese American (Sansei) from the 1970s Los Angeles Asian Movement was to visit the Kochiyama Family in New York City. For many a Sansei getting their feet wet in the Asian Movement, the Kochiyama’s embraced us as family and introduced us into a whirlwind of all kinds of people. The Kochiyama’s apartment might well have been described as “Movement Central.”

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