Asian Relations

A series of conversations with nine individuals from Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander communities at The University of Texas at Austin.

Asian Relations is a series of conversations recorded in the Fall 2023 semester at the Center for Asian American Studies (CAAS) and the Asian American Resource Center (AARC) in Austin, TX. At the time, CAAS was situated in Bellmont Hall 220. Led by Dr. Allison Kim (she/her), a researcher for the Contextualization & Commemoration Initiative, these conversations follow the stories of nine UT students, faculty, staff, and alumni concerning their identification with and connection to the Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. Each conversation engages with a specific topic related to the so-called Asian-American experience, ranging from mental health to intersectional identities.

Comments and opinions expressed by interviewees are their own and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions, policies, or positions of The University of Texas at Austin or the Contextualization and Commemoration Initiative.

The Interviews

A conversation with Ari Daskauskas about about Hawai’ian and indigenous representation.

A conversation with J Hayden about multiracial identities.

A conversation with Jo Hsu about Asians and intersectionality.

A conversation with Mohit Mehta about AANHPI studies at UT and nationwide.

A conversation with Sruti Ramachandran about Asian student activism.

A conversation with PJ Raval about Asians in the creative industry.

A conversation with Evan Taniguchi about intergenerational Asian families in Austin.

A Conversation with Amy Tao-Foster, LPC (she/her/chi) Diversity Coordinator and LPC for Counseling and Mental Health Center.

A Conversation with Mitchel Wong about early Asians at UT and in Austin.


“It’s still this journey that I’m on, rediscovering and embracing this part of myself that I pushed away for such a long time.” 

– Eric Yoon (he/him/his), Asian-American, student from 2007-2011


"Having the Center for Asian American Studies space here at UT has really helped me do the identity discovery that I never knew I was missing."

Giullian Canlas (she/her/hers), Filipino American, RTF and AAS student

Method & Approach

Allison Kim, PhD (she/her) draws from her knowledge of oral history and interviews to host nine conversations that engage with and work from these traditions. This project is research-based and conversational in tone, leaning into subjective experience and drawing out the relational moments.

Resources

AAPI Data. https://aapidata.com/.

Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.” USDA. https://www.usda.gov/oascr/special-emphasis-programs/aanhpi.

“Census Data & API Identities.” Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. https://www.api-gbv.org/resources/census-data-api-identities/.

Chan, Sucheng, Asian Americans: An Interpretive History (Woodbridge, CT: Twayne Publishing, 1991)

Lai, Eric, and Dennis Arguelles, eds., The New Face of Asian Pacific America: Numbers, Diversity, and Change in the 21st Century (San Francisco, CA: AsianWeek, 2003)

Maeda, Daryl, Rethinking the Asian American Movement (New York: Routledge, 2011)

Milbauer, Siena Iwasaki. “Asian Heritage Month: What’s in a Name?” Asian American Organizing Project. May 31, 2021. https://aaopmn.org/2021/05/31/asian-heritage-month-whats-in-a-name/.

Okihiro, Gary Y., Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014)

Pascoe, Peggy, What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2023)

“The Rise of Asian Americans,” Pew Research: Social & Demographic Trends, June 19, 2012, https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2012/06/19/the-rise-of-asian-americans/

Teranishi, Robert T, “Asian American and Pacific Islander Students and the Institutions That Serve Them,” Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 44, no. 2 (2012): 16-22

“Timeline of Systemic Racism Against AAPI.” Stanford Libraries. https://exhibits.stanford.edu/riseup/feature/timeline-of-systemic-racism-against-aapi

“Who is APIDA?” APIDA Faculty Staff Association, CSUSM. https://www.csusm.edu/apidafsa/who_is_apida/index.html

A Note on Terminology

Language and terminology have historical significance and can carry different connotations, depending on context and time. This project recognizes that AANHPI (Asian American, Native Hawai’ian, and Pacific Islander) is the current popularized term being used to describe various racial and ethnic groups. It does not intend to erase or marginalize those who might not find resonance with this term and would opt to use another. At times and for sake of ease in conversation, the term ‘Asian’ is used throughout this project as a stand-in and placeholder for all who may identify in any capacity under this umbrella category. These conversations are intended to showcase the range and nuances of identities under the monolithic term ‘Asian.’

Credit & Acknowledgments

This project would not be possible without the help and support of many individuals…

Interviewees: Ari Daskauskas, J Hayden, Jo Hsu, Mohit Mehta, Sruti Ramachandran. PJ Raval, Evan Taniguchi, Amy Tao-Foster, Mitchel Wong

LAITS Crew:

  • Kayla Galang—Head Producer
  • Han Elcan, Mia Vannoy, Jonah Hernandez, Sara Treviño, Will Kurzner, Giullian Canlas, Esha Nagukudar, Solomon King-Purdy, Martin Hay, Chidera Orazulike, Kate Whitmer, Rayna Sevilla, Alejandra Arrazola.
  • Bug Davidson and Jacob Weiss
  • Stacy Vlasits

Mama Kong Cambodian: Sherry Kong and Brandon Jansa

Austin History Center: Akiko Kodama and Molly Hults

Asian American Resource Center: Fabian Duran

Asian Desi Pacific Islander American Collective: Isma Khokhar and Damini Patel

Center for Asian American Studies: Eric Tang and Mohit Mehta

Voces Oral History Center: Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez and Todd Moye

Student volunteers: Jeffrey Jin, Alap Davé, Sraavya Chintalapati

Additionally, Tony Vo, Sona Shah, Ayshea Khan, Sarah Seulki Oh, Maia Mistry, Yeo Ju Choi, Laurel Mei-Singh, Bill Yee, Eric Yoon.

Special thanks to Jeffrey Jin for their photo and design for Asian Relations.