Cathy Schlund-Vials Recognized with 2017 CLAS Excellence in Research Award

The Asian/Asian American Studies Institute is very pleased to announce that its core faculty member and director CATHY SCHLUND-VIALS is the winner of the 2017 CLAS Excellence in Research Award.

CLAS Research and Staff Excellence Awards for Cathy Schlund-Vials and Fe Delos-Santos, respectively
Cathy Schlund-Vials and Fe Delos-Santos with CLAS Reseach and Staff Excellence Awards (updated 4.18.2017 Bri Diaz/UConn Photo)

Each year, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences honors its outstanding faculty and staff with a range of awards. Many recipients of CLAS faculty awards have gone on to be honored as Board of Trustees Distinguished Professors, the University’s highest academic honor.

Fellow AAASI faculty member and associate director Jason Oliver Chang shared the news to Institute colleagues as follows,

“Not only does Cathy help all of us stay on [track], she also writes and researches new work constantly — for example, forthcoming with Fordham University Press, Flashpoints for Asian American Studies. Cathy’s work is prolific but also field shaping. One thing that makes this award nice is that it is based upon nominations and evaluations by other CLAS colleagues, meaning that Cathy’s work in Ethnic Studies is respected by our peers in the Humanities at UConn.”

The College recognizes Faculty Excellence in Research and Faculty Excellence in Teaching with awards in alternating years. The recipients of the Excellence in Research awards are honored for a research program that has gained national and international distinction and impact in their field of study. Excellence in Teaching Award recipients have displayed commitment to innovative and exceptional pedagogy.  Please join us in heartily congratulating Cathy for this signal achievement!


In Memoriam GRACE LEE BOGGS (1915-2015)

Photo of Grace Lee Boggs by Grace Holland

Grass-roots organizer, philosopher, teacher and revolutionary – Grace Lee Boggs leaves the Asian American community to mourn her passing on October 5, 2015 in her beloved Detroit. She also leaves an enduring legacy of empowering the poor, the working class and communities of color, as well as the wealth of ideas and activism that ranged from civil rights, black power, environmental justice, human rights, and radical feminism.

Born to Chinese immigrants in Providence, Rhode Island she earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College (PA) in 1940. Grace moved to Detroit in 1953 and married autoworker Jimmy Boggs, an African American who was part of the great migration to the industrial cities of the North from the Jim Crow South of the time. And together, they made a formidable couple who committed their life work to the struggle for black freedom. In Thomas Sugrue’s “Postscript: Grace Lee Boggs” for The New Yorker, he writes,

“Grace was passionate but seldom dogmatic, and unlike many of her comrades she was perfectly willing to reconsider her political positions. In her view, revolution was a process, and it required improvisation and a long-term view.”

In November of 2001, the Institute and the Asian American Cultural Center scheduled to host Grace Lee Boggs at UConn to introduce her to students and her 1998 memoir Living for Change (Univ. of Minnesota Press) via the slAAm! Book Club. Unable to attend, she sent UMass-Boston’s Michael Liu in her place and he read a letter from Grace whose text is reprinted and excerpted below. Fourteen years on and her words ring true and urgent as ever. LONG LIVE GRACE!

Dear Friends,

How do those of us whose humanity has been enriched by our struggles to define our ethnic identity draw upon this enriched humanity to create a new kind of citizenship and leadership in this period of vulnerability, turbulence and transition …?

As I have grappled with this question, I often refer back to the passage in the 1976 pamphlet “Towards a New Concept of Citizenship” [written by Jimmy Boggs].

This nation was founded by a great revolution which inaugurated an age of revolutions all over the world because it gave men and women a new concept of themselves as self-governing human beings, i.e. as citizens rather than subjects. In other words, instead of being masses, who think of themselves as victims and only make demands on others, they were ready to make demands on themselves.

This country is still in its infancy. The ancestors of the overwhelming majority of today’s Americans were not among the few who founded this nation … and established the political and social patterns which have brought us to the present crisis. The ancestors of today’s blacks were here – but they were excluded from participation … even though their labor was building the infrastructure which made possible this country’s rapid development. Thus, the people now living in the United States have had no real experience of the great revolutionary struggles by which any great nation is created. That political and humanizing experience still lies before us all.

Grace Lee Boggs
Detroit, Michigan 11/27/01

PHOTO CREDIT: Robin Holland