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>  News Releases >   2006 >   April

Asian American Studies conference a first for Dartmouth

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 04/25/06 • Genevieve Haas (603) 646-3661

Gary Okihiro
Professor Gary Okihiro will give the opening keynote address. (Photo courtesy of Gary Okihiro)

On May 5-7, Dartmouth will host its first ever conference on Asian American studies. The conference, titled, "Crossings and Crossroads: Critical Intersections in Asian American Studies," was conceived as a way to introduce Dartmouth students, faculty and staff to the depth and complexity of the scholarship that's being done in the field, explained Nora Yasumura, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Advisor to Asian and Asian American Students, who is helping to organize the conference.

In addition to several notable guest speakers and panelists, conference organizers invited representatives from 11 northeastern colleges and universities to attend the conference as special guests. Assistant Professor of History Jean Kim, a member of the conference planning committee, said that the conference "was planned by a committee of faculty at Dartmouth to broadly introduce the rest of the campus to Asian American Studies through research that both presents and critically interrogates the scope of the field, its primary subjects of study, as well as its intersections with other fields." She added, "The conference brings together both junior and senior scholars from a number of disciplines working at colleges and universities across the country to share their research, and it will also bring to campus scholars to act as consultants in a discussion of how Asian American Studies can grow at Dartmouth College."

The conference will open on May 5 in Collis Commonground with a keynote speech preceded by a welcome from President James Wright and followed by a reception in the Hopkins Center Faculty Lounge. The keynote speaker, Gary Okihiro, Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, will give his talk on "Our Ethnic Studies: Critical Intersections of Race, Gender, Culture, and Nation." Okihiro who serves as Director of Columbia's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, is an award-winning author and scholar. His research focuses on Asian American studies and southern Africa. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Studies Association, and is a past President of the Association for Asian American Studies.

The closing keynote speaker, David Palumbo-Liu, will give a talk on "Race, Modernity, and America" on May 6. Palumbo-Liu is a Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University where he helped establish the institution's Asian American Studies program, of which he is the current director. Palumbo-Liu is also the author of Asian/American: Historical Crossings of a Racial Frontier (1999).

The conference will include several panel sessions, all of which are open to the public. On Saturday, May 6, panels on "Empire, Global, Capital and Asian American Studies," "Mapping Race and Inter Ethnic Relations," and "Performing Gender and Sexuality." The panel events and keynote addresses are free and open to the public. Events on May 7 are by invitation only. For more information on times and locations, email

The conference is being co-sponsored by African and African American studies, the anthropology department, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, the Collis Governing Board, the English Department, the geography department the history department, Jewish studies, Native American studies, the Office of Asian and Asian American Advising, the Office of Pluralism and Leadership, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the Office of the Provost, the Pan Asian Council, the Sociology Department and women and gender studies.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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