AAASI is Hiring!

The UConn English Department and the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute are seeking a jointly appointed tenure-track assistant professor in twentieth- to twenty-first-century Asian American Literary and Cultural Studies. Further areas of focus might include American Studies; Southeast Asian Studies; critical refugee studies; diaspora and migration; transnational, transhemispheric, and transpacific studies; graphic narrative and new media; critical ethnic studies and comparative ethnic studies; medical humanities; queer studies; or racism and antiracism.


In addition to excellence in research, the successful candidate will demonstrate a strong commitment to pedagogy and will be expected to teach in both undergraduate and graduate programs. There will be opportunities to create new courses at all levels of University instruction. This position will be based at the Storrs campus, with tenure home in the English Department.

The English Department is home to more than 60 full-time faculty members whose engaged teaching, scholarly reputations, publications, and creative work help make UConn one of the top public research institutions in the nation. The English Department also has a vibrant Ph.D. and MA program.  The Asian and Asian American Studies Institute (AAASI) at the University of Connecticut is a multidisciplinary research and teaching program. Distinguished by its global, diasporic, national, regional, and transnational orientations, the Institute brings two traditionally distinct fields of inquiry together in dynamic conversation: Asian Studies and Asian American Studies.

The English Department and the AAASI are especially interested in attracting and hiring faculty who represent the diversity of the student body, as well as those with a demonstrated and ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This hire will build on recent cluster hires of research-active faculty across the University engaged in racism and antiracism studies, diaspora studies, transnational studies, and critical ethnic studies.

Required Qualifications

Completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. (or international equivalent) in English, Comparative Literature, Asian American Studies, Ethnic Studies, American Studies, or a related field by the start date of employment.

A strong record of, or demonstrated potential for, research excellence in the field of twentieth- and twenty-first century Asian American literary and cultural studies.

Demonstrated ability to teach at the college or university level.

Evidence of a deep commitment to supporting diversity, inclusion, and equity in a higher education setting.


Preferred Qualifications

Demonstration of or interest in publicly engaged scholarship.

An interest in engaging with local and/or national community organizations in relevant areas of expertise.

Experience teaching in the field of Asian American literary and/or cultural studies.

Appointment Terms

This is a full-time, 9-month, tenure-track position with an anticipated start date of August 23, 2024. The standard teaching expectation is two courses per semester. The University offers a highly competitive salary, commensurate with qualifications and experience, as well as excellent benefits.


Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, writing sample between 20-30 pages, diversity statement, and teaching statement to Husky Hire at Additionally, please follow the instructions in Academic Jobs Online to direct three reference writers to submit letters of recommendation on your behalf through that web portal (do not send directly to the Director, Head, or other individuals at UConn). Review of applications will begin immediately. For full consideration, online applications should be received no later than October 30 2023. For further information, please review the English Department website: and the AAASI website:

Candidates may be asked to submit additional materials, such as syllabi and/or teaching portfolio, at a later stage of the search.

For questions about this position, please contact the search co-chairs Martha Cutter ( or Jason Oliver Chang (


Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.


This position will be filled subject to budgetary approval. Ph.D. must be in hand by August 23, 2024.


All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at


The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.


Operation Babylift: An Adoptee’s Perspectives on the Vietnam War

Operation Babylift Poster

Operation Babylift

Mahli Xuan Mechenbier was adopted from South Vietnam through Operation Babylift after an American missionary nun found her next to a road outside of Saigon. Often categorized as a “humanitarian mission” by the United States government, Operation Babylift—which evacuated over 3,000 children during and after the Fall of Saigon—can also be characterized as controversial as definitions of “refugee,” “adoption,” and “identity” are evaluated and scrutinized. 

Come share the experiences of an adoptee who arrived to the United States on the Lift and participate in a discussion regarding citizenship, ethnicity, and perspective. 

Mahli Xuan Mechenbier

Mahli Xuan Mechenbier teaches Technical Writing, Professional Writing, Introduction to LGBT Literature, and College Writing at Kent State University: Geauga. Mahli graduated with a Master of Arts in English Literature from John Carroll University and a Juris Doctor from The University of Akron. She was the recipient of the College of Arts & Sciences 43rd annual Distinguished Teacher Award in 2012.

Her research interests include asynchronous online tone and communication methods; how academic administrations manage and budget distance learning; the unionization of professors; and the employment conditions and intellectual property rights of contingent faculty members. She enjoys teaching the professional aspects of writing and stresses the importance of word choice, soft skills, and accurate language delivery in her classes. Prof. Mechenbier has been teaching at Kent State University since 2003.

When? March 23rd, 5:00pm

Where? Asian American Cultural Center (Student Union 424)

Upcoming Book Talk: “The Cultivated Forest”

UConn’s History Department and Asian and Asian American Institute present an East Asia Workshop Series Book Talk via Zoom on February 17, 2023 from 3:00-4:00pm EST.

Book Talk Poster

The book, “The Cultivated Forest: People and Woodlands in Asian History,” synthesizes multiple perspectives on Asian forests from early history to the near present.

Join editors and speakers Ian M. Miller (St. John’s University), Bradley Camp Davis (Eastern Connecticut State University), Brian Lander (Brown University), and John S. Lee (Durham University).

Register in advance via the QR code, or click here. 

Film Screening: Chinatown Rising

Film Screening: Chinatown Rising

Film Screening PosterAAASI presents a UConn Honors screening of the Chinatown Rising documentary on March 1, 2023 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center. There will be a Q&A with Co-Director Josh Chuck after the screening.

About the film:

Against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-1960s, a young San Francisco Chinatown resident armed with a 16mm camera and leftover film scraps from a local TV station, turned his lens onto his community. Totaling more than 20,000 feet of film (10 hours), Harry Chuck’s exquisite unreleased footage has captured a divided community’s struggles for self-determination. Chinatown Rising is a documentary film about the Asian American Movement from the perspective of the young residents on the front lines of their historic neighborhood in transition. Through publicly challenging the conservative views of their elders, their demonstrations and protests of the 1960s-1980s rattled the once quiet streets during the community’s shift in power. Forty-five years later, in intimate interviews these activists recall their roles and experiences in response to the need for social change.

New AAPI Advisory Board


The Asian American Studies Institute is partnered with the State Department of Education to collaboratively build a new set of resources, lessons, and professional development pathways that create confidence and competence in teaching the global, national, and local dimensions of Asian American and Pacific Islander history, culture, and politics. 

We are constituting a K-12 AAPI Advisory Board co-chaired by Gurmeet Singh and AASI Director Jason Chang to work to make our state’s K-12 curriculum more inclusive.

To learn more about the Advisory Board and its members, click here. 

Research Slam

 AASI Research SlamAd for Staff Research Slam

Want to learn more about minoring in Asian & Asian American Studies? Make sure to check out the faculty research slam featuring Jason Oliver Chang, Alexis Dudden, and Jungmin Song.

When? Tuesday, November 15th

Where? SU 424 from 12:45-1:45pm.

Nazrul Committee of Connecticut

Nazrul Committee of Connecticut / Nazrul Endowment Program

Since 2006, the Nazrul Committee of Connecticut has planned, organized, and hosted events guided by the spirit, example, and scholarship of internationally known and globally recognized activist/scholar/poet/philosopher Kazi Nazrul Islam, the first poet laureate of Bangladesh.

From symposia to lectures, from poetry readings to play performances, the Nazrul Committee of Connecticut endeavors to make relevant, visible, and urgent Kazi Nazrul Islam’s work with regard to equality, social justice, peace, and human rights.

In 2011, the Nazrul Committee of Connecticut – in partnership with the UConn Asian American Cultural Center and the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute – embarked on a highly successful fundraising campaign intended to institutionalize its programmatic and scholarly vision with regard to commemorating and contemplating Kazi Nazrul Islam’s legacy. 2012 marked the inaugural year for the Nazrul Endowment Program, which annually funds scholarly lectures, creative arts programs, and other human rights initiatives.

Please visit our website for more detailed information. To support the Nazrul Fund at UConn, please click here.

Guest Lecture: Is Giving Birth Comparable to Writing Books?

Is Giving Birth Comparable to Writing Books? Informational FlyerIs Giving Birth Comparable to Writing Books?

Join Dr. Noelle Leslie dela Cruz’s guest lecture on Thursday, October 13th from 2:00-2:50pm in Austin 108. The lecture will also be livestreamed here.

Noelle Leslie dela Cruz is Full Professor of Philosophy at De La Salle University (Manila). Her recent publications are Philosophy of the Human Person: Giving Meaning to Life (Oxford, 2020) and Sisyphus on the Penrose Stairs: Meta-Reveries (Vagabond Press, 2017). Leslie’s poetry collection won First Prize in Poetry (English) at the 67th Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the most prestigious national literary award in the Philippines. Her research and teaching areas include existential phenomenology, philosophy of literature, and feminist philosophy.

Helen Zia: Guest Speaker, October 4th

Flyer for October 4th EventTuesday, October 4th

Join writer, activist, and Fulbright Scholar Helen Zia at 6:00pm in the Hartford Infinity Hall.

Zia’s first book, Asian American Dreams, chronicled the emergence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in contemporary America. Her latest book, Last Boat out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chines who Fled Mao’s Revolution, was named an NPR best book of 2019. Zia is also an activist against anti-Asian violence featured in the award winning film Who Killed Vincent Chin?