News & announcements  


Professor Ameeriar wins 2014-15 Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

The Department is proud to announce that Assistant Professor Lalaie Ameeriar is a recipient of the prestigious 2014-15 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The fellowships are awarded annually in a national competition to support promising research by young scholars "committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields in the arts and sciences." During the fellowship year, Professor Ameeriar plans to complete her first book tentatively titled, Downwardly Global: Re-colonizing Immigrant Bodies in the Age of Multiculturalism.


A collection edited by Professor Paul Spickard
Indiana University Press (2013)

Just as the American public is debating immigration and the place of migrants in US society, so these same issues are being debated in every part of Europe.  In Multiple Identities, Professor Spickard and his colleagues examine the lives and identities of migrants and ethnic minorities in eight different European countries.  It turns out that the national debates badly misrepresent the lives that immigrants actually lead.



The Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara invites applications for 1 full-time Lecturer, part-time Lecturers, or graduate student Teaching Associates.

Part-time lecturers may teach 1 to 2 courses per quarter. One full-time lecturer may teach 7 courses over the three-quarter year. MA or ABD status in a PhD program required for consideration; PhD preferred. Candidates must have prior teaching experience.

Teaching Associates may teach 1 course per academic year. Applicants must be graduate students at UCSB with ABD status or MA in hand at the time of application, and at least one year of teaching (or equivalent) experience.

Successful candidates will be hired to teach course(s) listed in the department’s current curricular offerings. Particular interests include but are not limited to the following courses: Multiethnic Asian Americans, Pacific Islander Americans, Asian American Masculinities, Asian American Queer Studies, Representations of Asia in Asian American Literature, Social Movements, Gender and Feminist Studies, Transnational Asian America, Ethnographies of Asian America.

For more information, please review our list of course offerings available here. Please direct any questions to our Department Manager Arlene Phillips at (805) 893-2371 or to the curriculum chair by email.

To apply, please send a cover letter, CV, a list of three references, syllabi for proposed courses, and teaching evaluations to:

Professor erin K. Ninh
Chair of the Curriculum Committee
Department of Asian American Studies
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4090

Please send hard copy. Email applications are accepted in addition but not without hard copy follow-up.

Review of applications for full-time Lecturer or part-time positions beginning in the Fall will begin immediately; please submit by March 7. Applications for Winter-Spring will be accepted until the individual courses are filled. UCSB is an AA/EO employer.


2013 Book Award for Literary Studies

The Association for Asian American Studies has selected Professor erin K Ninh's monograph, Ingratitude: The Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature, for its Literary Studies Book Award. The award was presented in April 2013 at the association's annual conference in Seattle.




Recent faculty promotion

The Department is proud to announce the promotion of Professor Diane Fujino to Full Professor. Fujino is a scholar of Asian American social movements, Japanese American radicalism, Afro-Asian solidarities, race and gender studies, and biography and oral history. Her books include: Samurai Among Panthers on Richard Aoki, Heartbeat of Struggle on Yuri Kochiyama, and Wicked Theory, Naked Practice on Fred Ho.



Recent faculty promotion

The Department is proud to announce the promotion of Professor Celine Parrenas-Shimizu to Full Professor. Shimizu is a film scholar and filmmaker. Her sole-authored books include Straitjacket Sexualities: Unbinding Asian American Manhoods in the Movies (Stanford, 2012) and The Hypersexuality of Race: Performing Asian/American Women on Screen and Scene (Duke, 2007), winner of the 2009 Best Book Prize in Cultural Studies from the Association for Asian American Studies. Her most recent film, Birthright (2009), was named winner of Best Feature Documentary at the Big Mini DV Festival in 2009.


2011 Getman/Villa Service Award goes to Prof. John Park

Professor John Park of the Department of Asian American Studies received one of UCSB's 2011 Margaret T. Getman and William J. Villa Service to Student Awards.  The award recognizes extraordinary commitment to students and to the quality of student life.  Professor Park was honored for his inspiring teaching in the classroom and his dedicated mentoring of students throughout their college years and towards graduate studies.





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The Department of Asian American Studies COLLOQUIUM Presents

Screening Shirtless Azn Men:
The Full Frontal Power of Intimate Internet Industries

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Professor Celine Parreñas Shimizu, M.F.A., Ph.D.

Whether uncovering their faces or hiding them, Asian American men use the power
of intimate internet industries, the online production and consumption of the body, in
order to achieve a kind of visual proximity that crosses the distance of their usual
otherness. In their use of porn and explicit imagery, porn star Keni Styles and
videomaker/ scholar Nguyen Tan Hoang combine pleasure and politics so as to
critique the limits placed on their sexual choices and opportunities.

Three lucky attendees will receive a free autographed copy of
The Feminist Porn Book and Straitjacket Sexualities


Events archive


Playsia 23

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
7.30 PM
Girvetz 1004

Free admission

It is Spring again and Playsia 23, "Now and Then," looks at the past and present in Asian American Theatre.




Keshni Kashyap
Author of the celebrated graphic novel

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
HSSB 5024

From filmmaker Keshni Kashyap comes the story of a high school heroine--funny, wise, and reminiscent of Persepolis's Marjane Satrapi--negotiating an existentially trying spring semester at her Southern California prep school.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013
HSSB 5024

"All is Fair in Love and Modernity: Circulation of skin lightening products in South Asia and an analysis of women as symbols of globalization and the nation in Indian cosmetic advertisements

Hareem Khan 12pm-1:30pm
MA/PhD Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology, UCSB

"Visualizing Topographies of Race and Public Space: the work of Asian American Artists in California, 1970-2000"

Julianne P. Gavino 12pm-1:30pm
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of the History of Art and Architecture, UCSB

"Merchants, Laborers, and Citizens: Reading Chinese Immigration Files at the National Archives"

Jason Stohler
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, UCSB

"Analyzing Cultural Reimaginations in the CCTV's The Legend of Bruce Lee"

Melissa M. Chan
Graduate Student in East Asian Language and Cultural Studies, UCSB Incoming PhD student, East Asian Language and Cultural Studies, USC

"We Stay on THIS side: Grotesque Stereotypes in Young Jean Lee's The Shipment"

Hee-won Kim
Ph.D. student, Department of Theatre and Dance, UCSB

"They Left For 'Personal' Reasons: Emotional Labor Politics in Filipino Community Organizing"

Karen Hanna
MA/PhD Student, Department of Feminist Studies, UCSB

Light lunch will be served.
For more information, please contact (805) 893. 8039


Lunar New Year Celebration

Year of the Snake
Wednesday, February 13, 201 / 12 - 1.30 PM
HSSB 5024

Come and meet with your instructors, staff, fellow students, and friends of Asian American Studies.                                          

Light lunch provided. Games, prizes, and lots of surprises!!


Invitation to students to give your input on the Department of AsAm Studies:
From: Diane Fujino <>

Subject: AS AM student meeting, Tues, Feb 12, 5-6 pm

Dear AS AM Majors, Minors, and All Interested Students:

The AS AM Peer Advisors, in conjunction with the Chair of the Department of Asian American Studies, invite you to attend an important meeting.  Every five to ten years, departments are reviewed by UCSB committees as well as an External Review Committee (ERC).  Last Spring, you generously completed the Student Survey as part of the Program Review process.

The Department Chair and Peer Advisors will host a meeting on Tuesday, February 12, 5-6 PM, HSSB 5024, with our AS AM majors, minors, and all interested students to: (a) share the results of the Student Survey and (b) discuss the Program Review and ERC visit.  The ERC meeting with our AS AM Majors will be on Thursday, February 21, 4-5 PM, HSSB 5024.  Please save the date.

We hope to see you at the February 12 meeting.  We'll get to discuss the Student Survey and want to hear your ideas and hopes for the department.

Free food.


Diane Fujino -- Chair, Department of Asian American Studies

Danny Khuu and Brian Nguyen -- Peer Advisors, Department of Asian American Studies


Asian American Cultural Production Via the Internet
L.S. Kim
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 / 6.30 PM
MCC Theater

Among the top 100 YouTube channels, a stunningly high number of YouTube celebrities are not who you might expect them to be: Asian American. What makes on-line environments, both in terms of production and consumption, a distinctly different realm for racial discourse? It is no coincidence that alternative media forms and more directly, counter-hegemonic perspectives, are being created, fed, circulated, grown by performers of color via the Internet. At the same time, how is the border between margin and center not "crossed" but rather dis/integrated by producer-artists who manage their on-line status, forging a different – and successful – system of fandom and stardom? In what ways can on-line self-production enable new terms for race and racial representation?

L.S. Kim is a Visiting Associate Professor from the Department of Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz. The Department is very pleased to welcome her to our faculty for the Fall 2012 quarter.  Her book, Maid for Television: Race, Class, and Gender on the Small Screen is being published by NYU Press in 2013. 


Open House
Department of Asian American Studies
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 / 12 - 1.30 PM
HSSB 5024
Connect, network and learn about new opportunities for AsAm majors and minors!
Meet our peer advisors Danny Khuu and Brian Nguyen
Welcome visiting professor LS Kim
Meet undegraduate advisor Elizabeth Guerrero & faculty advisor Xiaojian Zhao
Congratulate professors Fujino, Shimizu, and Ninh on their promotions
Learn about our colloquium series
Enjoy free food and drinks with us!
Chican@ Studies Colloquium Series presents
Book Presentation on Samurai Among Panthers
Diane Fujino
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 / 3.30 - 5 PM
Dolores Huerta Conference Room
South Hall 1623




aoki mcc
Samurai among Panthers:
Richard Aoki, Asian American Activism, and the Black Panther Party

Tuesday, October 16, 6:30 pm

Discussion/MCC Theater

Diane Fujino discusses her new book on Richard Aoki, the most prominent non-Black in the Black Panther Party and a leader of the Third World strike and Asian American Movement of the 1960s. Professors Douglas Daniels and George Lipsitz provide commentary.

graduation cap 2012


16 June 2012

The Department of Asian American Studies is proud to share Prof. Sameer Pandya's keynote address to our graduates, at the department ceremony in spring 2012. Best wishes, and congratulations!


On Getting Lucky

First of all, I would like to thank the graduating class of Asian American Studies for inviting me to address you this evening.  I can’t impress upon you enough how touched and honored I am.

You have accomplished something great and wonderful by graduating.  A hearty congratulations.  Soak up the adulation from your friends and family.  Have a big meal tonight.  Order two desserts instead of none.  Allow yourself to really enjoy your accomplishment.  Big moments like this do not come along very often, and you have to savor them.  Go ahead: pat yourselves on the back, brush the dirt off your shoulders.

You have laid down the ground work to have great success in the years to come. 

But be aware that there is going to be disappointment along the way.  Lots of it.   

You will not get the job you deserve.  You will not make the money you think you are worth.  You will not get the boy or the girl you have been eyeing.  You have spent four years getting to the top of the totem pole, now get ready to be demoted to the bottom.  That soreness in your back, get used to it.  You will experience failure.  And you will weep like a baby for how unfair the world feels in its distribution of the good and bad.  

I know all this sounds horrible.  It is.  But at the same time, it doesn’t have to be.  These disappointments are the things that will make you who you are and who you will become.  It’s easy to be good and kind and generous when things are going well.  It’s not so easy when things are going poorly.  I genuinely believe that we are not the sum of our accomplishments, but who we become in light of our disappointments. 

The dance critic Joan Acocella, writing about all the different artists she has written on, writes something that I return to with some regularity: “But my view of things is more Grundy-esque: that what allows genius to flower is not neurosis, but its opposite, ‘ego-strength,’ meaning (among other things) ordinary, Sunday-school virtues such as tenacity and above all the ability to survive disappointment.  Of course, luck plays its part too.” 

You have to figure out how to work hard in the face of disappointment. 

But luck?  That’s a different issue entirely.  If I knew the secret of getting lucky, I might be a very wealthy man.   And I might not share the secret with you.   Or perhaps I would.  I would like to think I would. 

Today, I want to take a few minutes to think about what might help you to get lucky, what might help all of us to get lucky.

1) Find your voice.

When I first became aware that I liked writing, and that someday I may want to be a writer myself, there were particular voices that rung in my inner ear.  There was of course Hemingway.  And then Raymond Carver.  Even as I was reading this, thinking I was smart and cool for reading it, I knew these weren’t my voices, or the voices of anyone I knew. 

And then I went off to college and things got a little more colorful.  Woolf’s dinner parties; Marquez’s Columbian villages; Ellison’s invisibility; Rushdie’s midnights; Murakami, Kingston, Ishiguro.  And while these were all important voices and sounds, none of them were mine either. 

Figuring out your voice—learning the particular beats and rhythms of how you sound, your default settings, how you look at the world, how the world looks at you—is no simple matter.  And here of course I am talking not only about finding your writing voice, but your voice in life.  

This question of voice has been, in many ways, a central part of your Asian American Studies education.  Asian Americans, on one hand, speak in a million different mutinous voices.  There is no united Asian American community.  But at the same time, we understand that we are jointly shaped by forces of history, race, gender, and class.

If you have taken my classes, you have heard me wax poetic about the African American novelist Ralph Ellison.  Ellison was a greater lover of jazz, not only for its pleasures and aesthetic qualities, but for what it said about the importance of democracy.  The trumpet, the saxophone, the piano, the drums all have different sounds and voices, their own individual qualities, just like you have your own qualities, and it is their capacity to work together that makes a tune sound good. 

For Ellison, and perhaps for us all, finding voice is about a dynamic movement between hearing one instrument and then all of them together.

2) Be Bold

You are young.  Be bold in the choices you make.  There are, contrary to what Fitzgerald might think, second acts in American life.  Many of your parents, even some of you, are first generation immigrants.  Immigration is an act of courage and boldness.  Think about that.  They picked up, or were forced to pick up, and started all over in a new place.  It is your job to match that boldness.  I am not suggesting you move to another country.  But rather I am asking that you think hard about what it is that you want from your life, and go straight toward it. 

3) Buy Books

Buy books.  Lots of them.  They may not keep you warm.  But they will make you less lonely.  Which is important.  If you walk into the home of prospective mate and there is no bookshelf, walk out.  No, run out.  And don’t look back.  It is in this digital age where physical books become more and more important.  They will tell you where you have been and where you are going.   Spend one summer reading only one author.  Make this your Melville summer.  Next, your summer of the poet Li Young Li.  And read obituaries.  They will help you see the arc of other people’s lives, which will help you then imagine your own. 

4) Stop checking your smart phones.  It has made me dumb.  It is making you dumb.  There are no answers there.  None at all. 

5) Finally, be generous.  With yourself, in your help to others, in your compassion, in your criticism.

Being lucky is a subjective, complicated idea.  But I can say without hesitation that I have been greatly fortunate in having many of you as my students.  You have helped me find my voice, you have helped me to be bold, you have taught me to be generous.  And for that, as a I stand here, I consider myself very lucky. 

* * *


Wednesday, June 6, 2012
7.30 pm
Girvetz Theater 1004
AsAm 142's annual theater production, including excerpts from classic Asian American playwriting and original material from students.
2011-2014 Poet Laureate of the City of Vancouver
Friday, January 20, 2012
2 pm, MCC Lounge

Evelyn Lau has published ten books, spanning works of non-fiction, short story collections, five volumes of poetry, and a novel.  Her first book, Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid, published when she was 18, was an bestselling autobiographical account of her life on the streets as a teenager. Made into a CBC TV movie, it starred Sandra Oh in her first major role. Evelyn's work has been translated into a dozen languages worldwide; her poetry has received the Milton Acorn Award, a National Magazine Award, and has been included in the Best American Poetry and Best Canadian Poetry anthologies.  Her most recent poetry collection, Living Under Plastic, won the Pat Lowther Award for best book of poetry by a woman in Canada.

Her reading will be followed by a Q&A with Prof. erin K. Ninh of Asian American Studies.

Presented by the Department of Asian American Studies; cosponsored by the College of Creative Studies and the Department of Feminist Studies


Filial Debt and Other Bad Investments: Asian American Families and the Cultural Moment
November 2, 2011 / 12 - 1.30 PM
HSSB 5024.
erin Khue Ninh is author of Ingratitude: The Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature, and assistant professor in the department of Asian American studies, UCSB.  Her book on the Asian immigrant family's methods for producing a high-achieving (but low-resilience) second generation was published this year in the midst of a flurry of national debate about the Asian immigrant family's methods for producing a high-achieving (but low-resilience) second generation.  Please join us, for a discussion of what is needful and perilous in navigating this cultural moment—when a critique of the Asian family, however warranted, risks playing all too easily into nativist fears and anti-Chinese sentiment..


Richard Aoki
A Tribute to Richard Aoki
Black Panther and Asian American Movement activist
March 12, 2011 / 4 - 7 PM
Centenary Methodist Church - 300 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, 90012.
UCSB Asian American Studies Professor Diane Fujino and original Black Panther Sherwin Forte present following the showing of AOKI Film.
Little Manila
Wednesday, October 6 - 6pm
Film Screening at the MCC Theater
Filled with chop suey houses, gambling dens, and dance halls, Little Manila in Stockton was notoriously called, "Skid Row," but it was also the closest thing Filipinos had to a hometown and the largest population of Filipinos outside of the Philippines in the 1930s. Stockton residents recruited to work in the asparagus fields faced backbreaking work, low wages, and at times extreme racism to fulfill their dreams.
Discussion with the director Marissa Aroy following the screening. Co-sponsored by Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Asian American Cultural Resource Center and Kapatirang Pilipino. Aroy, 26 min., English, 2008, USA.
Arizona's SB1070
Tuesday, October 12 - 5pm
Panel Discussion at the MCC Theater
Signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on April 23, 2010 and scheduled to go into effect on July 29, Arizona’s SB 1070 will make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. This law has reignited the divisive battle over immigration reform nationally. This panel explores the broader context for understanding contemporary immigration rules, including federal law as well as state and local rules like the one recently approved in Arizona. Panelists will discuss the political history of these rules, their likely impact on race and ethnic relations, and their relationship to similar rules in American history that have also attempted to discourage the presence of "undesirable" others.
Panelists include John Park, Associate Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies and Associate Dean in the College of Letters and Science at UCSB and Angélica Salas, Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).
Autumn Gem
Wednesday, October 20 - 6pm
Film Screening at the MCC Theater
Meet the "Chinese Joan of Arc," Qiu Jin (1875 - 1907), radical feminist and leader of a revolutionary army that attempted to overthrow the corrupt Qing Dynasty. Qiu Jin boldly challenged traditional gender roles and emerged as a national heroine who is celebrated in China today.
Discussion with filmmakers Rae Chang and Adam Tow following the screening. Co-sponsored by the East Asia Center and PIRE-ECCI (The Partnership in International Research and Education in Electron Chemistry and Catalysis at Interfaces). Chang and Tow, 56 min., English and Chinese with English subtitles, 2009, USA.
Hello Maggie!
Tuesday, October 26 - Noon to 1 PM
Asian American Studies Conference Room - HSSB 5024
Japanese American internee at the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp and author of Hello Maggie! and A Boy of Heart Mountain.
Please bring your brown bag lunch; light refreshments will be available.  For guests who might need assistance, please call (805) 893 8039
Do You Have a Tiger Mom?
Tiger Mom
A Roundtable on Amy Chua's Wall Street Journal Article, "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior"
Tuesday, February 22 - 4 to 6pm
MultiCultural Lounge
Brought to you by Asian Pacific American Graduate Students (APAGS), MultiCultural Center, Women's Center, Department of Asian American Studies, Department of Feminist Studies, Asian Pacific Islander Floor.