Date: Friday, May 16, 2008     Time: 8:30AM to 5PM

Place: CUNY Graduate Center - Elebash Recital Hall
365 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan (Corner of 34th Street)

Admission: $35 (Non-Member) | $15 (Member/Student)
Payment can be made on the day of the conference, by check of cash only.

Registration Form | Conference Flyer | Conference Postcard
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Greetings | Health | Literature | Business | Science | Balancing | Public
Award Ceremony & Keynote | Community | Demographics | Media
Poetry Reception

The Asian American/Asian Research Institute will host a one-day conference on May 16, 2008 titled Asian American Women: Celebrating Successes, Meeting Challenges, a forum where we will examine past, present, and future challenges and objectives for Asian American women.

Asian American women’s experiences and concerns illustrate the heterogeneous and complex histories and interests of this important segment of the U.S. population. This year’s AAARI conference will investigate the landscape of Asian American women’s historical and contemporary experiences, examining and evaluating past accomplishments while maintaining a critical and pragmatic eye to future goals. The conference seeks to explore the manifold realms of Asian American women’s lives from the diverse vantage points of scholars, researchers, business professionals, educators, activists, artists, legislators, writers, and students. During the conference, we will ask ourselves what we have learned from Asian American women’s histories, and how we can apply this knowledge to present and future challenges for our communities.

Session Tracks

Community Advocacy
Asian American community advocates are spearheading work to garner visibility and recognition of Asian American women’s issues.  These issues include domestic violence, literacy, labor organizing, the low-wage economy, bias crimes, housing, and immigration legislation. How do individuals and organizations at the forefront of these issues forge and sustain relationships with dynamic Asian American communities? What obstacles do they face as liaisons between Asian America, the media, private industry, and government agencies? 

Business, Leadership, and Professional Development
Focusing on the resources and strategies that support and encourage Asian American women as they seek to become better leaders in both local and global economies, the session will examine gender, ethnicity, and cultural norms in the workplace, while highlighting the differences between small business and large corporations and issues of executive management in political, public service, educational, and non-profit fields. 

Balancing Career and Family
Women, in general, have to negotiate familial responsibilities while also focusing on their careers.  Have Asian American women been successful in balancing career and family? What roles do immediate and extended families play in helping Asian American women juggle career and family? This session will explore how Asian American women address issues such as child-care, professional commitments, day-to-day domestic chores, and elderly parents. Related topics include stress- and time-management as well as financial resources.

Public Administration and Government
Historically, Asian American women have been underrepresented in positions of authority in public administration and government. What are the personal and professional obstacles for women in reaching their career goals in these areas?  Do the voices of Asian American women have an impact on policy and decision making?  What does the future hold for other Asian American women who want a meaningful role in public administration or to serve in public office?

Science and Engineering
Science and engineering have traditionally been dominated by men. Although the number of women working in these fields is increasing, we still hear of cases where teachers, faculty, and advisors actively discourage female students from studying science and/or engineering. With many women actively contributing as scientists and engineers, it is time to ask how Asian American women have negotiated and become successful in these traditionally male-dominated fields, and to examine the challenges and obstacles Asian American women face in their academic and professional careers. 

Health and Wellness
Asian American women face distinct social, cultural, and political barriers to physical and mental health and wellness. The purpose of this session is to explore occupational, genetic, environmental, and cultural factors in disease or health risks for this population. We will also examine how cultural beliefs, traditional practices, and linguistic deficiency impact healthcare delivery, wellness education, government policy, and disease prevention for Asian American women.

Media, Visual, and Performing Arts
Representations of Asian American women are changing, and examinations of racial stereotypes are insufficient in representing the complex position of Asian American women in the U.S. How are Asian American cultural producers seeking to examine and complicate the intricate relationships between popular culture, artistic production, and identity? What roles do historical depictions of this community play in expanding our artistic understandings of Asian American women in the present and the future?

No longer relegated to the backdoor of autobiography, Asian American women writers are charting new literary maps through formal and thematic innovations that reflect complex intersections between gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, and language.  This session seeks to examine how the arc of Asian American literary production informs these writers, and what lies ahead for emerging authors.

New Demographics
The landscape of Asian America is continuously changing: How do we understand these shifts in our examinations of new immigrants, mixed-race identities, and the dynamic diasporic communities that emerge as migratory paradigms evolve?  As local communities are shaped by the changing demographics, what is the response of mainstream culture and public policy makers?  To what extent do transnational businesses and global capital influence Asian American communities?  How do these developments impact the daily lives of Asian American women and define their identities?







Asian American Women




Topic Abstracts


Planning Committee
Hiroko Karan (Co-Chair)
Frank Shih (Co-Chair)
Linda T. Chin
Jennifer Hayashida
Betty Lee Sung

Antony Wong

Gold Sponsor


CUNY Diversity Grant

Feminist Press, CUNY

Office of Research &
Sponsored Programs
CUNY Graduate Center

State Farm Insurance

Silver Sponsor

Verizon Foundation

Bronze Sponsor
CUNY Division of
Student Affairs

New York Presbyterian Community Health Plan


Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2013

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