Hunter College Asian American Studies Program Archive


The Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College at the City University of New York was established in 1993 as the result of a student initiative. Founded by Peter Kwong, the program offers a minor in Asian American Studies and classes focusing on Asian and Asian American issues which cover such topics as Asian American literature, Asian American communities and mental health, Asian Americans and public policy, Asian Americans and education, Muslim diasporas, Asian Pacific American media, Asian American civil rights and law, and LGBTQ Asian America. The program also offers extracurricular programs and events including panel discussions, conferences, and film screenings. Most recently, AASP was involved in the 2012 National Asian American Education Advocates Summit, a program dedicated to advocating for Asian American youth. The current director of the program [as of 2016] is Jennifer Hayashida, who has held this position since 2008, initially in a two-year acting capacity.  In fall 2016, Hunter College was awarded a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the Department of Education for the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP), which will support the development of an integrated ESL/AAS curriculum, offer enhanced curricular and co-curricular programming concerning APA mental health, and develop an APA student internship program.

The program went through a period of dormancy in the early 2000s, and since then has gone through cycles of activity and dormancy. In recent years the program has dealt with fears about its sustainability, with its inactive periods being largely the result of CUNY’s status as a commuter campus, lack of full-time faculty engaged in Asian American studies teaching and scholarship, and lack of leadership. The AASP archive preserves and documents these cycles, as well as the community engagement of the college’s Asian American student population through the years.


Survey conducted: Thursday, November 3, 2016

Size: Approximately 4 linear feet

Dates (inclusive): 1992-2015

Dates (bulk): 1993-2007

Location: 1338 Hunter College West, New York, NY

The earliest material in the AASP archives documents the period of the program’s founding and includes planning materials from 1992, the year before the program was established. The bulk of the material dates from the 1990s to the mid-2000s, with some material from recent years (2011-2015) which are comprised of flyers, posters, and other ephemera related to student activism.

Most of the older material consists of administrative papers and human resources files. The HR files measure approximately 1 linear foot and contain resumes, applications, and other documentation for former and current employees of the program. They date from 1994-2005.

The collection also contains about 1 linear foot of administrative material dating from 1992 to 2005. This includes correspondence, internal memos, Asian American Studies curriculum proposals, internship information, course listings from 1998-2005, student applications, grant proposals, registrar information, files related to Asian American Studies faculty and community boards, files from the City University of New York’s central administration, brochures explaining majors and minors, materials related to conferences such as the seminal East of California conference and the Asian American Writers Conference, and handbooks and guidebooks, including Hunter’s very first AASP handbook. Embedded within these files are three folders relating to the program’s founder, Peter Kwong, which include articles, inquiries, and travel information.

There is about half a linear foot of files from various community organizations, such as South Asian Youth Action, Urban Justice Center, Chinese Staff and Workers’ Association,  Korean Community Service of Metropolitan NYC, and Pan Asian Repertory, among others. There is also half a foot of course syllabi, old course files, and course readings from 1998-2013.

There is about 1 linear foot of various materials related to Hunter College students and campus student groups.  Materials included are event flyers, posters and advertisements from student groups, AASP student applications dating from 2007 onwards, and student papers.  This part of the collection includes a significant amount of material from CRAASH, the Coalition for the Revitalization of Asian American Studies at Hunter, which fought to keep the program running when it went through a period of uncertainty from 2007-8, and which remains active to this day and continues to fight for the program’s continued existence at the College.

In Fall 2019, select items from the collection were made available online as part of the CUNY Digital History Archive.

Center for Student Life Records

Date Range: 18311997
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2008-11-14
Creator: New York University

History: The Center for Student Life Records documents student life from the founding of the University up to present day. Material covers official school functions, including classes, conferences, and dances; extracurricular activities, including plays, student publications, and sporting teams; and informal occasions, such as concerts in the park and “down time” in dorm rooms and Loeb Student Center.

Summary: The collection contains annual reports, minutes, promotional materials, directories, handbooks, reports and yearbooks documenting student life at New York University. A large collection of photographs supplements the textual material on student life. Of particular significance are records and publications of Student Organizations which reflect the activities of Asian Pacific American students. These include, but are not limited to, the Computer Club (1983-1984), Oriental Culture Club*/Asian Cultural Union (1982-1997), Chinese Student Society (1972-1983), Hong Kong Student Association, Chinese Mei Society (1988), Chinese Christian Fellowship (1988), Martial Arts Society (1988), Tae Kwon Do Karate Club (1988), Asian Initiative at NYU (1995), Korean Studies Association (1991-1995), relizAsian (1996-1997) and South Asian Student Association (1992-1993). They include issues of publications from these organizations, including “Asian Voices” (Asian Cultural Union), “Asian American Journal” (Chinese Student Society), “Han Mah Dang” (Korean Student Association), as well as flyers for events including the South Asia Fest.

*Materials in the collection, which comprise a part of the cultural and historical record, may depict offensive and objectionable perspectives, language, and norms. While we have control over the survey descriptions, we cannot alter the content.

APA-related Size: 1.5 linear feet, 6 boxes
Languages of materials: English
Arrangement: other
Location: New York University Archives, New York University
Bibliographic Control: other
Finding Aid Link:
Conditions Governing Access: Some materials may be restricted. Contact the University Archivist for further information.

Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Archive

Date Range: 18002011
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2010-12-10
Creator: Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)

History: The Museum of the Chinese in America started as the New York Chinatown History Project in 1980 by historian John (Jack) Kuo Wei Tchen, community organizer Charlie Lai, and artists, historians, and students who recognized that the memories and experiences of older members of the community were in danger of becoming permanently lost to later generations. They hoped to address this problem by creating opportunities for collecting, preserving, and displaying historical materials reflecting the lives of Chinatown residents and workers over its long and complicated history. Read more

8th Avenue – Sunset Park Oral History

Date Range: 19931994
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2010-02-09
Creator: Brooklyn Historical Society

Founded in 1863, the Brooklyn Historical Society is a nationally recognized urban history center dedicated to preserving and encouraging the study of Brooklyn’s 400-year history. The society possesses the most comprehensive collection of Brooklyn-related materials in existence. The Chinatown History Museum, founded in 1980 as the New York Chinatown History Project, is dedicated to reclaiming, preserving, and interpreting the history and culture of Chinese and their descendants in America. Between 1993 and 1994, the Brooklyn Historical Society and Chinatown History Museum (now Museum of Chinese in America) conducted a series of 28 interviews to document the experiences of the Chinese and Chinese American community living in Sunset Park. Known as Brooklyn’s Chinatown for the Chinese businesses and community organizations that line 8th Avenue, the neighborhood has attracted significant numbers of immigrants from East Asia since the 1980s.

Asian/Pacific/American Institute Records

APA logo 750Date Range: 19942003
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2008-10-24
Creator: Asian/Pacific/American Institute

History: The Asian/Pacific/American (A/P/A) Institute was founded in 1996 in response to student interest combined with New York University’s commitment to global excellence. The Institute is focused on community and intercultural studies within a broad, rigorous international and comparative framework.The A/P/A Institute incorporates the ideas of the NYU Asian/Pacific/American studies program and local, national, and international affairs into public events and symposia for the larger New York University and New York City communities. The Institute brings together accomplished scholars, community-builders, and artists from New York City and beyond for events throughout the year including conferences, seminars, book readings, film screenings, musical performances, and brown bag lunches. The Institute also co-sponsors events with student and community organizations, which serve as educational programs to complement the academic Program and address the needs of the community at large.

Asian/American Center (A/AC) at Queens College Records

Date Range: 19492010
Survey Conducted: Mon, 2010-07-19
Creator: Asian/American Center (A/AC) at Queens College

History: The Asian/American Center (A/AC) at Queens College, City University of New York, is committed to producing and supporting community-based research on the diverse populations that make up the Asian diaspora in the Americas. Founded in 1987, the A/AC organizes research projects, conferences, and seminars, in addition to publishing a series of working papers by academics and community leaders, all of which examine the history and other aspects of Asian American experiences. The A/AC also works to support Asian American Studies. In 2010, for the first time at Queens College, the A/AC began offering courses in the field, allowing students to minor in Asian American Studies. The A/AC is also building a new resource lounge, which will house multimedia materials on Asian Americans.