Faculty Updates

As of October 2014

Ceniza Choy Photo

Professor Catherine Ceniza Choy‘s second book, Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America, was published by NYU Press in October 2013 as part of their Nation of Newcomers book series.  She launched the book at an invited talk for the Library of Congress. Catherine also gave book talks at the University of Maryland, Miami University, and Loyola Marymount University, and delivered the keynote address for Filipino American History month at Oberlin College.  Other recent publications include a collaborative piece on Asian international adoption for the Asian American Literary Review’s 2013 special issue on mixed race, and an essay on Asian American history for the American Historical Association’s The Feedback Loop: Historians Talk about the Links between Research and Teaching.

 Catherine was the program co-chair for the Association for Asian American Studies 2014 annual meeting in San Francisco, which marked the 35th anniversary of the Association and featured the theme, “Building Bridges, Forging Movements.”  She is beginning her third year as Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies.  During the Spring 2014 semester, she also served as Acting Chair for the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.

Roger ChungLecturer Roger Chung is currently volunteer programming and lecturing in the “Restoring Our Original True Selves” (ROOTS) project at San Quentin State Prison. Teaming with Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC) core members and ROOTS founders Kasi Chakravartula and Ben Wang, the ROOTS program is designed to meet self-defined needs of incarcerated Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, focusing on academic perspectives in Asian American Studies, cultural consciousness raising through community partnerships and performance, and fostering practices for personal and community health.

Omi 1In July 2014, Professor Michael Omi and co-author Howard Winant published the third edition of Racial Formation in the United States, twenty years after the release of the last edition.  While each chapter was significantly revised and rewritten, the overall purpose and vision of the book remains the same.  Omi and Winant provide an account of how concepts of race are created and transformed, how they become the focus of political conflict, and how they come to shape and permeate both identities and institutions.

Michael continues to serve as Associate Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society (HIFIS) here at Berkeley.

During this past year, Professor Elaine H. Kim spoke at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, Korea, as well as at the University of Oregon. She gave a keynote address on lines of affinity and difference between U.S. and Canadian Asian Studies at the Asian Canadian Studies Conference and the University of Victoria in Canada. In November, she gave a keynote address “Beyond Soft Power and Cultural Capital: A Case for Korean American Studies” at the American Studies Association of Korea conference in Seoul. She is currently working with Lecturers Harvey Dong and Jere Takahashi on a project to build an archive of video interviews of Asian American activism at UC Berkeley, beginning with the participants in the 1968 student strike and culminating with today’s student activists.

5344197597_532b786382_m Lecturer Harvey Dong submitted an article to Amerasia Journal Vol 39:2, 2013 on longtime Asian American movement activist Richard Aoki.  In his article “Richard Aoki’s Legacy and Dilemna: Who Do You Serve?” he gives a careful examination of the motives in Seth Rosenfeld’s allegations and evidence real or false in the FBI Freedom of Information Act documents (FOIA).  He contends:  “My reading of the files shows that Richard Aoki’s relationship with the FBI after 1964 was not one of cooperation…”  (Amerasia Journal Vol 39:2 2013 – Asian American Folklore: Passages and Practices.)

On April 18, 2014, Harvey participated in the “Serve the People 2.0–Asian American Movement Symposium” held at the International Hotel in San Francisco.  He participated on a panel organized by May Fu (U of Colorado) with other I-Hotel activists including Emil DeGuzman, Estella Habal, and Pam Tau Lee.  Sharing their experiences to a large audience of younger community organizers and activists, this was one of few moments generations of activists were able to carry on discussion and dialogue on collective lessons from the International Hotel.

Harvey also organized a roundtable discussion at the Association for Asian America Studies Conference in San Francisco on the topic:  “Teaching the Forbidden Book: The Philippine-American War in Political Cartoons”.  Panelists included:  Abe Ignacio (author), Enrique de la Cruz (author/CSU Northridge), Eric Pido (CSU San Francisco) and Maria Vallarta (graduate student at UC Riverside). The discussion focused on the ways instructors, artists and students have used the Forbidden Book to deconstruct and critically analyze the Philippine-American War, racial and colonial paradigms and propaganda.

Harvey recently gave a lecture on Asian American history to Asian American prisoners at San Quentin.  It was well received and there were a lot of questions and discussions afterwards.

hannah michellHannah Mitchell‘s first novel, The Defections, was published with Quercos Press in London.






Continuing her research on Asian Latino cultural intersections and Asians in Latin America, Professor Lok Siu has been presenting various facets of her work in both domestic and international arenas. Her essay, “Twenty-First Century Food Trucks: Mobility, Social Media, and Urban Hipness,” published in Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader (NYU Press 2013) has opened her work to a broader audience beyond academia. She has been interviewed on the Brian Lehrer show of WNYC on the topic of “Asian American Food Politics” and is presenting on the “Eating Asian America” Panel at the Annual United States of Asian America festival held at San Francisco’s SOMArts Cultural Center. She was invited to the Smithsonian Institution Workshop on “Thought Intersections: An Asian-Latino Creative Convening” and served as a roundtable presenter for “Rickshaw Lowriders Coming to a Town Near You: Building a Smithsonian National Pop-up Museum of the Asian-Latino Experience” at the Association for Asian American Studies Conference. Extending her work on food, she presented “Mediating an Intimate Public: Chino Latino Restaurants and Emergent Forms of Sociality” at the Center for Race and Gender as well at the Asian Pacific American Theme House.

Based on her research on Asians in Latin America, Lok was invited to speak at the symposium on “Conceptualizing Ethnicity as Political Resource” held at the University of Cologne, Germany. Also, her joint project with UCD Professor Bettina Ng’weno titled “Comparative Raciality of Afro and Asian Latin Americans ” has received the Faculty Research Award from the Center for New Racial Studies. In June, she was invited to co-facilitate a weeklong workshop on “Performing Asian/Americas: Converging Movements” and to present at a teach-in on Asians in the Americas at Encuentro, a convening co-hosted by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

Last Fall, Lok was selected to be part of the semester-long Faculty Working Group on “Borders, Flows and Networks:  Actors, Knowledge, and Publics in East Asia,” sponsored by the Institute of East Asian Studies, where she had the wonderful opportunity of engaging in intellectually stimulating conversations with a set of interdisciplinary colleagues at UCB.  Also, she is honored to have her essay “The Queen of the Chinese Colony: Contesting Nationalism, En-Gendering Diaspora” (2005) reprinted in The Anthropology of Citizenship: A Reader (Wiley Blackwell Press 2013).

Lisa Hirai TsuchitaniLecturer Lisa Hirai Tsuhitani recently accepted a position as Executive Director of the Cupertino Educational Endowment Foundation (CEEF).  Since 1984 CEEF has provided over $17 million in support of educational programs for the over 19,000 elementary and middle school students of the Cupertino Union School District through its partnerships with the district, parents, industry, and the local community.

Yamanako, Keiko_0

Lecturer Keiko Yamanaka, designed, organized and taught a unique new course in collaboration with colleague Takeshi Akiba from Akita International University (AIU), Japan. This summer from June 2 to July 11, five Berkeley students formed a class of the first six-week PBL (project-based learning) course with six students from AIU.  The six-credit course, “International Migration, Transnational Family and Community Building,” was funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and offered by AIU.

The eleven undergraduate students met first in Berkeley, learning theories, concepts and perspectives of international migration, and visited five community organizations in the Bay Area (specializing in health, youths, domestic violence and community support).  They then travelled to Akita, northwestern Japan, and engaged in another week-long round of field studies there, meeting community supporters, Japanese language teachers, and local administrative planners.  The highlight was interviewing fifteen Filipino women settled down with their Japanese families (husbands, children and in-laws) for more than twenty years.  The PBL students learned from these immigrant women how they networked among themselves while collaborating with Japanese citizens in order to adapt to local culture and learn Japanese.

On July 10, the PBL students presented, in English, results from their research to a crowd of more than one hundred AIU students, faculty, administrators and community members.  Themes of their research ranged from language, culture, identity, gender, second generation, immigration policy, and social incorporation.  It was an excellent opportunity for both Berkeley and AIU students to present what they learned from their projects and share it with the interested audience.  For more information, please click HERE

Sau-ling Wong Lifetime AchievementProfessor Emerita Sau-ling C. Wong shared, with U Mass Boston’s Professor Peter N. Kiang, the Association of Asian American Studies 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. Professor Wong is the author of the celebrated book Reading Asian American Literature (1993). To promote the inclusion of Asian American literature in college classrooms across the country, she edited Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior: A Casebook (1999) and co-edited A Resource Guide to Asian American Literature (2001). By donating many books, she has strengthened the Asian American literature resources at Beijing Foreign Studies University, and her more recent essays and presentations help clarify and deepen transnational perspectives in Asian American cultural studies. At the awards ceremony, former students who are now professors of literature themselves in universities such as Brown, the University of Pennsylvania, and Rutgers expressed their appreciation for her kindness and unflagging support as their teacher and mentor. AAADS Professors Ling-Chi Wang and Elaine H. Kim received the AAAS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and 2011 respectively.