Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Phil Tajitsu Nash to give Keynote Address on “Goals of East Coast APA Studies” at CUNY Conference on Resurgent Realities: East Coast Asian American Studies on May 13

Phil Tajitsu Nash

Phil Tajitsu Nash

Phil Tajitsu Nash will give the keynote address on Goals of East Coast APA Studies at the CUNY Conference on Resurgent Realities: East Coast Asian American Studies, on Friday, May 13th from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, Concourse Level, in New York.

Prof. Nash has served as the Founding Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), Staff Attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Curator at the Asian Pacific American Program at the 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and columnist for the N.Y. Nichibei and Asian Week newspapers. He has taught law, urban studies, and APA history, art, oral history, and public policy classes at UMCP, Yale, NYU, City College of New York, and the CUNY and Georgetown law schools. Prof. Nash is a strong believer in experiential education, and incorporates oral histories, community outreach, field trips, and group-based activities into each of his classes.

CUNY Conference on
Resurgent Realities:
East Coast Asian American Studies
An East Coast Symposium & Initiative
Date: Friday, May 13, 2016     Time: 9AM to 4:30PM

Place: CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, Concourse Level, Manhattan

Free Admission
Light Breakfast & Lunch Provided


Click here for more information.

Why “resurgent realities”? What exactly are the realities for Asian American communities and AA Studies today? Why East Coast Asian American Studies? And what are the new realities of Asian Pacific communities including anti-Asian, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim movements; conflicts within our own communities over new “tiger Mom” models; and class and economic struggles juxtaposed against gender and religious beliefs? What new models for AA Studies can the East Coast offer?The symposium will cover:


To draw together both established and emerging scholars and leaders in the field of Asian American Studies and affiliated fields to lay out the “state” of the field on the East Coast. Is the field still viable, or is it being replaced by diasporic, global, or China Studies? Can we co-exist with increased competition for funding and the struggle of universities to secure international students and funding?


East Coast campuses have developed new models both at public and private institutions including CUNY, NYU, Columbia, U-Penn, and University of Maryland. For example, U-Mass has integrated the Southeast Asian community within AA Studies teaching and curriculum, and mentors at the K-12 level. On the other hand, groups belonging to the South Asian diaspora may see themselves as “a part, but yet apart” from AA concerns and curriculum. The huge ethnic diversity within the Asian community presents us with new majorities and new minorities. These issues challenge us to transform and develop AA Studies on the East Coast.


To develop a strategic plan that argues the case on both intellectual political, and demographic terms for more state and academic funding for AA Studies, including hiring of faculty and staff, support of research and publications, and supporting and working with East Coast Student Unions and groups. This strategic plan would be sent to New York legislators, as well as to well-placed educators and administrators within the NY region’s educational infrastructure.

Conference Program

9am to 9:30am
Registration & Breakfast

9:30am to 9:40am

Joyce Moy, Executive Director, AAARI-CUNY

9:40am to 10:40am
Plenary: Resurgent and New Issues in Asian American Studies

Moderator: Russell Leong, Editor, CUNY FORUM

Angie Y. Chung, CUNY Thomas Tam Visiting Professor, CUNY Graduate Center & Associate Professor, Sociology, SUNY Albany

Jennifer Hayashida, Director, Asian American Studies Program, Hunter College/CUNY

Kevin Park, Undergraduate Student, Hunter College/CUNY & Member,, Coalition for the Revitalization of Asian American Studies at Hunter (CRAASH)

Janelle Wong, Director, Asian American Studies, University of Maryland

10:50am to 11:50am
South Asia, South East Asia, the Middle East and More: A Part or Apart of the AA Syllabus?

Moderator: Prema Kurien, Professor, Sociology, Syracuse University

Moustafa Bayoumi, Professor, English, Brooklyn College/CUNY

Kelvin Ng, Undergraduate Student, Columbia University

Ravi Kalia, Professor, History, City College of New York/CUNY

12pm to 1pm
Lunch Session
Goals of East Coast APA Studies

Keynote Speaker
Phil T. Nash, Lecturer, Asian American Studies, University of Maryland

1:10am to 2:10pm
Political Strategies for Advancing Asian American Studies on the East Coast

Moderator: Russell Leong, Editor, CUNY FORUM

Peter Kwong, Distinguished Professor, Urban Affairs & Planning, Hunter College/CUNY

Phil T. Nash, Lecturer, Asian American Studies,  University of Maryland

Shirley Tang, Associate Professor, Asian American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

2:20pm to 3:20pm
Building Cultures, Creating New Media: Innovative Platforms

Moderator: Cindy Wong, Professor, Media Culture, College of Staten Island/CUNY

Theodore S. Gonzalves, Associate Professor, American Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Eng-Beng Lim, Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Dartmouth College

Antony Wong, Program Coordinator, AAARI-CUNY

3:20pm to 4:20pm
The Future is Now!: Leadership, Students, and Communities

Moderator: Phil T. Nash, Lecturer, Asian American Studies, University of Maryland

Emily Dong, Student, Cornell University

Joyce Moy, Executive Director, AAARI-CUNY

Mitchel Wu, Lecturer, Asian American Studies Program, Hunter College/CUNY & Program Manager, Coalition for Asian American Children & Familes (CACF)

Luwei Xiong, Senior, Francis Lewis High School

Video: HIDE AND SEEK Starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits to Screen in 2016 Katra Film Series in New York on May 14; Complete Lineup

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and

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