Evening Lecture Series

2012 - 2013 Biographies

Kim Chinh began her acting career at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. She played leading roles in three films by Alice Cox, L to Canarsie, See Something Say Something, and Elizabeth Rose, for which she was nominated for Best Actress in the 4th Annual 72 Hour Film Shootout, sponsored by Asian Cinevision and MTV World. She also played a major role in The Face, a short film written and directed by Elizabeth Browning. Kim originated the role of Lia in Big Flower Eater, an experimental play directed by Victoria Linchong. She most recently played the part of Maggie in The Chinese Restaurant Syndrome directed by April Feld Sandor at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Kim is currently working on a one-woman show about her experiences in Vietnam, her father's homeland. She lives in Brooklyn.


Alvin Eng is a native New York playwright, director, performer and educator. Currently, Eng is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre at Goucher College in Baltimore.

Eng was in residence at Hong Kong City University as a Fulbright Specialist scholar in U.S. Studies/Theatre in 2011. At CityU, in collaboration with his wife, actress/director Wendy Wasdahl, he conceived and directed OUR TOWN: CHINA/USA, a devised theatre/oral history project. That year Eng also made his Asian debut. The U.S. Consulate Guangzhou invited him to perform his memoir monologue play, THE LAST EMPEROR of FLUSHING at XiaoZhou People’s Hall in his family’s ancestral Guangdong Province.

In March 2013, the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, NYC, will present the World Premiere of his play, THREE TREES. In Paris—the city where it is set–– the play was presented as a staged reading by the Moving Parts Theatre and at the Sorbonne University’s international conference, “&Now 2012 New Writing in Paris.” THREE TREES is the first work of Eng’s PORTRAIT PLAYS cycle about artists and portraiture. 33&1/3 CORNELIA STREET, the second Portrait Play, is about Greenwich Village bohemians, painter Alice Neel and poet/oral historian manqué, Joe Gould. The play was chosen as one of three plays to be presented at the 37th Comparative Drama Conference in Baltimore, MD, April 5, 2013.

URL: www.alvineng.com


Luis H. Francia teaches Asian-American literature at Hunter College, language at New York University, and creative writing at the City University of Hong Kong. His memoir Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago won both the PEN Open Book Award and the Asian American Writers award. He is in the Library of America’s Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing. Among his poetry collections are The Arctic Archipelago and Other Poems, Museum of Absences and The Beauty of Ghosts. His poems have been included in numerous anthologies, including Language for a New Century and Love Rise Up!

His A History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos was published in 2010. He is the editor of Brown River, White Ocean: A Twentieth Century Anthology of Philippine Literature in English, and co-editor of Flippin’: Filipinos on America and Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream, 1899-1999. This September Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco gave his first full-length play The Strange Case of Citizen de la Cruz its world premiere. He writes an online column, “The Artist Abroad,” for Manila’s Philippine Daily Inquirer. He and his wife Midori Yamamura are proud members of the 99 percent, and live in Queens.


Kenneth J. Guest is an Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Baruch College/CUNY. Dr. Guest is a graduate of Columbia University (B.A., East Asian Studies); Union Theological Seminary (M.A., Religious Studies); and The City University of New York Graduate Center (M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Anthropology).

Dr. Guest is the author of God in Chinatown: Religion and Survival in New York’s Evolving Immigrant Community (NYU Press, 2003) which addresses the role of religious communities in the recent migration of Fuzhounese from southeast China to New York City, the creation of transnational religious networks, and the effects of this migration on the religious revival sweeping coastal China. His research focuses on China, New York City, immigration, religion, and transnationalism. He has conducted fieldwork in China and the US.


Vinay Lal was born in Delhi and raised in India, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States. He studied literature, history, and philosophy as an undergraduate, and earned his B.A. from the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University in 1982. He received a M.A. from the same institution, also in 1982, for a thesis on Emerson and Indian Philosophy. He then studied film in Australia and India on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship before commencing his graduate studies at the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, where he was awarded his Ph.D. with Distinction in 1992.

Vinay joined the history faculty at UCLA in Fall 1993, and has since held several fellowships, including a Senior Fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers, and a fellowship from the Society for the Promotion of Science/Japan Area Studies Center at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka. He was elected a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science in February 2000.

Vinay teaches a broad range of courses in Indian history, comparative colonial histories, subaltern history and Indian historiography, as well as graduate level seminars on the contemporary politics of knowledge, postcolonial theory, and the politics of culture. He has designed and taught a cycle of upper-division undergraduate lecture courses on British India, Contemporary South Asia, the Indian Diaspora, and the Moral and Political Thought of Mohandas Gandhi. Seminars in Indian history cover such subjects as the Politics of Religion and Ethnicity in South Asia; Hindu-Muslim Encounters in South Asia; "The Woman Question" in Colonial India; The Life of Krishna in Indian Art, History, and Culture; History and the Novel; the Partition of India; Violence in Contemporary Indian Society; and History and Popular Cinema.

In recent years, Vinay has divided his time between Delhi and Los Angeles. He served as University of California's Director of the Education Abroad Program in India for 18 months in 2007-08, and while on leave from UCLA in 2010-11 he is Professor of History at University of Delhi.


Chang-Jin Lee is a Korean-born visual artist and lives in New York City. Her multicultural background and experiences have provoked in her an interest in investigating the diverse cultural and social issues in our current era. In her artworks, she deals with identity, gender, globalism, nationalism, human trafficking, and religion.

She has exhibited extensively including at The Queens Museum of Art (New York), The World Financial Center Winter Garden (New York), The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York), Socrates Sculpture Park (New York), The Franconia Sculpture Park (MN), The Asian American Arts Centre (New York), The Chinese American Arts Council (New York), Van Brunt Gallery (New York), Elizabeth Heskin Gallery (New York), The Peekskill Project (New York), The Bronx River Art Center (New York), Spaces Gallery (OH), The Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale (Korea), Bo Pi Liao Contemporary (Taiwan), and 1a Space (Hong Kong).

She is a recipient of numerous awards including The New York State Council on the Arts Grant, The Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Grant, The Franconia Sculpture Park Jerome Fellowship, The Asian Women Giving Circle Award, The New York Foundation for the Arts Fiscal Sponsorship Award, The World Financial Center Sponsorship, The Puffin Foundation Grant, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council - Creative Capital Professional Development Workshop, The Busan Sea Art Festival Award, and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Manhattan Community Arts Fund.


Ke Liang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Baruch College/CUNY. Dr. Liang received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, and teaches Introduction to Sociology, Sociological Analysis, and Research Methods at Baruch College. Her research interests include medical sociology, social stratification, China studies, and research methods. 


Victoria Linchong is a Taiwanese-American theater and film artist. She most recently conceived and directed BIG FLOWER EATER, which workshopped at Horse Trade Theater Company in 2011 and was produced at Theater for the New City in 2013. Previously, she directed and acted in PAPER ANGELS by Genny Lim, which won the 2010 Best of the San Francisco Fringe. Other director credits include RITE OF RETURN (Theater for the New City, 2004) and the short film DOUBLE DEALING, finalist for Asian Cinevision’s 2nd Annual 72 Hour Film Shootout. Notable acting credits include a principle role in Jeff Weiss' OBIE Award winning HOT KEYS (Naked Angels)). Victoria produced the world premiere of Tennessee Williams’ last short plays, several plays by James Purdy (including SUN OF THE SLEEPLESS with Laurence Fishburne), and STOP THE WAR: A FESTIVAL FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, which won an OBIE Citation. She currently is in post-production on the documentary ALMOST HOME: TAIWAN and developing a one-person play, DISPOSSESSED. She is the Artistic Director of Direct Arts, an intercultural theater and film company. www.directarts.org


Jeanne Sakata  is an actor and playwright. Jeanne recently performed in Daniel Akiyama’s A CAGE OF FIREFLIES at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, in SEVEN at USC, Julia Cho’s THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE at East West Players, and Don Nguyen’s RED FLAMBOYANT at Ojai Playwrights Festival. An LA Ovation Award winner for Best Lead Actress for her portrayal of Master Hua in Chay Yew’s RED at EWP, Jeanne has performed with The Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, American Conservatory Theater, Northlight Theatre Intiman Theatre, Berkeley Rep, A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage and Arizona Theatre Company, and is a member of LA’s renowned The Antaeus Company.  Screen credits include TYLER PERRY’S MEET THE BROWNS, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, ER, THREAT MATRIX, LINE OF FIRE, PRESIDIO MED, AMERICAN FAMILY, NUMB3RS, John Ridley’s I GOT YOU, the MOW’s THE READING ROOM, HIROSHIMA, CONSENSUAL RELATIONS, and the feature films THE BABYMAKERS, XXX2: STATE OF THE UNION and AMERICAN FUSION. 

Jeanne’s solo play HOLD THESE TRUTHS (formerly DAWN’S LIGHT:  THE JOURNEY OF GORDON HIRABAYASHI) will have its New York premiere with the Epic Theatre Ensemble in October 2012.  Originally produced at LA’s East West Players in 2007, the play was co-presented by the Japanese American National Museum, the UCLA Department of Asian American Studies, and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.  It was subsequently workshopped with the Epic, the Lark Play Development Center, and the New York Theatre Workshop at its 2009 Dartmouth Residency, and was also showcased at Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion with Silk Road Rising/Millennium Park as part of the Park’s 2011 IN THE WORKS New Plays Series. HOLD THESE TRUTHS is now part of the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington, DC.


Angel Velasco Shaw is a film/video maker, writer, cultural activist, curator, and educator. Videos screened nationally and internationally include “The Momentary Enemy,” “Blowback,” “Umbilical Cord,” “Asian Boys,” “Nailed,” and “Balikbayan/Return to Home.” She is co-editor along with Luis H. Francia of the anthology, “Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream: 1899-1999” (New York University Press, 2002).

Velasco Shaw is currently an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College teaching in the Asian American Studies Program. She was a core faculty member in the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program at New York University where she taught media, cultural, and community studies courses from 1995-2006. She has also taught at Columbia University, The New School For Social Research, and Pratt Institute.

In 2009, she completed producing a series of cross-cultural exchange project called “Trade Routes: Converging Cultures: Southeast Asia and Asian America.” It consisted of artists residencies, artists’ talks, workshops, exhibitions, performance, and film screenings in the capital city of Manila and three provincial cities in the Philippines with women artists from Indonesia, Singapore, the U.S. and the Philippines.


Kwanyuk Claire Sit is Professor Emerita of Mathematics at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. After her retirement, Dr. Sit devotes her study to Eastern philosophy and anthroposophy, on which she has presented talks in New York City and Hong Kong.


Jun-Jun Sta. Ana is a self-taught artist born and raised in Manila, Philippines. Starting out his career in creative work as a window dresser at the end of 1999, his work evolved into fine art after toying with one of the first digital cameras out in the market, and consequently experimenting with digital manipulation. The foundation of his work continues to be digital.

He has been showing consistently throughout the Philippines and the United States since, and had his first solo museum show last year at the Negros Museum in Bacolod City, Philippines. He is also known for his unconventional portraits, and was one of the featured artists in a show at the Portsmouth Museum of Art in New Hampshire called “iImage: The Uncommon Portrait”.

Other museum group shows were at the Vargas Museum in the Philippines for the Wahana Project, a showing of Singaporean and Filipino artists in 2004; and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music through the Brooklyn Art Project in 2008.

Other achievements include being shortlisted for the 1st Ateneo Art Awards in 2004; the public art competition for the Fullerton Station of the Brown Line Train of the Chicago Transit Authority; and was the recipient of the Avellana Art Gallery Tower 4 Residency grant for 2011.


Laurie Wilson earned her undergraduate degree in art history from Wellesley College, her master¹s degree in Fine Arts and Fine Arts Education from Columbia University, and her Ph.D. in Art History from City University of New York.  She received psychoanalytic training at The NYU Psychoanalytic Institute where she is on the faculty as Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Psychoanalytic
Institute affiliated with NYU Medical Center and practices in New York City. She directed the Graduate Art Therapy Program at New York University for twenty-three years and is Professor Emerita there. She has published extensively in three fields – art therapy, art history, psychoanalysis and art therapy. Her book Alberto Giacometti: Myth Magic and the Man was published by Yale University Press in 2003. She is currently completing a biography of Louise Nevelson.


Katherine Yew, born in Seoul, South Korea, has been a New Yorker since the age of four.  She studied music and voice technique at Columbia University and Manhattan School of Music.  She is a member of La MaMa's Great Jones Repertory Company and Pioneers Go East Co.  Internationally, she has performed in Tapei, Rome, Spoleto, and Venice, including the Venice Biennalle.  Her voice has been featured in such films as "Dummy," with Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, and the critically acclaimed "Man Push Cart. " Her original music compositions have been used to stage "S16:Luna Nera," a multi-media installation piece on the lives of sulfur miners in Sicily, "The Question of Solitude," a mini-opera based on the James Bond legacy, and "Love Cripple," an original dance piece that premiered at  LaMaMa ETC.


Mingmei Yip, author and musician, received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, and has held faculty appointments at the Chinese University and Baptist University in Hong Kong. Dr. Yip has lectured extensively on Chinese art and culture at Oxford University, Columbia University, Beijing University, University of Paris, Amsterdam University, Vassar College, Williams College, and also taught calligraphy at the City University of New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dr. Yip's literary work includes  Peony Pavilion (2008), Petals from the Sky (2010),  Songs of the Silk Road (2011), and Skeleton Women (2012). Also a children’s book writer and illustrator, Dr. Yip's Chinese Children’s Favorite Stories is Tuttle Publishing’s best seller. Her second children’s book, also by Tuttle, will be released in 2013.

A professional player of the Guqin, Chinese zither, Dr. Yip was recently invited by Carnegie Hall to perform in “A Festival celebrating Chinese Culture” program.

URL: www.mingmeiyip.com


Ying Zhu (PhD, UT Austin) is Professor of Cinema Studies and Chair of the Department of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island. A leading scholar on Chinese cinema and media studies, Dr. Zhu's publications have appeared in prominent media journals, edited book volumes, and websites/blogs in the US, China, and Europe, and are frequently cited by scholars of Chinese cinema and media as well as journalists from major media outlets. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2006) and an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (2008), and the author and editor of eight books, including Two Billion Eyes: The Story of China Central TV (New Press, 2012), which has received significant academic and media attention.

Dr. Zhu's 2003 research monograph, Chinese Cinema during the Era of Reform: the Ingenuity of the System is considered by critics as a path-breaking book that initiated the study of Chinese cinema within the framework of political economy. Her 2008 research monograph, Television in Post-Reform China: Serial Drama, Confucian Leadership and the Global Television Market, together with three edited book volumes she led, TV China (2009), TV Drama in China (2008), and Comparative Studies of Chinese and US Television (2005) pioneered the subfield of Chinese television studies.

Aside from her scholarly pursuits, Dr. Zhu also produces current affairs documentary films, including Google vs. China (2011) and China: From Cartier to Confucius (2012). The latter, co-produced with the Netherlands National Public Television, was mentioned as an exemplary work Public TV can do during a Netherlands Parliamentary Debate in Oct 2012 concerning funding for Dutch Public Broadcasting.



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