Ph.D., History, UCLA
M.A., Asian American Studies, UCLA
B.A., History, University of Pennsylvania
Mailing: Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246
I believe there’s an important distinction between “schooling” and “education.” Schooling is generally seen as a required act at the K-12 level and a means to qualify for a job at the collegiate level. It’s no wonder so many students find schooling to be onerous and tedious. By contrast, I strive to make education meaningful and powerful by understanding its crucial role in catalyzing personal and social transformation.
Drawn to subjects, communities, and perspectives that are too often marginalized or silenced, my teaching focuses on Asian American studies, African American studies, urban studies, activism, and community organizing. The classroom provides a space to explore new ways to analyze difficult social issues, interrogate dominant viewpoints, and continuously think and rethink the purpose of learning. At the same time, critical learning and teaching must go beyond the walls of the university to engage the way we interact with family, community, and society.
Recent Courses Taught
BIS 257: Introduction To Asian American Studies
BIS 328: Diversity, Leadership, And Engagement
BIS 490: Racism and Civil Liberties: Japanese American Incarceration During WWII
Centered on the comparative and intersectional study of race and ethnicity, my scholarship examines the complex questions, contradictions, and possibilities arising from the prevalence of diversity in the United States. My research especially addresses the study of 20th and 21st century American history, urbanism, and social movements. Working particularly from the vantage points of Black and Asian American studies, I engage the multiethnic “big city” as a privileged site to analyze the cutting-edge of social change in U.S. society. My writings are based on both archival research and community-based research often conducted in direct cooperation with social justice organizations or emanating from my own participation in social justice organizing.
I work closely with the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership (based in Detroit) and previously served as a senior fellow for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and fellow at Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History.
I have written two books and co-authored two books:
The Fifty-Year Rebellion: How the U.S. Political Crisis Began in Detroit (University of California Press, 2017) in the “American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present” series edited by Lisa Duggan and Curtis Marez.
Exiled to Motown: A History of Japanese Americans in Detroit, co-editor and co-author (Detroit Japanese American Citizens League, 2015).
The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, co-authored with Grace Lee Boggs (University of California Press, 2011); updated and expanded paperback edition with new preface and afterword with Immanuel Wallerstein (University of California Press, 2012).
The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles (Princeton University Press, 2008) in the “Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America” series edited by William Chafe, Gary Gerstle, Linda Gordon, and Julian Zelizer. Winner of the Albert J. Beveridge Book Prize from the American Historical Association for distinguished book in English on the history of the United States, Latin America, or Canada, from 1492 to the present and the History Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies.
My articles have appeared in multiple anthologies and journals, including Afro-Hispanic Review, Amerasia Journal, Journal of Asian American Studies, and The Journal of American History.