Scholars & Affiliates

A/P/A Institute Visiting Scholars 2017-18

The A/P/A Institute at NYU Visiting Scholar Program extends specified courtesy titles and privileges to scholars of distinction who visit the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University in order to engage in research and scholarship, and in general scholarly and cultural interaction with New York University’s faculty and students. Learn more and apply here.

Tomie Arai will conduct research for a collaborative art project that will map gentrification and displacement in New York’s Chinatown, while drawing connections with Chinatowns across the country. The project will address the following questions: How can we engage communities in the process of preserving culture and history, and re-visioning the future? How can partnerships between members of the community, cultural institutions, grassroots organizations, and academic institutions like the A/P/A Institute at NYU impact urban policy and advance social change? Arai’s research will contribute to a series of mobile public projections and public events organized by the Chinatown Art Brigade, which she co-founded.

Gaiutra Bahadur will research a biography of the late Janet Rosenberg Jagan, the Chicago-born Marxist who was president of Guyana in her seventies. In her life, two of the twentieth century’s most arresting struggles — against colonialism and against Communism — were writ small. Jagan’s story provides an opportunity to write about these principal postwar narratives involving superpowers in an original way: from an overlooked place on the world’s margins, a country that, despite its peripheral status, ended up mattering a great deal to great powers.

Selma Siew Li Bidlingmaier will continue her postdoctoral project Fit for the City: A History of New York’s Gentry-fication. Her research traces the history of New York City’s afford-“able” housing from the Gilded Age to the New Deal demonstrating how technologies of management such as zoning laws, land and property appraisals, statistics, demographics, and cartography, informed and shaped by ideas of eugenics and social Darwinism, produced and maintained a cityscape of racial, classed, and gendered inequalities.

Jennifer Hayashida will conduct research to prepare for a durational public and text-based project, Ten Tongues to Talk, which investigates the act of translation as a site of anti-racist social change. Rather than accepting literary translation as a solitary, monovocal, and unidirectional transmission between original and translation, this project proposes that translation enact an intervention, not merely by excavating the obscure or the radical, but by foregrounding the translator as a racialized, classed, and gendered political subject – not the postracial technician of our collective literary imagination.

Leeroy Kun Young Kang will continue research on The Belated Archive project, an interdisciplinary archival, curatorial, and artist collaboration dedicated to queer A/P/A film and video with an emphasis on experimental work produced by queer and trans A/P/A filmmakers and visual artists. The project aims to uncover, assemble, and recirculate works in LGBTQ Asian Pacific film and video history. Kang’s research will be conducted in New York City and Los Angeles.

Sarah Khan creates multimedia content about food and culture grounded in social justice. As a Visiting Scholar, she will continue work on a multimedia project and book about migrant kitchens, and advance her food and culture documentaries, which include her series Migrant Kitchens, Queens, and multimedia projects on Indian women farmers, and street vendors, women cooks, and seasonal markets in Fez, Morocco.

ManSee Kong will conduct research on military culture, hazing, and Asian American masculinity towards the completion of a feature-length documentary about Pvt. Danny Chen. Born and raised in New York’s Chinatown, Chen enlisted in the US Army in 2011. Two months after being deployed to Afghanistan, where he was subjected to constant racist hazing and abuse by his supervisors, he was found dead in guard tower. The film follows the Chen family’s resilience amidst a whirlwind of advocacy efforts to demand justice for Danny and transparency around his death. As Visiting Scholar, Kong will complete the last phase of research and interviews for her documentary.

Margaret Rhee will conduct research on the late artist Nam June Paik for a chapter of her book project, How We Became Human: Race, Robots, and the Asian American Body, a theoretical, cultural, and sociological study of race and technology in the context of the United States. How We Became focuses on Asian American racialization in three periods of technological transformation: the mid-nineteenth century, the 1960s, and the contemporary moment. Rhee will investigate the cultural contexts of Paik’s work, and the intersections of his new media aesthetics and biographical writing on racial identity.

Mark Selden will launch a new project on “National Resilience in the Anthropocene: The Asia-Pacific Experience.” The project will consist of a special issue of the Asia-Pacific Journal, and a book.

Vivian Truong will continue work on her dissertation and accompanying public history project, “‘Whose City? Our City!’: Asian American and Multiracial Community Organizing Against Police Violence,” which examines resistance to state violence in New York City from the 1980s to the 2000s. Truong’s research begins where many historical narratives of 20th century social movements end, in order to document how immigrant communities continued to build movements for racial, gender, and economic justice in the era of conservative ascendancy and the rise of mass incarceration.

Diane Wong is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University, and an organizer with CAAAV’s Chinatown Tenants Union, the Chinatown Artists Brigade, and Asians4BlackLives-NYC. Her research is focused on  the gentrification of Chinatowns, Asian American politics, race and ethnicity, youth activism, and qualitative methods. Her dissertation “Chinatown Resistance: Immigrant and Youth Mobilization Against Gentrification in New York City, San Francisco, and Boston,” explores how gentrification impacts low-income Chinese immigrants. As a visiting scholar, she will document how those with limited resources fight to stay in their homes, shifting away from the narrative of Asian immigrants as politically disengaged. 

Graduate Scholars in A/PA Archives

The Graduate Student Employee in Archives at the A/P/A Institute (A/P/A) works on collection building efforts while simultaneously pursuing a Master of Arts degree in the Archives and Public History Program in the History Department at New York University. As part of A/P/A’s ongoing commitment to documenting and preserving A/PA history, the grad student will help to create and build access to A/PA collections of the New York area. The student serves as a key resource connecting A/P/A’s network of scholars, researchers, activists, archivists, librarians, artists, curators, and community members with archives.

Pooja Desai, 2016-2017
As the A/P/A Institute Graduate Archives Scholar, Pooja will continue work on cataloging, preserving, and digitizing the video portion of the Jack G. Shaheen Collection on Arabs in U.S. Film and Television for which she created a master inventory in summer 2016. She will also help to assess collections for potential donation to NYU and facilitate intake for new archival material.

Paul Tran, September-December 2015
Paul co-curated, with the Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY), an exhibition to celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary and to mark the donation of their records to the NYU Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Archives.

Alexandra Giffen, 2013-2015
As a Graduate Scholar in A/PA Archives, Alexandra processed the Yun Gee Papers at the NYU Fales Library & Special Collections and began working on developing digital galleries of A/PA collections at NYU.

Janice Liao, 2011-2013
Inspired by her introduction to archival research during her undergraduate years at NYU, Janice pursued her interest in archives as the Graduate Scholar in A/PA Archives from 2011-13. One of her major achievements during her first year was assisting with A/P/A Institute’s first NEH-funded Summer Institute, “Re-envisioning American Art History: Asian American Art, Research, and Teaching.” In her second year, she processed the Midori Shimanouchi Lederer Papers.

D. Daniel Kim, 2010-2012
D. Daniel Kim worked on the Documentary Heritage Project and assisted in bringing the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and Asian American Arts Centre archives to the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives.  Daniel co-curated the A/P/A traveling exhibit Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986 based on the William F. Wu Comic Book Collection housed at The Fales Library & Special Collections at NYU.

Amita Manghnani, 2009-2011
As the Graduate Scholar in A/PA Archives, Amita worked on the Documentary Heritage Archives Survey, identifying existing and potential archival collections relating to the history of A/PA communities in New York City. She curated A is for Arab a traveling exhibition featuring items from the Jack G. Shaheen Archive, and edited the accompanying publication.

Y.H. Nancy Ng Tam, 2008-2010
At the A/P/A Institute, Ng Tam worked on the Documentary Heritage Project, surveyed collections relating to the New York A/PA community. She has also assisted on a range of projects relating to A/PA Archives, including processing the George Yuzawa Papers, sorting of the Yoshio Kishi / Irene Yah Ling Sun Collection, and managing the active files of the East Coast Asian American Art Project.

Hillel Arnold, 2008-2009
Joining A/P/A Institute as a second year graduate student in the Archives & Public History Program, Hillel Arnold served as a starting member of the Documentary Heritage Project team alongside I-Ting Emily Chu and Y.H. Nancy Ng Tam.  With extensive archives processing and surveying experience from Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives as well as the Woody Guthrie Archives, Arnold was instrumental in helping to jumpstart the DHP.

I-Ting Emily Chu, 2007-2009
Emily’s research focus concentrates on Asian/Pacific/American women, activism, and archives. While at A/P/A Institute, Emily co-curated Art, Archives and Activism: Martin Wong’s Downtown Crossings, and was a member of the Documenting Heritage Project team that surveyed Asian American collections in New York.

Dylan Yeats, 2005-2007
While at A/P/A Institute, Dylan co-curated The Archivist of the Yellow Peril and curated Persistent Light: Eugenia Sumiye Okoshi and George Mukai. He also worked on the Yoshio Kishi / Irene Yah Ling Sun archive collection and wrote the essay titled “Documenting Exclusion and the Logic of Difference” for the book Yellow Peril: Collecting Xenophobia published by A/P/A Institute, 2008.

A/P/A Studies Program

The Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program, together with the A/P/A Institute since 1996 has been the home for students, faculty, staff, and alumni who sought to collaboratively explore the complex A/PA experience — deciphering the present, reclaiming the past, and anticipating the future. Ten years later, in September 2005, the A/P/A Studies Program, together with NYU’s Africana Studies, American Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Latino Studies, and Metropolitan Studies, came together to form a new, interdisciplinary, one-of-a-kind Department of Social & Cultural Analysis (SCA). A/P/A Studies offers a minor and major course of study, and boasts a growing list of accomplished faculty. While the Program and Institute have become separate entities since A/P/A Studies became part of the SCA Department, they still work closely together to collaborate on exciting conferences, events and new research. Learn more about the A/P/A Studies Program in the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis.

The Asian/Pacific/American Studies Research Guide is an NYU Libraries directory of books, special collections, and online resources related to A/P/A Studies.

Affiliated Faculty

Paula Chakravartty

Dipti Desai

Luis Francia

Tao Leigh Goffe

Gayatri Gopinath

Fiona Hui

Monica Kim

Heather Lee

Robert Lee

Sharon Heijin Lee

Thomas Looser

Agnes “Bing” Magtoto

Nicholas Mirzoeff

Elizabeth OuYang

Crystal Parikh

Melissa Phruksachart

Krishnendu Ray

Sukhdev Sandhu

Dean Itsuji Saranillio

Karen Shimakawa

Pacharee Sudhinaraset

Jack Tchen

Thuy Linh Tu

Jini Kim Watson

Hentyle Yapp

A/P/A BRIDGE Program


A/P/A BRIDGE was created to cultivate “Asian/Pacific American” (A/PA) as a political identity, by doing the following:

  • Creating a space for fostering open dialogue and activism around issues of race and racism, culture, and identity
  • Exploring the diversity and complexity of Asian/Pacific America in relation to other social identities (ability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, religion/spirituality, sexuality, class)
  • Educating and empowering individuals to inspire social change
  • Building A/PA leaders to bridge communities within NYU and beyond



Applications for A/P/A BRIDGE 2018-19 are due on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

A/P/A BRIDGE seeks to include a diverse group of student leaders from various backgrounds (race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, spirituality, academic study, and class). Applicants with a range of experiences are encouraged to apply, and we welcome all applicants with an interest in issues affecting A/PA communities.




In January 2011, three NYU A/P/A Studies majors appealed to the A/P/A Institute at NYU for support and guidance to develop an A/PA leadership program for NYU undergraduate students. In March 2011, a group of eight A/PA student leaders was recruited to pilot a leadership training weekend. In February 2012, this pilot was expanded to involve a group of 14 undergraduate student leaders to participate in a leadership training weekend and subsequent weekly meetings to develop public speaking, workshop facilitation, and project leadership skills. These skills were implemented at the annual NYC Asian American Student Conference held at NYU in April 2012. In Fall 2012, A/P/A BRIDGE became a year-long program, again culminating in April 2013 at the annual NYCAASC.

A/P/A Alumni Group

A/P/A Studies Program and A/P/A Institute were founded together in 1996 after a group of ambitious and dedicated students, faculty and staff at NYU lobbied the administration for a program and place they could call their own. Indeed, we would not be here today — offering an A/P/A Studies major and minor, hiring and supporting faculty and staff, providing public events and programming, and building a major research archive — had it not been for these students who we proudly call our alumni. We want to hear from you — whether you majored/minored in A/P/A, took a class, attended an event, or just never got a chance to do any of the above but want to get involved now. So email us at with any updates, questions, suggestions, or news you want to share, and complete our alumni form in order to be added to our database. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you at an upcoming event!