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2021-2022 SCHARP Grant Artist-in-Residence: Andrea Chung and Tao Leigh Goffe

Announcing the 2021-2022 Artist-In-Residence duo ANDREA CHUNG and Professor TAO LEIGH GOFFE

Andrea Chung lives and works in San Diego, California. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design, New York, and a Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. Her recent biennale and museum exhibitions include Prospect 4, New Orleans and the Jamaican Biennale, Kingston, Jamaica, as well as the Chinese American Museum and California African American Museum in Los Angeles, and the San Diego Art Institute. In 2017, her first solo museum exhibition took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, You broke the ocean in half to be here. She has participated in national and international residencies including the Vermont Studio Center, McColl Center for Visual Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been written about in the Artfile Magazine, New Orleans Times, Picayune, Artnet, Los Angeles Times, and International Review of African-American Art, as well as a number of academic essays looking at the subject of colonialism and slavery in the Caribbean.

Tao Leigh Goffe was born in the U.K. and is based in New York City. She received a Bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a Doctorate from Yale University.  Her work negotiates her own and other haunted legacies of Atlantic crossings. She is a sound artist, curator, and writer who specializes in spatial design and virtual environments. Her curatorial and performance work has been featured at gallery and archive spaces in Harlem, New York and the Netherlands. Her practice explores the narratives that emerge from histories of race, colonialism, and technology. She is also an assistant professor of Afro-Asian studies and gender at Cornell University where she teaches literatures and theories of labor that center Black feminist engagements with Indigeneity and Asian diasporic racial formations. Committed to forming intellectual communities beyond institutions, she is the founder of the Dark Laboratory, an engine for the study of race, technology, and ecology through digital storytelling (virtual reality (VR) extended reality (XR)) and the Afro-Asia Group, a collective for African and Asian diasporic collaboration. 


Proposal / Artist Statement

Ferment. will explore cultural preservation, specifically the spaces in which Afro-Asian culture is preserved in the Caribbean and its diaspora. On a micro and macro level, we will examine the historical processes through which cultural memory is produced. We will create a new body of work based on our collective research on overseas Chinese commercial spaces, including shops, as contact zones of cultural, racial mixture and new possibility. Together we will draw on archival records, photography, artifacts, and other material objects collected on travels over the years to Mauritius, the Netherlands, Suriname, London, and Trinidad.


The Caribbean is a crucible of Amerindian, African, Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, and European entangled histories born from colonial plantation beginnings. The region was a major sugar exporter where large numbers of enslaved Africans and then indentured laborers from India, China, Southeast Asia, and Africa lived and labored together on and after the brutality of the plantation regime. Distinct and overlapping histories of colonialism formed new cultures through which the Caribbean disrupts and decenters Europe in everyday Caribbean rituals of eating, leisure, and worship.


The disjointing of European colonialism caused collisions of people from disparate cultures, religions, and practices, each attempting to preserve their own heritage in everyday acts. We examine the tensions and intimacies formed when people struggle to maintain tradition amid the birth of new modern subjects with competing racial and ethnic allegiances.


This new installation will be both virtual and physical on-site in Connecticut. It will feature sound sculptural elements that we will create incorporating multimedia technologies such as virtual reality and projection mapping to show how memory is activated through various sensorial triggers. We will explore cultural objects and artifacts that are coded as Black and Asian and the methods of food preservation native to the Caribbean and especially pirate culture.  African and Asian practices of salting and pickling are as significant as archival and other modes of colonial preservations in museums. Fermentation as an analytic and conceptual framework will be the lens we use to explore Afro-Chinese histories and futures.


Small retail Chinese shops are also a major recurring theme in our exploration of Afro-Asian intimacies and our Caribbean cultural heritage. Inspired by Patricia Powell’s novel The Pagoda that tells the story of a Chinese shopkeeper who lives in nineteenth-century rural Jamaica, we explore the quotidian, conjugal, and commercial relationships between Black patrons and Chinese merchants across time. In Ferment., we will design a multimedia, multisensorial virtual space that will function as a digital archive for recording these missing histories of African and Asian diasporic intersections.


We want the viewer to question how meaning is made and who preserves it. We are interested in creating a cross-cultural and global dialogue surrounding not only the ways in which histories are written preserved, but also in who’s making the decisions to preserve them and the politics and transactions behind their acquisition.

AAASI’s Illuminating Resilience Project

Want to see the work some students have done with the mental health and arts initiative involving the COVID-19 pandemic?

See this page, linked here!

“Academic Integrity at Stake: The Ramseyer Article – Four Letters” edited by Alexis Dudden

Alexis Dudden is Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. Her most recent book, Troubled Apologies, interrogates the interplay between political apology and apologetic history among Japan, Korea, and the United States.She is currently working on a project examining Japan’s territorial disputes. [...]

Visit to read more!

Asian Americans are not silent. So many of us in the community are actively fighting injustices and anti-racism. However, historically, we have always been silenced, which gives the incredibly false interpretation that all Asian Americans are passive & do not care. Let's talk.

Join UConn Faculty, Staff, Graduate, Undergraduate, and Alumni Asian Americans to unlearn and relearn about each other.

Recording of the event

We thank the over 800 attendees for coming to this event!

Resources to continue the conversation:

  • Introducing Cynthia Gao
    Cynthia Yuan Gao is a PhD Candidate in American Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Her dissertation concerns the influence of revolutionary Asia on radical movements in the United States from the 1960s to the end of the Cold War. The dissertation examines three radical groups – the […]
    Posted on September 22, 2021
  • Alumni Spotlight: Allison Zhang
    My name is Allison Zhang, and I am about to graduate from the University of Connecticut with a double major in Psychological Sciences and Human Development & Family Sciences. I am very excited to say that I am starting my Masters in Social Work at Columbia University this fall. This next step is truly a […]
    Posted on May 13, 2021

The AAASI Activist-In-Residence Program Adds Another Member

We welcome JHD (Jennifer Heikkila Díaz) as the 21-22 Activist in residence.

JHD (she/her or they/them) identifies as Korean American, Asian American, and biracial. For over two decades, she/they has worked in coalition with students, families, and school-based staff, pursuing educational equity–most of those years as a teacher, in school administration, and instructional coaching, and some of those years in education nonprofit work. She/they has had the privilege of supporting and partnering with thousands of students, families, teachers, and school leaders.  Currently, JHD works at New Haven Promise as the Chief of Talent & Operations and at Fund for Teachers CT as a Program Officer.  She/they is part of the CT Anti-Racist Teaching & Learning Collective, and is the co-founder of aapiNHV. She/they spends as much time as possible with young people, including her/their children, Magdalena and Gabriela.

Their residency will support K-12 teacher outreach and resource development for the Make Us Visible CT campaign to build capacity in the Connecticut school system to develop a robust and inclusive Asian American and Pacific Islander curriculum.

We're proud to continue Mike Keo's residency as well.

Meet Mike Keo, founder of the #IAMNOTAVIRUS Campaign was also a founding member of the Make Us Visible CT which successfully campaigned in the Connecticut state legislature to mandate the State Department of Education to create a K-8 Asian American and Pacific Islander model curriculum.

Read about the campaign, and find our resources here.

A Warm Welcome to Our Newest Core Faculty Member – Assistant Professor Hana Maruyama

We are thrilled to welcome Professor Hana Maruyama to UConn this fall as Assistant Professor of History jointly appointed with the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. A specialist in Digital Public History, she is part of this year’s exciting cluster hire in Anti-Racism and Anti-Bias. Professor Maruyama brings an impressive array of skills, strengths, and research and teaching interests which will advance our work in digital, public, Asian-American, Native American, and US history. She will also play an important role in the Department of History’s EPOCH program, the joint minor in Digital Public History being developed with Digital Media and Design, and the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute’s K-12 curriculum initiative and commitment to teaching anti-racism.

Hana C. Maruyama is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a graduate minor in Heritage Studies and Public History. This August she defends her dissertation, “AlienNation: The Role of Japanese American World War II Incarceration in Native Dispossession.” Her work on Japanese American World War II incarceration, how it relied on and reproduced settler colonial logics, and how it impacted American Indian and Alaska Native people. She is the co-creator/producer of Campu, a podcast created in partnership with the Japanese American oral history organization Densho. She formerly worked for American Public Media’s Order 9066, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center. She is yonsei (or fourth generation Japanese American) on her father’s side, with family incarcerated at Heart Mountain, Gila River, and Jerome.


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Meet The Director!

Jason Chang
Associate Professor of History and Director of the AAASI
(Bri Diaz/UConn Photo)

Welcome to the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. Read Jason Chang's message here.


Contact US

For more information about the program, please contact Jason Chang, director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, at or (860) 486-5717.

For all other inquiries, please contact the CLAS Business Center at or (860) 486-1231.


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UConn Alum, Ryan Verano on Student Union lawnAn interview conducted by Jason O. Chang, director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, with Ryan Verano ’18 (CLAS), a UConn economics major and Asian American studies minor, on his mission in the healthcare field.

Read the interview here.