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Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month

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May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month—a time to honor and recognize the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to the United States. The “AAPI” acronym is a commonly used descriptor for the millions of people of various cultures who represent a multitude of ethnicities, languages and experiences that enrich our nation. During this month of reflection, we are spotlighting some upcoming events, exhibits, stories and more that commemorate and explore the vibrant cultures and rich heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

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Events and Exhibits

In Austin

CelebrASIA 2022

What: Hosted by the City of Austin’s Asian American Resource Center (AARC), CelebrASIA is a family friendly festival (free and open to the public) that includes live performances, food vendors, hands-on activities and more. Go to this website for more information.
When: Saturday, May 14, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Road

Asian American Resource Center Exhibits

What: The AARC’s Community Art Exhibit Program displays artworks throughout the year that celebrate the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage, history, identity and creativity of Asian American Pacific Islanders. Go to the AARC website for more information.
When: Ongoing
Where: Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Road

Virtual and On Campus

Speaker Event: Slaves in Historic South Asia

What: Indrani Chatterjee, a history professor at UT Austin, will discuss the histories of slavery and caste in South Asia at an event hosted by the South Asia Institute.
When: Wednesday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Virtual. Go to this website for more information.

Spring 2022 GraduAsian Celebration

What: The Asian Desi Pacific Islander American Collective student agency within the MEC is hosting GraduAsian, a ceremony that commemorates the many achievements of Asian American students. Visit the GraduAsian website for more information.
When: Thursday, May 19, 4 p.m.
Where: San Jacinto Hall, Multipurpose Room
Hashtag: UTGradAsian

stories section AAPI 2022
Illustration from the “We Have Seen this Before” DDCE web feature


Celebrating the Legacy of Mari Sabusawa Michener

Visit the Blanton Museum’s blog site to read about Mari Sabusawa Michener, a second-generation Japanese American who left an indelible mark on the university and Austin community. The wife of the novelist James A. Michener, Mari played a major role in directing financial donations—eventually totaling more than $100 million—to universities and museums.

We Have Seen This Before

In this feature story published on the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement’s website, Asian American faculty, staff and students share reflections on pandemic-fueled racism—and how they are working to bring more visibility and equality to the many different groups within the monolithic “Asian American” umbrella.

The Fear of Going Outside

Ivy Le, a second-generation Vietnamese American podcaster, writer, performer and activist, shares her perspective on the status of Asian Americans in the year 2021 with a focus on the lessons this holds for those who care about mental health and building a more just and equitable future. Visit the Hogg Foundation’s Into the Fold podcast to read and hear the full story.

How We Should Respond to Anti-Asian Racism

Psychiatrist and author Ravi Chandra delves into the mental health impact of anti-Asian violence in this editorial published on the Hogg Foundation’s blog site.

Fighting Against Oblivion and Obscurity

In an editorial published on the Not Even Past website, Jian Geo, a doctoral student in the Department of History, explains why Asian American studies holds an important place in U.S. Education. 

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Campus and Community Resources

AAPI Learning and Advocacy Resources

For a broader look at AAPI history and culture, visit UT Libraries’ Asian American research guide. You can also find advocacy resources on anti-Asian violence, inclusive language, intersectionality and more on the UT Libraries’ DEI Resources page. Find more books on AAPI history and culture via the Center for Asian American Studies’ library catalog.

Communities, Books, Podcasts and More 

The Asian/Asian American Faculty and Staff Association has compiled a wealth of resources for all members of the campus community. Visit this website to peruse a comprehensive list of resources—from student and staff organizations to mental health resources to books, podcasts and films that celebrate and honor AAPI history and culture.

Asian American Voices Discussion Group

The Center for Asian American Studies has partnered with UT Counseling and Mental Health Center to offer a weekly discussion group to talk about the experiences of being an Asian American student at UT. Go here for more information. For a full list of mental health resources, visit the Counseling and Mental Health Center’s website. 

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New Books

‘Betting on the Farm’

Patricia L. Maclachlan, professor of government and Asian studies, explores  the political economy of Japanese agriculture in her new book “Betting on the Farm” (Cornell University Press, ’22).

‘Confluence and Conflict’

Brian Hurley, assistant professor of Japanese literature in the Department of Asian Studies, explores the spheres of trans war literature and thought in his new book “Confluence and Conflict” (Harvard University Press, ’22).

‘Tribe and State in Asia Through Twenty-Five Centuries’

In his new book titled ‘Tribe and State in Asia Through Twenty-Five Centuries” (Columbia University Press, ’21), Professor of History Sumit Guha explores the wide range of peoples who have been labeled “tribes” and the varied conditions of their emergence, persistence, and disappearances.