Asian American Studies

Video link to past event with Henry Yu, "Away From the Lone Historian? Multidisciplinary Approaches in a Collaborative Research Lab"

Video link(link is external) to past event with Viet Thanh Nguyen, "On Remembering Others: Vietnam and the Memory of War"

Article by Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin entitled Asian Americans and the Law

The Program in American Studies is pleased to serve as the intellectual and institutional home for the University’s new efforts to build an innovative curricular program in the interdisciplinary field of Asian American Studies. 

Studying Asian American Studies within the context of American Studies offers intellectual integrity and underscores Princeton’s firm belief that we must think about race and ethnicity in a broad, comparative, flexible, and historic context. We believe that Asian American Studies stands as an integral part of a well-rounded education aimed to provide an opportunity to place the American experience within a larger global context for all Princeton students. Through this transnational, international, comparative, and multi- and inter-disciplinary perspective, students will be able to explore Asian American experiences as fundamental to the on-going development of America and as linked to both the experiences of other racial minorities in the United States and the experiences of Asian migrants across the world.  Asian American Studies offers one gateway through which American Studies can illuminate the multi-various nature of Asian American identity, community formation, diaspora, and political history by emphasizing the connections among race, class, ethnicity, national identity, gender, and sexuality.

Asians American Studies throws light on our nation’s past as well as its future. The extensive teaching and research interests of Asian American Studies programs today across the country reflect the breadth of this field. Scholars no longer focus on developments within the United States but also underscore the transnational and comparative contexts of Asian America and comparative race and ethnicity more broadly, engaging further with Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Asian American Studies scholars participate in the midst of interdisciplinary debates on a multitude of topics such as migration, immigration, and citizenship in US history, politics, and policy; the changing demographics of the American racial landscape; the entwined relations between Asian Americans and Mexican Americans at the “border lands”; Asian-Jewish religious intersections and the ongoing dilemmas of American assimilation; the influence of transpacific exchange on American letters and arts; the old and new Orientalism that informs American modernity; the Afro-Asian connection in art and politics; and more.


We are pleased to welcome Professor Henry Yu of the University of British Columbia as this year's Stanley Kelly, Jr. Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching.

Henry Yu

Henry Yu is an Associate Professor of History, and the Principal of St. John’s College, UBC. He received his BA in History (Honors) from UBC and an MA and PhD in History from Princeton University. Prof. Yu’s research and teaching has been built around collaboration with local communities and civic society at multiple levels, in particular in the digital humanities. He is the author of Thinking Orientals: Migration, Contact, and Exoticism in Modern America (Oxford, 2001) and was the Project Lead for the $1.17 million “Chinese Canadian Stories” public history, research and education project (2010-2012). His current research interests include the history of fascination with interracial sex, Chinese migrations and the development of the “Cantonese Pacific” in the 19th and 20th century, and historical and contemporary engagements between Chinese migrants and indigenous communities within the Pacific basin. He served as the Chair for the Advisory Council for the Province of British Columbia overseeing legacy projects following BC’s apology in 2014 for its history of anti-Chinese legislation. At UBC, Yu helped develop the Asian Canadian and Asian Migrations Studies program, which launched in Fall 2014, and helped design and write the university’s Strategic Plan for Equity and Diversity. Yu served on the Board of Managing Editors of the American Quarterly after it moved to Los Angeles (2003-2007) and again after it moved to Honolulu (2013-2016). He has also served the American Studies Association as an elected member of the Nominating Committee (2003-2005) and Council (2007-2010) as well as the President’s Executive Committee (2007-2010).

Professor Yu presented "Migration and the Making of History" at the American Studies Workshop, 12:00 noon on Monday, October 17 in 102 Jones Hall. He also gave a public lecture, titled, "Away From the Lone Historian? Multidisciplinary Approaches in a Collaborative Digital Research Lab" on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at 4:30 pm.

Migration and the Making of History  Migration and the Making of HistoryMigration and the Making of History

He is currently teaching an undergraduate course "Making History with Multimedia: Asian American and Asian Migration Storytelling through Film".