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Archived Projects

Asian and Asian American Faculty in LSA: A Glass Ceiling?

Directed by Susan Najita and Amy Stillman

A roundtable discussion organized by A/PIA Studies and co-sponsored by UMʻs National Center for Institutional Diversity. This event brought together UM faculty who reported on statistical evidence demonstrating the near invisibility of Asian American faculty in academic leadership positions, on our campus and nationally. Presentations also discussed barriers unique to Asian American faculty, and perceptions of marginality in campus-wide discussions on diversity, equity and inclusion. A lively discussion brought forth more anecdotal evidence as well as calls to action.

Dean Andrew Martin delivered opening remarks, and Vice Provost Rob Sellers offered closing thoughts on moving forward. Participating faculty included Amy Westmoreland Ko and (in absentia) Fiona Lee (Psychology), John Kuwada (Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology), San Duanmu (Linguistics), Leela Fernandes (Womens Studies and Political Science), Evans Young (LSA Assistant Dean), and Amy Stillman (American Culture).

Click here to view the video of the event.

Papakū Makawalu: An Indigenous Ecology of the Hawaiian Hula ArtsKekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani & Kaumakaiwa Kanaka‘ole

Directed by Amy Stillman

Papakū Makawalu was a series of events--a major concert and 3 workshops--designed to foster interdisciplinary exploration of indigenous cultural ecology and epistemology through the lens of artistic performance. In the last decade we have witnessed the blossoming indigenous theorizing of land-based epistemologies.  However, this emergence could not have occurred without the continuance and renaissance of indigenous cultural and artistic practices that occurred since the 1970s.  In this series we brought together these two formations: epistemology and practice. The Pacific Islands region has been especially active in fostering distinct worldviews in which artistic expression and environmental knowledge are holistically integrated. Kekuhi and Kaumaka‘iwa, mother and daughter, are cultural leaders in both the stewardship of inherited traditions and its leverage in transforming disciplinary knowledges in the academy and beyond.  The series focused on the question: How can engagement with contemporary practices of deeply-rooted Hawaiian mele (song) and hula (dance) inspire recognition of symbiotic interdependence between people and the environment?

This project was funded by the King Chavez Parks Visiting Professors Program in the Office of the Provost, Asian/ Pacific Islander American Studies, Department of American Culture, Native American Studies, the Center for World Performance Studies, the English Department, Arts at Michigan, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, College of LS&A, International Institute, Rackham Graduate School, and the Office of the Senior Vice Provost. 

Canoe Crossings

Directed by Vicente M. Diaz and the late Hap McCue (Native American Studies)

Organized in collaboration with Native American Studies faculty and graduate students, Canoe Crossings is a cultural and educational exchange program between Pacific Islands and Great Lake Native American canoebuilders, scholars, and cultural workers. Launched in the summer of 2005, Prof. Vicente Diaz led a delegation of Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Odawa and Cherokee to Guam and Hawai'i to meet with navigators and canoe-builders, community activists and Islander scholars. The next phase will bring Pacific Islanders to Great Lakes Native communities to deepen this unprecedented cultural and educational exchange.

Michigan Funding for Canoe Crossings comes from the Arts of Citizenship Program, Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, Native American Studies, the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic and Multicultural Affairs, and the Department of American Culture.

Detroit Chinatown Revitalization Project

Directed by Scott Kurashige and Emily P. Lawsin

Our community partners are Detroit Summer, the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, Association of Chinese Americans, American Citizens for Justice/Asian American Center for Justice. In 2004, we established the Detroit Asian Youth (DAY) mentorship project, which operates both as a Summer Intensive and a Year-Round Mentoring program. We have produced a Community Mural, have organized exhibits, and are conducting ongoing collection of oral histories of Asian/Pacific Islander American residents in Detroit. University of Michigan funding was provided by a Michigan Roads Scholar Grant.

Filipino American Oral History Project Michigan

Directed by Emily P. Lawsin and Joseph A. Galura

This project is a collective effort between University of Michigan faculty, students, staff, and community members. Our project aims to document the history of Pinays—Filipino American women—and Pinoys—Filipino American men, with a special focus on those who migrated and settled in the Midwestern United States. Through team-taught, service-learning courses in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies (AMCULT 310 "Filipino American Experience" and AMCULT 305 "Asian/Pacific Islander American Community Service and Learning," students have collected hundreds of photographs, life histories, and artifacts since the project's inception in 2001. We have partnered with various organizations: the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), Ma'arte Tribe Artists Collective, the Philippine Study Group Association (PSG), the Filipino American Students Association (FASA), the Philippine Historical Society, the Filipino Women's Club of Detroit, Paaralang Pilipino Language & Culture School, and the Philippine American Community Center of Michigan (PACCM), teaching K-12 students and elders how to preserve their history. Students and project volunteers have also traveled to different conferences and campuses around the country, stressing to others the importance of documenting our histories. In 2002, we published the first book on Asian Americans of Detroit, titled Filipino Women in Detroit, 1945-1955: Oral Histories from the Filipino American Oral History Project of Michigan. University of Michigan Sponsors include the Arts of Citizenship Program; the Center for Research, Larning, and Teaching; Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning; Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies; the Department of American Culture; the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and the Department of Women's Studies. University of Michigan and Community Partners include: Bentley Historical Library, Lisa Hunter, Ma'arte Tribe Artists Collective, United Asian American Organizations.