Evening Lecture Series

2017 - 2018 Biographies

Laura Atkins is an author, teacher, and independent children’s book editor with over twenty years of editorial experience. She worked at Children’s Book Press, Orchard Books, and Lee and Low Books, helping to produce winners of the Coretta Scott King Award and American Library Association Notable Book selections, among others. She taught creative writing at the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature (NCRCL) in London, where she also received her M.A. in children’s literature, and she completed her M.F.A. in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2016. In addition to cowriting Fred Korematsu Speaks UpLaura is the author of the lighthearted picture book Sled Dog Dachshund (Minted Prose Press). Passionate about diversity and equity in children’s books, Laura is based in Berkeley, California, where she lives with her daughter.


Raymond Fong received his M.A. degree in Anthropology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and B.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of Arizona. Raymond has been a student of Chinese martial arts for over a decade and has traveled to the Peoples Republic of China multiple times to expand his martial arts knowledge. His research interests include minority student achievement, community forces, and cultural imports/exports.


Valerie Francisco-Menchavez is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at San Francisco State University. Dr. Francisco’s academic interests include: global and transnational sociology, migration and immigration studies, diaspora with a special interest on the Philippine migration, gender and the family, racial and ethnic relations in the U.S., labor, transnational social movements with regard to migrant workers, and international political economy. Her book, The Labor of Care: Filipina Migrants and Transnational Families in a Digital Age (University of Illinois Press, Spring 2018), explores the dynamics of gender and technology of care work in Filipino transnational families in the Philippines and the U.S.

Dr. Francisco research program includes a transnational study of Filipino migrant mothers in New York City and their families left behind in Manila, and participatory action research with Filipino immigrants working as caregivers in the U.S. In journals such as Critical Sociology, Working USA, The Philippine Sociological Review and International Review of Qualitative Research, Dr. Francisco also writes on the transnational activism that emerges from the social conditions of migration, separation and migrant labor.

Dr. Francisco has been awarded the 2015 Pacific Sociological Association’s Distinguished Contribution to Sociological Praxis Award and has been named one of the ten national finalists for the 2014 Lynton Award Scholarship of Engagement for Early Scholars by the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE). 


Bogdan Heretoiu has studied Film and Theater Directing in Romania, Europe, and Film Production in the United States. Currently focusing on documentary projects exploring meaningful ideas and subjects, Heretoiu also uses his 35 years of martial arts training and teaching experience to lead an adaptive martial arts program intended to help kids and young adults who have experienced trauma or are experiencing various developmental challenges.


Tarry Hum is a Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College/CUNY and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood: Brooklyn's Sunset Park which received a 2015 Honorable Mention for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning's Paul Davidoff Award. Hum is co-editing a forthcoming volume from Temple University Press, Immigrant Crossroads: Globalization, Incorporation, and Placemaking in Queens, NY.


Doreen Liou, EdD, RDN, is currently associate professor at Montclair State University in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in nutrition education and social marketing of health behaviors. Her research interests include applications of social psychological theories of health behavior in Chinese Americans and nutrition education of minority populations.  She holds a doctorate degree in nutrition education from Teachers College/Columbia University.


Asha Nadkarni is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director of English at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She received her B.A. in Gender and Women's Studies from Connecticut College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Brown University.

Prof. Nadkarni’s research and teaching interests include postcolonial literature and theory, transnational feminist theory, U.S. empire studies, and Asian American studies, with an emphasis on the literatures and cultures of the South Asian diaspora. Her book, Eugenic Feminism: Reproductive Nationalism in the United States and India (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), traces connections between U.S. and Indian nationalist feminisms to suggest that both launch their claims to feminist citizenship based on modernist constructions of the reproductive body as the origin of the nation.

Prof. Nadkarni is working on a second book project, tentatively titled From Opium to Outsourcing, that focuses on representations of South Asian labor in a global context.


Diana Pan is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College/CUNY. Dr. Pan’s research interests intersect race/ethnicity, immigrant adaptation, culture, and professions. She is currently working on two separate, yet intertwined projects, examining inequality, writ large. One project looks at race and racism within the professions, and another interrogates the culture and processes of recovery for drug addicts. 


Kyunghee Pyun is an Assistant Professor in the History of Art Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. Her scholarship focuses on history of collecting, reception of Asian art, diaspora of Asian artists, and Asian American visual culture. Her research is published in the following papers: Asian Art in the Eyes of American Collectors: Antimodernism and Exotic Desire“A Journey through the Silk Road in a Cosmopolitan Classroom”; and “Collectors of Asian Crafts in North America: Passion for Porcelain.”

Her forthcoming book, Fashion, Identity, Power in Modern Asia focuses on modernized dress in the early 20th-century Asia and will be published by the Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. As a liaison for Fashion Institute of Technology, she also worked with the National Museum of American Indian for a symposium, Native/ American Fashion: Inspiration, Appropriation, and Cultural Identity in conjunction with Native Fashion Now held at the National Museum of American Indian, Smithsonian Institutes and at two other museums in the US in 2016-2017.

She co-organized an international conference entitled Documenting Korean Costume: Primary Sources and New Interpretations funded by the Academy of Korean Studies and hosted at the Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, Long Island on 24-25 March 2017 (Organizers: Jinyoung Jin and Kyunghee Pyun). This is developed into a book project and being reviewed by several publishers.

She was a Leon Levy fellow in the Center for the History of Collecting at the Frick Collection and works on a book project entitled Discerning Languages for Exotic: Collecting Asian Art. She serves as a member in the Diversity Council at Fashion Institute of Technology and created an interactive website to teach diverse techniques of Asian art called the Bamboo Canvas funded by the State University of New York, Innovative Instructional Technology Grant in 2016-2017 (tier 1 for up to $10,000) and 2017-2018 (tier 3 for up to $60,000).

She received her B.A. in archaeology and art history from Seoul National University and M.A. & Ph.D. in history of art from New York University.


Sujani K. Reddy is the 2017-2018 Thomas Tam Visiting Professor of Asian American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Reddy’s work focuses on histories of U.S. imperialism, immigration, and South Asian diaspora, as well as mass criminalization, immigrant rights, transnational feminism, and struggles for liberation. She is the author of Nursing & Empire: Gendered Labor and Migration from India to the United States (UNC Press, 2015) and co-editor of The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power (NYU Press, 2013). Both books are also published in South Asia by Orient BlackSwan.


Geoffrey Redmond is a medical doctor and China scholar with many publications to his credit. Educated at Cornell, the University of Virginia, and Columbia, he has spent more than twenty years studying the I Ching and lecturing on it throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.


Charles A. Riley II, PhD is the director of the Nassau County Museum of Art and a professor at Clarkson University. He is the author of the recently published book Free as Gods: How the Jazz Age Re-invented Modernism (University Press of New England) as well as 31 other books and numerous articles for such magazines as Art & Auction, Art & Antiques and Fortune. He has curated exhibitions in Taiwan (at the Chimei Museum), Berlin, Amsterdam and New York, and is a regular art critic reviewing for the web site, hamptonsarthub.com.


Sharmila Rudrappa is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Asian American Studies, at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Prof. Rudrappa teaches on, and researches issues related to gender, race, and labor in the U.S. and India. She is author of Discounted Life: The Price of Global Surrogacy in India (New York University Press, 2015). She is also the author of Ethnic Routes to Becoming American: Indian Immigrants and the Cultures of Citizenship (Rutgers University Press, 2004).

Dr. Rudrappa's current research projects are on how markets develop in human materials, specifically from women's bodies, whether it is reproductive services such as pregnancy, breast milk, or human hair. 


Navin Kumar Singh is an Assistant Professor of Education and Academic Literacy at Bronx Community/CUNY, and also serves as a reviewer of multiple international journals. Dr. Singh has published and presented around the world on a broad range of topics including English language education, literacy/reading, bilingual and multicultural education, multi-ethnic diversity, social justice and equity, globalization, higher education, human rights, child rights, indigenous people and communities, and other contemporary educational issues.

Dr. Singh is professionally affiliated with TESOL International Association, the American Education Research Association, and Golden Key International Honor Society. The recipient of several awards and scholarships, Dr. Singh most recently received the Golden Key International Honor Society's Graduate Scholar Award for the US in 2011.


Ming Xia is a Professor of Political Science at the College of Staten Island/CUNY, and a doctoral facul­ty member at the CUNY Graduate Center. Dr. Xia previously taught at Fudan University (1988-1991) and served as a residential research fellow at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University (2003), and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2004). At the National University of Singapore, he worked as a visiting research fellow (2004) and a senior visiting research fel­low (2011) at the East Asian Institute, and a visiting senior research fellow (2012) at the Asian Research Institute.

Dr. Xia’s research interests include political governance and transition in China, organized crime, inter­national political economy, globalization, Asian women in politics, and a comparison of China and India.


Stan Yogi is the coauthor, with Elaine Elinson, of Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California. He managed development programs for the ACLU of Northern California for fourteen years and is the coeditor of two books, Highway 99: A Literary Journey through California's Great Central Valley and Asian American Literature: An Annotated Bibliography. His work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, MELUS, Los Angeles Daily Journal, and several anthologies. He is married to nonprofit administrator David Carroll and lives in Los Angeles.



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