William & Mary University in Williamsburg, VA is making preparations for the launch of a new interdisciplinary program that will enable students to minor in Asian and Pacific Islander American Studies.
The program which received final approval in the spring will incorporate a Pacific American Island component.
“One of my roles in the minor will be to provide students with opportunities to visit the Pacific Islands and conduct archaeological research and cultural heritage management,” said Jenny Kahn, an assistant professor of anthropology.
Momentum for the program took hold in 2014 with the establishment of the Asian American Student Initiative in 2014. As with similar programs, the establishment of Asian and Pacific Islander American Studies is the result of decades of work, going as far back as the enrollment of William & Mary’s first Asian American students in the 20’s and 30’s.
“Even before I came here, students were mobilizing with faculty. They did not know that what they wanted necessarily was Asian and Pacific Islander American studies, but they were interested always in creating the space,” said Francis Tanglao-Aguas who will direct the program.
On the left coast, it’s an end of an era at the University of Washington where three Asian American professors–Steve Sumida, his wife Gail Nomura, and Tetsuden Kashima–are retiring from the American Ethnic Studies Department, reported the International Examiner.
Sumida and Nomura have a long history in Asian American Studies. They are credited with launching Washington State University’s first Asian American Studies curriculum after a lawsuit protesting the exclusion of Asian American Studies when the university already had Chicano, African American, and Native American studies.
Both came to the University of Washington in the late 1990s.
Kashima has been at the University of Washington since 1976. Kashima took part in the third world student strike for Ethnic Studies in 1967.
AsAmNews is an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. You can show your support by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/asamnews, following us on Twitter, sharing our stories, interning or joining our staff.