Welcome to the Global Asian Studies Program!
Associate Director Profile
Associate Professor of Asian American Studies and Visual Studies and Associate Director of Asian American Studies
Denise Khor is a media historian and author of Transpacific Convergences: Race, Migration and Japanese American Film Culture before World War II (University of North Carolina Press, 2022), which explores the historical experiences of Japanese America…
As the inaugural associate director of Asian American studies, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, recent faculty hires, and the new directions of Global Asian Studies at Northeastern University. In early 2021 at the height of anti-Asian violence across the country, a critical mass of Northeastern students, who identified themselves as Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA), began organizing the campus community to demand institutional accountability. They wanted the university to not only reverse its divestment of support services for students of color on campus but also introduce critical educational curricula and efforts to fully understand the long and complex histories of racism and colonialism informing the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes and the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings. While building institutional capacity and programmatic space at Northeastern, it is important to recognize that these Northeastern student demands also echo the student-led movements borne out of civil rights, anti-war activism, and decolonization movements that gave rise to ethnic studies and Asian American studies in the first place. Now as it was then, we look to the university as a critical site for collective engagement, dialogue, and struggle.
Initially founded in 2000 as the Asian Studies Program, the new Global Asian Studies Program refocuses the study of the histories, cultures, and politics of East, Southeast, and South Asia to explore transnational interactions and their global diasporas, especially to the United States. Working across the arts, humanities, and social sciences, our faculty draws on a range of critical and inter- and multi-disciplinary perspectives. Dr. Sasha Sabherwal examines the racialization of religion, gender and sexuality, and the intersections of caste and race within the South Asian diaspora. Dr. Chinbo Chong works on the formation of political identity, how this differs for Asian American and Latino voters, and its impact on mobilizing these emerging American electorates. Dr. Kris Manjapra studies race, colonialism, and resistance with a focus on the Caribbean and South Asia. Dr. Anjanette Chan Tack studies race/ethnicity, gender, immigration, urban sociology, health, and spatial analytics. Faculty in Global Asian Studies offer a range of new undergraduate courses such as “Introduction to Asian American Studies,” “Asian American Politics,” “South Asian Diasporas,” “Asian American Cinemas,” and “Afro-Asian Relations in the Americas.”
This year, we convene the inaugural symposium for Asian American Studies at Northeastern, “Remember! Asian Americans and the Archive.” Building from prior lecture series “Asian America and the World” (2021-2022) and “After Area Studies” (2022-2023), Remember! is a one-day symposium that brings together student activists, scholars, and community organizers to think about the politics of the archive and its role in shaping what is forgotten and what is remembered. Looking ahead, it is my hope that our collective efforts, on the campus and beyond, will equip us with the critical analysis to create new knowledge and new coalitions for a better future.