Evening Lecture Series

2016 - 2017 Biographies

Andrew Ahn is a queer Korean-American filmmaker born and raised in Los Angeles. His feature film SPA NIGHT premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in the US Dramatic Competition and won a Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance. SPA NIGHT also won the US Grand Jury Prize at Outfest. Ahn is an alum of Film Independent’s Project Involve and has promoted diversity in the arts by mentoring youth filmmakers through programs like Pacific Arts Movement’s Reel Voices and Outfest’s OutSet. He graduated from Brown University and received an MFA in Film Directing from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).


Daisy Ball is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) and Coordinator of the University’s Criminology Program. She is the founder of the University’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program in collaboration with MCI-Framingham, the local women’s prison.  At FSU, Dr. Ball teaches a range of courses, including Social Deviance, Criminological Theory, and White-Collar Crime.  Her areas of research include race, culture, and crime/deviance.  Her forthcoming book, ‘Model Minority’ or ‘Criminal Threat’?  Asian Americans at Virginia Tech in the Aftermath of Horrific Crimes, explores the campus culture for Asian Americans following the April 16th massacre.


Henry Chang a graduate of The City College of New York/CUNY with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. He is a native son of New York City's Chinatown and Lower East Side. His poems have appeared in the seminal Yellow Pearl anthology, in Gangs of New York's Chinatown, and The Lineup. He is the crime mystery author of the acclaimed Chinese-American NYPD Detective Jack Yu series -- Chinatown Beat (2006), Year of The Dog (2008), Red Jade (2010), Death Money (2014), and Lucky (2017) -- published by Soho Press Inc./Soho Crime. His short stories appeared in Murdaland (2007 Mug Shot Press), and Asian Pulp (2015 Pro Se Press)


Kevin Chu is the Research Manager at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). In his free time he moonlights as a fiction writer, who ironically has only had non-fiction pieces published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles. He has a B.A. in Journalism and East Asian Studies from New York University.


Angie Y. Chung is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, SUNY, and the 2015-2016 Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center and Asian American / Asian Research Institute (AAARI). She is author of Saving Face: The Emotional Costs of the Asian Immigrant Family Myth (Rutgers University Press, 2016) and Legacies of Struggle: Conflict and Cooperation in Korean American Politics (Stanford University Press, 2007). She is currently conducting research with co-PIs Sookhee Oh and Jan Lin for a National Science Foundation-funded project on immigrant redevelopment politics in Koreatown and Monterey Park. Chung has published on the topics of ethnic politics, interethnic coalitions, immigrant families, ethnic enclaves and second generation in various journals such as Ethnicities, Urban Affairs Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Qualitative Sociology.


Zixuan (Sharon) Deng grew up in Wuhan, China, and it was in Wuhan, aptly and poetically named the “furnace city” because of the scorching summer heat, that Sharon began her explorations in storytelling. At the age of 13, she started the three-year process of writing her novel, Breathe, which was published by Jiuzhou when she was 16. Her first film “From My Shop Window” follows a self-made businessman in Trenton and tells the story of Trentonians working together to bring the city back to life. Sharon is currently studying architecture at Princeton University, focusing on how culture and immigration are transforming the urban landscape. She is grateful to her professor Purcell Carson, the Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award, and her family for sparking and supporting her love of film.


Alvin Eng is a native NYC playwright, performer and educator. Last fall he was a Visiting Professor/Head of the MFA Playwriting Program at Queens College. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Goucher College and a Fulbright Specialist scholar in Theatre/U.S. Studies. He is currently developing “Portrait Plays,” a cycle of historical dramas that examines the parallels between portraiture, history and power as manifested in different eras and cultures. The third Portrait Play, THE IMPERIAL IMAGE was recently presented by the “First Acts: New Plays in Development” series at Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Queens College. The second work, 33 & 1/3 CORNELIA STREET, was presented at the 2016 Howl! Gallery’s Beat & Beyond Festival featuring Bowery Poetry founder Bob Holman as Joe Gould and the legendary Mink Stole—of John Waters’ film fame—playing renowned painter Alice Neel. THREE TREES, the first Portrait Play, about the haunting relationship between Alberto Giacometti and Isaku Yanaihara, premiered Off-Broadway with the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and was also presented as a workshop reading with Baltimore Center Stage and the Moving Parts Theatre in Paris. His plays and poetry have been published in Performing Arts Journal, as well as the Nuyorican Poets Café anthologies, Aloud and Action. He is the editor/author of the play anthology/oral history, Tokens? The NYC Asian American Experience on Stagealvineng.com


Tao Leigh Goffe is an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow in New York University’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. Prior to this, she held the position of Postdoctoral Research Associate in Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies. Dr. Goffe’s research examines the literatures and subcultures of black and Asian diasporas in the United States, United Kingdom, and Caribbean. She earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University in 2015, and has taught at Princeton University, Hunter College, and Yale University.


Amita Gupta is Chair and Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture in the School of Education at The City College of New York/CUNY. Dr. Gupta’s interdisciplinary research interests draw upon the fields of the history, philosophy and sociology of education; postcolonial theory; urban education; and international and comparative education. Her recent books include: Diverse Early Childhood Education Policies and Practices: Voices and Images from Five Countries in Asia (Routledge, 2014). Early Childhood Education, Postcolonial Theory, and Teaching Practices and Policies in India, 2nd ed (Palgrave, 2013).


Nicholas D. Hartlep (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) is currently an Assistant Professor of Urban Education at Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN. In 2015 he received the University Research Initiative (URI) Award from Illinois State University and a Distinguished Young Alumni Award from Winona State University, which recognized him as a graduate who had distinguished himself in his work and community. In 2016 the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee presented him with a Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award for his prolific amount of writing. Hartlep serves on the editorial boards of several journals and is lead editor of the “Urban Education Studies” book series with Information Age Publishing. His scholarly books include Going Public: Critical Race Theory & Issues of Social Justice (2010), The Model Minority Stereotype: Demystifying Asian American Success (2013), Unhooking from Whiteness: The Key to Dismantling Racism in the United States (2013), The Model Minority Stereotype Reader: Critical and Challenging Readings for the 21st Century (2014), Killing the Model Minority Stereotype: Asian American Counterstories and Complicity (2015), The Assault on Communities of Color: Exploring the Realities of Race-Based Violence (2015 with Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner), Modern Societal Impacts of the Model Minority Stereotype (2015), Critical Storytelling in Uncritical Times: Stories Disclosed in a Cultural Foundations of Education Course (2015), and Asian/American Curricular Epistemicide: From Being Excluded to Becoming a Model Minority (2016 with Daisy Ball). He is currently finishing an edited book: The Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education: Voices of Students and Faculty (with Lucille L. T. Eckrich and Brandon O. Hensley for Routledge).


Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards. His books include Waylaid and This Is a Bust, both published by Kaya Press in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Snakes Can’t Run and One Red Bastard, which both continue the story of Robert Chow set in This Is a Bust, were published by Minotaur Books. Ghost Month, a Taipei-based mystery, was published by Soho Crime in July 2014. His latest book, Incensed, was published by Soho Crime in October 2016.


Siyan Liu is a Chinese filmmaker based in New York City who received her MFA in Social Documentary Film from School of Visual Arts in 2015. Liu has been a screenwriter for fiction films, and worked two years as an assistant director for the Documentary Channel of China Central Television (CCTV-9). Her feature documentary film JOLIN: The Evolution of My Life has premiered at film festivals including the 40th Montreal World Film Festival, the 39th Asian American International Film Festival, and the 3rd DC Chinese Film Festival. She is currently preparing for her first narrative feature about postpartum depression.


Alvin Tsang is a graduate of University of California, San Diego’s Visual Arts (Media) department where he also began his film career as an editing assistant for THAT’S MY FACE (2001), an award-winning film by Thomas Allen Harris (director, THROUGH A LENS DARKLY) exploring the mythical African “face” found in Brazil, East Africa and the U.S. Tsang edited Josiah Lee’s HANDLING THE A.M. (2006), a short film about the absurdity and falsity of Asian American stereotypes, and Robert E. Holley’s HIV/AIDS awareness film, LOVE ME THROUGH IT (2008). He served as co-producer and assistant editor for Ermena Vinluan’s award-winning documentary, TEA & JUSTICE (2007), about the first female Asian-American NYPD officers on the force. Also co-produced with Vinluan, Tsang shot and edited a documentary short profiling legendary independent film director John Sayles’s making of his film AMIGO (2010) about the Philippine-American War. He serves as a video documentarian for the pioneering composer-singer-choreographer-filmmaker Meredith Monk and has created promos for several Michael Kors’s fashion collections. Tsang’s other films include the shorts FISH (2010) and PRESERVATION (2011). REUNIFICATION (2015) is his first feature.


Muna Tseng was born and raised in Hong Kong. In Canada she began her modern dance training at age 13 with Magda and Gertrude Hanova, disciples of Mary Wigman and with Heather McCallum who worked with Anna Halprin. Invited to New York by Jean Erdman after graduating from University of British Columbia, Tseng was a principal dancer in Erdman and her husband and mythologist Joseph Campbell’s Theatre of the Open Eye from 1978 to 1985, inherited many of Erdman’s seminal roles, dancing to originally commissioned music by John Cage, Teiji Ito, Lou Harrison, Louis Horst. She founded Muna Tseng Dance Projects in New York City in 1984, has created over 40 productions and performed in over 30 cities and festivals in 15 countries. She has won a Bessie: New York Dance & Performance Award; repeat Choreographic Fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and has been honored as "Artist of National Merit" from The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. "Best Choreography” for The Silver River in Philadelphia's 2000 theater season, the Manhattan Borough President’s Award for "Distinguished Service in the Arts," and the “Chinese American Cultural Pioneers Award for Excellence in the Arts” from New York City Council President Andrew Stein.


Mingmei Yip received her PhD in musicology from the University of Paris (Sorbonne) on a scholarship from the French Government. A master performer on the qin, she has given lectures and recitals at venues such as Columbia University, Oxford University, Beijing University, the University of Paris, Amsterdam University, Oberlin Conservatory, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the China Institute in New York.

Mingmei is also a writer, her literary career began at fourteen when her essay about art was published in a literary magazine.  She has published fourteen books, with two on the qin. Her latest being her 7th novel The Witch’s Market (Kensington Books) which received a glowing review from the New York Times and her 2nd children’s book Grandma Panda’s China Storybook  (Tuttle Publishing, 2014) which she both wrote and illustrated. She wrote columns for seven major newspapers and has appeared on over 40 TV and radio programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and the United States. Her poems were published and performed in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.S.

Mingmei is also accomplished as a painter and calligrapher. A one-person show of her paintings of Guan Yin (the Chinese Goddess of Compassion) and calligraphy was held at the New York Open Center Gallery in SoHo in 2002. This exhibit was the subject of a full hour special program on CHN cable in New Jersey

Mingmei was a professor of music in Hong Kong, and in 2005, an International Institute of Asian Studies fellow in Holland. She has taught qin playing and calligraphy at two major Hong Kong Universities.



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