Scholars & Affiliates

A/P/A Institute Visiting Scholars 2016-17

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 here.

Minju Bae‘s research focuses on the ways in which Asian/American laborers and organizers understood and grappled with the contours of belonging from the 1970s to the present.  She will conduct an oral history project with the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance to engage a broader Asian/Pacific American public about the early phases of the organization’s history, and New York’s labor history more broadly.

Curtis Chin will pursue a new documentary film project on the intersection between racial and queer justice activism. Subjects will include Helen Zia’s organizing work following the murder of Vincent Chin, journalist Antonio Vargas’s advocacy for undocumented immigrants, George Takei’s commitment to preserving the history of Japanese American World War II incarceration, and the actions of other activists of color including Bayard Rustin, Barbara Jordan, Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors, and Alicia Garza. He is also formulating a second project on the history of Detroit’s Chinatown.

Kerri Culhane will conduct research for her book project Chinese Style: Architecture and Identity in New York’s Chinatown, the first-ever comprehensive architectural history of New York’s Chinatown. Based on the exhibition Chinese Style: Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee, this book will expand upon existing research to present the full breadth of Chinatown’s architectural history from the mid nineteenth century to the late twentieth century.

Edwin de Leon will explore the Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant institutional infrastructure in New York City, that is, the network of immigrant and immigrant serving nonprofits, government agencies, and other entities that provides a safety net for the Asian and Pacific Islander community and facilitates the social, economic, and political integration of immigrants who make up three-quarters of Asians and Pacific Islanders living in NYC.

Beatrice Glow, the 2016-17 A/P/A Institute at NYU Artist-in-Residence, will research visual culture production of the “Age of Discovery” spice routes and botanical expeditions that birthed imperial globalization. Her focus will be the Indigenous and colonial realities of Manaháhtaan and the Banda Island Archipelago, which were intertwined during seventeenth century Anglo-Dutch Spice Wars.

Allan Punzalan Isaac will continue work on his book project The Senses of Globalization: Filipino Labor Diaspora, Labor-Time and the Proximal, which focuses on alternative forms of hybrid sites generated by new intimacies and temporalities in trans-regional human movement within and beyond traditional understandings of migration. It examines how a variety of immaterial labor performed by Filipinos (e.g. carework, teaching, and call centers) requires various bodily and affective discipline and dislocations.

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.

Margo Machida will research contemporary Asian American and Pacific Islander art and artists, with a focus on artists working in New York and in the Northeast region, post-war to present. In addition, she will continue to advise the East Coast Asian American Art Project (ECAAAP), Virtual Asian American Art Museum Project (VAAAMP), and Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange (GAX), all  scholarly initiatives sponsored by A/P/A Institute at NYU.

Rishi Nath will produce collection of essays exploring the musical encounters between South Asian and Africans in the Americas, which a focus on several West Indian countries including Jamaica, Trinidad, and Suriname. A significant amount of attention will also be focused on New York City and Chicago.

Mark Tseng Putterman will continue biographical research on Lawrence Klindt Kentwell, a mixed race Chinese-British journalist and agitator whose political writings and personal encounters with US Chinese Exclusion laws and British influence in China shed light on Chinese diasporic politics during the century of humiliation (1839-1949). He will also pursue research on the Asian American visibility movement’s critique of the “black-white binary” and its implications for Asian American participation in broader racial justice movements.

Mark Selden will continue writing his book Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn and China’s Precarious Workers while editing The Asia-Pacific Journal.

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.

Ryan Wong will further his research on the development of Asian American identity through activist and artistic practices during the 1970s and 80s. He will organize  archival materials, talks, and an exhibition on the visual culture of the Asian American movement.

Chi-hui Yang will engage in three interlocking projects, which revolve around a central question of, what the role of artistic form is in social change. Yang will consider the following questions through the work of artists of color who are using moving image media: What is the formal language of social change? How can the shape, the vessel, the aesthetics of an idea activate and amplify it and allow it to be relevant and useful for social movements?

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

Dipti Desai

Luis Francia

Gayatri Gopinath

Fiona Hui

Monica Kim

Robert Lee

Sharon Heijin Lee

Thomas Looser

Agnes “Bing” Magtoto

Nicholas Mirzoeff

Elizabeth OuYang

Crystal Parikh

Krishnendu Ray

Sukhdev Sandhu

Dean Itsuji Saranillio

Karen Shimakawa

Jack Tchen

Thuy Linh Tu

Jini Kim Watson

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 safe 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, sexual orientation, 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 2016-17 are now closed. Please stay tuned for announcements about the 2017-18 application cycle. 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 socioeconomic level). Applicants with a range of experiences are encouraged to apply. A/PA heritage is not required, but an interest in issues affecting A/PA communities is key.


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!