Teaching Asian American Studies at CUNY: A Roundtable with the Asian American/Asian Research Institute (AAARI)



SONIYA MUNSHI is Interim Executive Director of the Asian American/Asian Research Institute at CUNY. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic and Race Studies at CUNY BMCC and an affiliate faculty member in the Critical Social/Personality and Environmental Psychology (CSPEP) program at CUNY. She also serves as co-coordinator of the AANAPISI Bridge Initiative, a collaboration between BMCC and Hunter College to support AAPI students. Her research interests include illness and disability in Asian America; gendered violence in migrant communities, women of color and queer abolitionist visions of safety and health; and feminist ethnographic methodologies including memoir.


ANITA BAKSH is Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College at CUNY. Her teaching and research interests include Asian American, Caribbean and Postcolonial literatures, Women’s Studies, and composition. Her publications on Indo-Caribbean cultural production, feminism, and activism and Asian American women’s writing appear in Caribbean Quarterly, The Journal of West Indian Literature, Women’s Studies Quarterly (WSQ), and in such collections as Indo-Caribbean  Feminist Thought: Genealogies, Theories, Enactments (2016). She is a current member of and a former Steering Committee (Board) member of Jahajee Sisters, a gender justice organization that supports survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault in New York City.

DR. CAROLINE KYUNGAH HONG is an Associate Professor of English at Queens College, CUNY. She is also the Director and Lead PI of the Queens College AANAPISI Project (QCAP). Her primary teaching and research interests include Asian American literatures and cultures, ethnic studies, and comics studies. She has published articles on Asian American fiction, graphic narratives, and pop culture and is finishing a book on Asian American comedy. She also currently serves on the boards of CUNY’s Asian American/Asian Research Institute (AAARI), the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS), and theAsian American Literary Review (AALR).

MARCIA LIU, PH.D. is a licensed counseling psychologist, an adjunct assistant professor in the Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College, and the Mental Health Specialist for the Hunter College AANAPISI Project. She received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. At Hunter, she teaches an undergraduate class called Theories and Methods for Doing Research with AAPI communities.  Her work focuses on the needs of students of Color, first-generation students, racial trauma and healing, and institutional change. She consults for institutions interested in effectively addressing race-related stress and mental health and wellness within their communities, and is a National Advisor to the Steve Fund. 

YUNG-YI DIANA PAN is Dean Associate for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Director of the American Studies Program, and Associate Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College. As a 1.5-generation immigrant and first-generation college student, she was inspired by her own educator role models to pursue higher education. Dr. Pan’s research broadly examines the experiences of nonwhite individuals in predominantly white spaces, mainly elite professions. She is a member of the AAARI Board and the Westchester County Asian American Advisory Board. A proud product of public schools, Diana earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of California, Irvine.

DR. LINTA VARGHESE is an Assistant Professor of Asian and Asian American Studies in the Department of Ethnic and Race Studies at BMCC CUNY and a co-coordinator of the AANAPISI Bridge Initiative. Her scholarship has been published in Cultural Dynamics and CUNY Forum. She is the co-editor of a special issue of the Women’s Studies Quarterly titled “Together,” and is working on a special issue of Ethnic Studies Review for the 100th anniversary of the US naturalization case, United States v Thind. Dr. Varghese’s research areas include gender and labor, South Asian racialization and immigrant gardening practices.