Originally from Việt Nam, Yến Lê Espiritu is Distinguished Professor of Ethnic Studies. An award-winning author, she has published extensively on Asian American panethnicity, gender and migration, and U.S. colonialism and wars in Asia. Her most recent book, Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refuge(es) (UC Press, 2014) charts an interdisciplinary field of critical refugee studies, which reconceptualizes “the refugee” not as an object of rescue but as a site of social and political critiques. Espiritu has served several terms as Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, and also as its Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Graduate Studies. She has also served as the President of the Association of Asian American Studies and Vice President of the Pacific Sociological Association. She is a Founding Member of the Critical Refugee Studies Collective whose aim is to integrate scholarly, policy, artistic, legal, diplomatic and international relations interests with refugees’ everyday experiences. Espiritu is the recipient of several UCSD teaching awards: the Eleanor Roosevelt College’s Outstanding Faculty Award; the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award; and the Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching; and the inaugural recipient of the Association for Asian American Studies Mentorship Award.
Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and numerous other awards. His other books are a short story collection, The Refugees; Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction); and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. He is a University Professor, the Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and a Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations, he is also a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and the editor of The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. His most recent publication is Chicken of the Sea, a children’s book written in collaboration with his six-year-old son, Ellison. His next book is the sequel to The Sympathizer, The Committed, forthcoming in March 2021.
Kwon is an interdisciplinary scholar, a humanistic social scientist, who works across several fields including Asian American studies, critical ethnic studies, critical youth studies, anthropology, and cultural studies. Her research interests include national and global youth politics, global governance and citizenship, and institutionalization of race and diversity in higher education. She is the author of Uncivil Youth: Race, Activism, and Affirmative Governmentality (Duke University Press, 2013) and co-editor of South Korea’s Educational Exodus: The Life and Times of Early Study Abroad (University of Washington Press, 2015).
Shilpa Davé is an Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Indian Accents: Brown Voice and Racial Performance in American Television and Film (2013) and is co-editor of Global Asian American Popular Cultures (2016) and East Main Street: Asian American Popular Culture (2005). Professor Davé researches and teaches about representations of race and gender in media and popular culture from superhero stories to animated narratives, as well as American cultural narratives of immigration and border crossings, and comparative American studies specializing in Asian American and South Asian American studies. Some of her classes at UVA include Origin Stories, Action Women, Asian American Media Cultures, and Racial Borders and American Film.
Shalini Shankar is an anthropologist, writer and ethnographer of stories, especially of the Asian American diaspora.
Her latest work is Beeline: What Spelling Bees Reveal about the New American Childhood (Basic Books). Shankar, a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow, argues that, far from being simply overstressed and overscheduled, Gen Z spelling bee competitors are learning crucial twenty-first-century skills from their high-powered lives, displaying a sophisticated understanding of self-promotion, self-direction, and social mobility.
Shankar, who teaches at Northwestern University, takes special care in uncovering nuance in Asian American stories. She is currently interim director of Northwestern’s Asian American Studies program, and, through her research, has contributed immensely to the field.
Originally trained in pediatrics and public health, Sayantani DasGupta is a Senior Lecturer at the Graduate Program in Narrative Medicine, the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, all at Columbia University in New York. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed, Bengali folktale and string theory-inspired Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond books, the first of which—The Serpent’s Secret—was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Best Middle Grade Novel of the 21st Century, and an EB White Read Aloud Honor Book. She has a fourth book in the Kingdom Beyond series, Force of Fire coming out from Scholastic in May 2021, and a biography of Dr. Virginia Apgar coming out as part of Chelsea Clinton’s She Persisted series coming out from Philomel in April 2021.
Dr. Russell Jeung is Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. He is author of several books and articles on race and religion, including Family Sacrifices: The Worldviews and Ethics of Chinese Americans (Oxford University Press, 2019); Moving Movers: Student Activism and the Emergence of Asian American Studies (UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 2019); and At Home in Exile: Finding Jesus among My Ancestors and Refugee Neighbors (Zondervan, 2016. In 2020, Dr. Jeung launched Stop AAPI Hate, a project of Chinese for Affirmative Action, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, and SF State Asian American Studies. It tracks Covid-19 related discrimination in order to develop community resources and policy interventions to fight racism.
Phil Yu is a writer, speaker, and host, best known as the creator of Angry Asian Man, one of the most widely read and longest-running independent websites covering news, culture, and perspectives from the Asian American community. He also co-hosts the podcast They Call Us Bruce with Jeff Yang.
Pawan Dhingra is Professor of American Studies and Faculty Equity and Inclusion Officer at Amherst College. He is a Former Curator at the Smithsonian Institution. He and his work have been published and profiled in The New York Times, CNN, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the White House forum on AAPI heritage, and elsewhere. His latest book is Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough (New York University Press 2020), which author Min Jin Lee described as a “fascinating exploration [that] gets to the root of education obsessions.” His other books include the multiple award-winning Life Behind the Lobby: Indian American Motel Owners and the American Dream (Stanford University Press, 2012) and the award-winning Managing Multicultural Lives: Asian American Professionals and the Challenge of Multiple Identities (Stanford University Press, 2007). He co-authored, Asian America: Sociological and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Polity Press 2014). In addition to award-winning articles, he also appears in the Netflix documentary, Spelling the Dream. He has been President of the Board of the South Asian American Digital Archive. He also is an award-winning teacher.
Dr. Linda Trinh Vo is a Professor and former chair of the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from UC San Diego and was a UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow and UC Irvine Chancellor’s Fellow. She is the author of Mobilizing an Asian American Community, co-author of Vietnamese in Orange County, and co-editor of Keywords for Asian American Studies; Labor Versus Empire: Race, Gender, and Migration; Asian American Women: The “Frontiers” Reader; and Contemporary Asian American Communities: Intersections and Divergences. She also co-authored the report, Transforming Orange County: Assets and Needs of Asian Americans & Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Dr. Vo was president of the national Association for Asian American Studies and was a series editor for the Asian American History and Culture series at Temple University Press. She is a founding board member of the National Asian American Community Foundation; served as director of Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History Project; and was on the advisory boards of the Orange County Asian & Pacific Islander Community Alliance, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-OC, and Viet Film Fest.