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To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Hart-Cellar Act, the groundbreaking immigration and naturalization reform of 1965, the Global Borders Research Collaborative in GSL hosted a meeting of the New England Pacific Consortium on campus on Saturday, October 3.
Organized by Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Heather Lee, and cosponsored with funding from the SHASS/Mellon Professional Development , the meeting focused on digital research and teaching in Asian American Studies. Pacific New England is a collective of locally-based academics who teach and research on transnational Asian American Studies. The aim of the the gathering was to exchange ideas and resources about Asian American Studies in a digital age; share current digital projects, technology-based learning platforms, and digital classroom assignments.
This half-day event featured special presentations by Professors Henry Yu and Chris Lee on digital Chinese-Canadian history projects and a participant-led workshop on digital syllabi and assignments.
Henry Yu presented Present Tense: Chinese Migrations and the Making of Pacific Futures, sharing his research on the rise of the “Cantonese Pacific” and how history-making has become a political activity of broad civic importance in British Columbia in the present moment of tension over the rise of China as a global superpower. Yu is Principal of the St John Graduate College and Association Professor of History, University of British Columbia.
Chris Lee presented Asian Canadian Studies: Networks, Programs, and Prospects, covering network building in the field as well as institutional developments. He framed these developments within some broader issues about the educational institution in Canada. Lee is Director of Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program, Associate Professor of English, University of British Columbia
Thirty-five attendees from twelve institutions of higher education across New England participated in this event. Jason Oliver Chang, professor of history at University of Connecticut, described the workshop as a “thoughtful and productive space for regional scholars.”
For Feng-Mei Heberer, Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT, the workshop offered methods and lessons for “archiving Asian American stories in and beyond the classroom.” Other attendees valued the demonstration of technology in the classroom. Loan Dao, professor of sociology at University of Massachusetts, Boston, appreciated the lessons about technological innovations in the classroom.