UConn Strengthens Focus on Asian Studies, Hartford Library Offers Seminar Series

With the addition of six new faculty, there is newfound scholarly expertise in the area  of Asian and Asian American Studies  at the University of Connecticut.  The growth of the academic program is transforming UConn into a distinctive center that focuses on Asian populations - not just in Asia, but across the world.  The greater emphasis provides an increasingly global perspective to studies of Asian peoples, going beyond language.

The new group of professors brings a greater emphasis to cultures formed from diasporas, or the scattering of people from their traditional homeland; and alternate histories, such asasian studies local or regional histories that haven’t traditionally been recorded.

Daniel Weiner, UConn’s vice provost for global affairs, told UConn Today, “It’s a very exciting time to invest in faculty with expertise pertaining to Asia. It’s also exciting that UConn has an opportunity to construct the study of Asia in a unique way through inclusion of transnational and diasporic studies.”

“This focus allowed us to hire people who significantly build upon the established field of Asian studies by engaging contemporary and modern questions,” says Cathy Schlund-Vials, associate professor of English and director of the Asian American Studies Institute.

While UConn is strengthening its study of Asian peoples, there are also efforts underway in Connecticut to provide support for the Asian population currently in the state, particularly immigrants and those with limited English skills, lack adequate access to culturally and linguistically competent legal services.

The second in a series of free community educational seminars will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2 – 4 PM at the Mark Twain Branch Library in Hartford.  The series is supported by the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Associations.   Topics to be discussed include immigration, business licensing, discrimination, and voter registration.