I want to update you on the status of A/PIA Studies. You may have read the Michigan Daily’s most recent stories referencing our program. There were a number of inaccuracies and false assertions regarding the the number of faculty, courses taught, budget and even the lack of a logo for A/PIA Studies in these stories that painted the program as one in disarray. I would like to set the record straight so that you know the true status of our program.
I especially want you to know that our program is thriving. We have the highest number of faculty members ever, since the program’s establishment in 1989. With the arrival of a newly recruited faculty member in Fall 2018, we will have a core faculty of eight within American Culture, as well as 17 faculty associates from across campus. This past couple of years we organized many well-attended events that showcased cutting-edge research, community-based work, and A/PIA initiatives at the UM. This includes the UM Asian/Pacific Islander American Summit attended by a large contingent of undergraduates, graduate students, staff, faculty, Deans and UM Executive Officers held in the Michigan Union in March, 2017 that was organized by Prof. Amy Stillman who was the Director of the program in 2017.
This Winter semester we offered 8 courses, which is comparable to the offerings made by the program in past years. A recent lecture on Southeast Asian refugees in a core A/PIA course was filmed by C-SPAN to air on its “Lectures in American History” series later this year. Next Fall we will launch a new course that combines hands-on community action with classroom study and discussion of topics germane to A/PIA and our sister program, Arab and Muslim American Studies.
Our budget is the same as the other three Ethnic Studies Program housed in the Department of American Culture, all of which sponsor talks, events, and work closely with faculty, staff and students.
Finally, we most certainly do have a logo, which we display prominently and proudly!
John Y. Kuwada
Department of American Culture
Director, Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies