Women in US-Asian Relations Oral History Project

asianamerican

Every fall, students in AAS/POL 307 (Women in US-Asian Relations) set out to interview women who are committed to enhancing US-Asian relations.  Women’s contributions occur at many different levels of society and encompass a variety of occupations.  In conducting oral history interviews, students prepare documentation for the Melville Library’s digital collection and, in the process, acquire deep knowledge about women’s social, cultural, political, and economic roles in the United States and Asia, which includes those in Asian American communities.  In order to prepare to conduct the oral history interviews, SBU studentsresearch the ways women historically have sought to increase “understanding” between the US and Asia in transnational and international relations over a 125 year time span (from the 1850s to the 1970s).  They learn about so-called “transformative” occupations – from writers and poets to missionaries, journalists, film makers, diplomats, medical and social workers, scientists, scholars, and chefs – to determine how women have used motivational discourse and social networking (as well as mentoring and partnering) to interpret China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam for diverse audiences in America and Asia. SBU students examine diplomatic history in the early 1800s when women became precursors; turn of the century activities when they took on roles as progressives; and the mid-1900s when they became challengers both domestically and abroad.  To understand the trajectory of women’s careers over time, students learned about US-Asian relations in the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction era; American missionary movements in Asia; Chinese exclusion laws; Japanese internment camps during World War II; the Korean War; the ascendancy of the Chinese Communist Party; Philippine independence: Indian political movements; and the Vietnam War.

 

In preparing this collection of oral history interviews, students developed an interpretive model of women’s roles in US-Asian relations; located and used primary source materials to analyze social movements and conduct biographical research; and found innovative ways to identify and describe “women in action.”  Working in groups, AAS/POL 307 students then interview prominent women who currently are committed to enhancing US-Asian Relations. (See the current listing below.) They prepare the oral interview proposal, communicate with the interviewee to request an interview; record the interview (using audio and/or visual formats); writeup and analyze the results of the interviews; and deliver a class presentation.

 

As the course instructor, I hope you enjoy this collection and that it inspires you to consider the vast networks that are perpetuated and continue as a result of women’s “work” in American, Asian, and Asian American frameworks.

 

~~ Peg Christoff

This project is a joint effort between the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies and the University Libraries.

 


View the full oral history collection here

Read interview transcripts and presentations for each interviewee by clicking on their name below.

 Adams, Margarethe – Professor, Stony Brook University, Department of Music

Interviewed by: Naveed Ahmed, Daniel Coyne, Susmita Chakraborty, Brian Khaneyan

 

• Barale, Lucille  – Adjunct Professor, Attorney, Consultant

Interviewed by: Paul Nguyen, Stefanie Chen, Christolin Micgel

 

Brehm, Carolyn L.  VP, Procter & Gamble Global Government Relations & Public Policy

Interviewed by: James Lynn, John Desmond

 

Burt, Clarissa – Associate Professor of Arabic Language, Literature, and Culture, United States Naval Academy

Interviewed by: Christopher Gomez, Michael Munson, Seth Williams

 

Chandran, Latha– Pediatrician, Chief of Residents at Stony Brook University Hospital, Medical Educator

Interviewed by: Emely Liranzo, Victoria Jaramillo, Alyssa Shevlin

 

Chang Bloch, Julia – Founder/President of the US-China Education Trust, Ambassador to Nepal

Interviewed by: Melissa Kelly, Maria Marrero, Stephanie Paguay

 

Chou, Jennifer – Founding member/former Deputy Director of Programming at Radio Free Asia

Interviewed by: Drazen Baracca, Raven Dorsey, Ericka Berman, Megan Miller

 

David, Mary– Lawyer, Advocate for Anti-Human Trafficking

Interviewed by: Theresa Decicco, Mehtasim Mahfuz, Alexa Reynolds

 

 Davis, Nancy – Research Program Director, East West Center

Interviewed by: Nicole LiBretto, Sean Dwyer

 

• Doi, YurikoStage Director, Choreographer, Performer, & Former Founding Artistic Director of Theatre of Yugen 

Interviewed by: Tiffany Huang, Kelly Liu, David Youngkyun Lee

 

• Ennis, Erin   Senior VP, US-China Business Council 

Interviewed by: Smith

 

• Ford, Jocelyn  – Filmmaker “Nowhere to Call Home” and NPR journalist (Upcoming)

 

• Gunness, Kristen – China Analyst (Rand Corporation)

Interviewed by: Aijaz Wasay, Diego Molina

 

Hamrin, Carol – Senior Associate at the Global China Center, Former Research Professor

Interviewed by: Asha Samuel, Arianny Santana, & Shamarie Williams

 

Horsely, Jamie – Professor of Chinese business, Yale Law School 

Interviewed by: Daniel Halbig, Alexandra Vlahakis

 

Johanson, Vanessa – Country Director, Myanmar United States Institute of Peace (USIP)

Interviewed by: Krystyn V. Phillips

 

Kolenda, Helena  Program Director, Asia, Henry Luce Foundation

Interviewed by: Kristen Winters, William Ozdal

 

• Larson, Jane Leung – Freelance writer/historian 

Interviewed by: Paul Chan, Kevin Lee

 

Liu, Dimon – Architect, Human Rights Activist, Writer

Interviewed by: Amir Ahmed, Rezaul Hassan, Longchen Ni, Simon Sharp

 

Mistry, Kathleen President of Mistry Enterprises Inc., Founding Board Member of Middle East North Africa Consultants Association (MENACA)

Interviewed by: Nichollette Aretakis, Nonie Lee, Jamie Mathew

 

Murck, Alfreda  – Independent Scholar; formerly museum curator at the National Palace Museum

Interviewed by: Tenzin Norzin

 

Payne, Nancy – Vice President of PeaceTech Lab

Interviewed by: Kyuri Kim, Junbum Hwang, Hosun Jung

 

Richardson, Sophie – Human Rights Watch, Director

Interviewed by: Yalda Khwaja, Lola Ashirmetov, Kofi Ramirez Osei-Tutu

 

Ross, Madelyn – Director of China Studies, Johns Hopkins University 

Interviewed by: Denisse Ceballos, Ayodele Ajibade

 

Shapiro, Norah – Filmmaker for “Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile” 

Interviewed by: Nida Kuruvilla

 

Siddique, Jumaina – Program Officer, South Asia United States Institute of Peace (USIP) 

Interviewed by: Carlo Antonio, Tajmin Begum

 

Slater, Marilyn  – World War II Nurse

Interviewed by: Lauren B Slater

 

Small, Whitney Foard  – Strategic Communications Manager, Union Group, Thailand 

Interviewed by: Zach Robinson, John Feinberg

 

Spencer, Kay – Program Officer, Myanmar, Asia Center: United States Institute of Peace (USIP) 

Interviewed by: Travis Puckett, Kevin Chow

 

• Staats, Jennifer – Director, China Programs, United States Institute of Peace (USIP) (Upcoming)

Interviewed by: Danielle Stepnoski & Julie Mei

 

Sultan, Hodei – Senior Program Manager, Asia Center United States Institute of Peace (USIP)

Interviewed by: Matthew LoMastro & Alejandra Ramirez

 

Toma, Alexandra – Executive Director, Peace and Security Fund

Interviewed by: Rubab; Marie; Julia Cunningham

 

Young, Alice – Lawyer/trade with China; Member of the Committee of 100 and on several advisory boards

Interviewed by: Viviana Torres, Alex Cheung