Building Asian American Studies across the Community College Classroom

Hosted by
The Center for Ethnic Studies
at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York

Made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH):
Humanities Initiatives at Community Colleges

What is the Summer Institute?

Building Asian American Studies across the Community College Classroom is a program to expand the teaching of Asian American Studies in community college classrooms across humanities disciplines. The program will begin with a Faculty Development Summer Institute for CUNY Community College Faculty and will be followed by a monthly public Colloquium in Asian American Studies at BMCC in the 2016-17 academic year.

Through engagement with academic scholarship, literary texts, community organizing and cultural work, this interdisciplinary Summer Institute for CUNY Community College Faculty will support participants to study and develop curricular materials for use in the classroom. The Institute will examine the following areas: critical concepts and frameworks in Asian American Studies; new Asian immigrant communities in New York City; gender and sexual labor; transnationalism and cultural production; Asian/American racialization, race and caste, cross-racial relationships, and diaspora. Being grounded in the diversity of our local communities allows us to cultivate what historian Robin Kelley calls a “polycultural” framework, or one that recognizes interrelationships between different cultures. By learning from texts by and about local Asian American communities, we can gain a better understanding of the dynamism and complexity of New York City itself.

Participants’ Teaching Reflections and Resources

Participants in the Summer Institute were asked to incorporate themes and concepts from this program into their community college courses. The following pages document the successes and challenges faced by the participants in their own words, as well as sample teaching materials, syllabi, lesson plans, classroom activities, assessments, and assignments.

News and Announcements


Who Are We?

This Summer Institute is a collaboration between faculty from across the City University of New York (CUNY), and is being hosted by the Center for Ethnic Studies at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY. Discussions and seminars will be led by the Program Co-Directors in conjunction with Invited Seminar Faculty who are community organizers, artists/cultural producers, activists, and scholars. Visit the Who We Are page to learn more about the Summer Institute faculty, colloquium speakers, and participants.

Project Co-Directors

Soniya Munshi (Project Director)
Assistant Professor of Sociology, BMCC

Jennifer Hayashida
Asian American Studies Program Director, Hunter College

Caroline Kyungah Hong
Assistant Professor of English, Queens College

Patricia Mathews-Salazar
Director of the Center for Ethnic Studies, BMCC

Nita Noveno
Lecturer in English, BMCC

Linta Varghese
Adjunct Asst. Professor of Asian American Studies, Hunter College

Summer Institute Faculty

Fahd Ahmed
Chhaya Chhoum, Mekong NYC
Lawrence-Minh Davis
Cathy Deng, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
DJ Rekha
Joo Han
, Asian American Federation (AAF)
Emily Hue
Tarry Hum
Chaumtoli Huq
Allan Punzalan Isaac
Carl Lipscombe, Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Laura Liu
Amy Paul
Luna Ranjit, Adhikaar
Claro de los Reyes
Kenrick Ross, Indo-Caribbean Alliance
Sujani Reddy
Cathy J. Schlund-Vials
Elena Shih
Thenmozhi Soundarajan
Anantha Sudhakar
Manu Vimalassery
Jaret Vadera

Betty Yu

Who Applied?

All CUNY community college faculty were eligible for this program. Contingent faculty, including but not limited to adjuncts and visiting faculty, were also encouraged to apply.

Click here to learn more about the Summer Institute eligibility and selection criteria. Applications are now closed, thank you to all who applied.

When was the Summer Institute?

This week-long seminar took place August 15-20, 2016, and was followed by two day-long meetings (December 2, 2016; May 5, 2017) for Institute participants. In addition, BMCC hosted a public monthly colloquium in Asian American Studies (2016-2017) to highlight emergent interdisciplinary research, cultural production, and innovative pedagogy.

CUNY Community College
Faculty Development Summer Institute

August 15-20, 2016

Additional Sessions
December 2, 2016
May 5, 2017

2016-17 Public Colloquia in Asian American Studies

Friday afternoons 2:00-4:00 pm

Fall 2016
September 9
October 21
November 11

Spring 2017
March 10
April 7
May 5

More Info

Where was the Summer Institute?

All events hosted at Borough of Manhattan Community College
Room S510D
199 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007

Additional field visit locations included Richmond Hill, Queens; Sunset Park, Brooklyn; Fordham, Bronx; Jackson Heights, Queens.

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