Program milestones

Asian American Studies (ASAM) Asian Studies (ASST)

1991: Students begin to rally for an Asian American Studies program and form the Asian American Collegiate Organization (AACO).

2000: Courses in Asian American literature, history and sociology are offered and a Hindi/Urdu course starts as a result of student petitions.

2002: Mark Chiang and Helen Jun are hired in English Department as UIC’s first tenure-track Asian American Studies faculty.

2005: The Asian American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC) is established with Karen Su, Corinne Kodama, and Elvin Chan as founding staff.

2005-06: Introduction to Asian American Studies offered for the first time. AACC holds a “Speak Out” to rally support for the establishment of an Asian American Studies Program. Holds a second Speak Out the following year. In Fall 2006, AARCC establishes the Asian American Studies Advisory Council made up of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students to coordinate activities in support of Asian American Studies.

Spring 2007: “ASAM” becomes the official rubric to identify Asian American Studies courses in Timetable. Two additional tenure-track faculty are hired to teach Asian American Studies: Anna Guevarra, Assistant Professor in Sociology, and Eric Tang, Assistant Professor in African American Studies.

Fall 2007: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences establishes an official Asian American Studies Faculty Advisory Committee and appoints Kevin Kumashiro as the first ASAM Coordinator.

2008: Gayatri Reddy serves as the second ASAM Coordinator. ASAM Minor proposal submitted. First Asian American Knowledge Bowl is held. Mary Anne Mohanraj joins English with a partial administrative appointment in Asian American Studies and Asian Studies. 

2009: Mark Chiang serves as ASAM Coordinator. ASAM sets up office in 809 University Hall. Proposal to establish the ASAM program is submitted. Eric Tang leaves UIC.

2010: ASAM Minor and Program are officially established with the inaugural “Kick Ass Kick Off.” Mark Chiang becomes director with a joint appointment in ASAM and English. Kevin Kumashiro joins ASAM with a 100% appointment. AARCC, ASAM, and the Institute for Research on Race and Policy successfully gain the first 5-year AANAPISI Part A grant in the Midwest ($1.9M). Visiting Faculty Rooshey Hasnain joins ASAM as coordinator of the community engagement initiative, fully funded by the AANAPISI grant.

2011: Anna Guevarra joins ASAM with a 100% faculty appointment. ASAM Student Advisory Board is formed. UIC receives a second 5-year AANAPISI Part F grant
($2.0M). Gayatri Reddy (75% in Gender & Women's Studies; 25% in Anthropology) becomes a 0% affiliated faculty in ASAM.

2012:  Anna Guevarra becomes director of ASAM. Relocation of ASAM faculty to the 10th floor, University Hall, begins. Laura Fugikawa is hired as Visiting Faculty 

2013:  Kevin Kumashiro leaves UIC. Karen Su joins ASAM and assumes the position of Project Director upon the departure of Kevin Kumashiro. Nadine Naber joins UIC through the Chancellor’s Diaspora Cluster Initiative as a tenured 25% appointment in ASAM. Jill Huynh joins ASAM as Assistant Director and AANAPISI Undergraduate Advisor.  Surbhi Malik joins ASAM as a Visiting Faculty. ASAM office set up in University Hall 1051.

2014: Ronak Kapadia (100% in Gender & Women's Studies) and Mary Anne Mohanraj (100% in English) become 0% affiliated faculty in ASAM.

Spring 2015: The ASAM Student Advisory Board and the Arab and Muslim American Community Network hold a student-led demonstration in support of the Cluster Initiative and protest the cancellation of searches; The Asian American Studies Community Advisory Board is created.

Fall 2015: UIC receives its second 5-year $1.5 million Part A AANAPISI grant which supports curricular and programmatic initiatives in GLAS and AARCC; Lorenzo Perillo joins UIC through the Chancellor’s Racialized Body Cluster Initiative as a tenure track 100% appointment in ASAM 


1972: Discussions to establish a program in Asian Studies begin among faculty, staff and administrators.

1973: The “ASST” rubric was approved.

1975: The Minor in Asian Studies is approved and courses are taught under this rubric by existing faculty in the College of LAS.

1983: The Asian Studies rubric was eliminated due to a reorganization of interdisciplinary (non-budgeted) programs.

1995: Laura Hostetler* is hired in History.

1998: Following the efforts of an ad hoc group of faculty (including some members of the Asian Studies Committee), the Asian Studies rubric is  reinstated.

1999: Mark Liechty* is hired in Anthropology and History.

2000-2001: The Asian Studies Committee considers revisions to the Minor in Asian Studies. On the table are proposals to establish a Major in Asian and Asian American Studies as well as renaming the Minor as  a Minor in Asian and Asian American Studies. Due to a lack of consensus, the revisions are postponed.

2001: Gayatri Reddy* is hired in Gender & Women’s Studies and Anthropology.

2006: Rama Mantena* is hired in History. Xuehua Xiang* is hired in Linguistics.

2007: A curricular revision of the requirements for a Minor in Asian Studies is proposed; a new group of Asian Studies Faculty is convened to form an Advisory Committee.

2008: Mary Anne Mohanraj* joins English with a partial administrative appointment in Asian and Asian American Studies. Sunil Agnani* is hired in English and History. Sanjeev Vidyarthi* is hired in Urban Planning and Policy.

2009: The Jamie McNulty Fund in Asian Studies was established following the generous $300,000 donation of then LAS Board of Visitors member James McNulty and his wife, Jamie Thorsen McNulty to underwrite language development (Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Urdu) and program administration in Asian Studies. Esther Klein*, first coordinator of Asian Studies is hired. Asian Studies Colloquium is launched.  Office is set up in 809 UH.

2010: The Minor in Asian Studies is revised  .

2011: Mitchell Hendrickson* is hired in Anthropology.

2012: Esther Klein leaves UIC. Tarini Bedi* is hired in Anthropology. Nasser Mufti* is hired in English.

2013: Gayatri Reddy appointed as Coordinator of Asian Studies; new ad hoc Asian Studies Faculty Advisory Committee is created as the governing body of Asian Studies; discussions among faculty regarding possible merger between Asian American Studies and Asian Studies commence.


* There were no faculty members appointed in Asian Studies because it was never a program, even though it offered a Minor. The faculty affiliated in ASST were all appointed in different departments.

 Global Asian Studies (GLAS)

2013: “Preliminary Thinking Document” written by the newly formed Asian Studies Faculty Advisory committee is submitted to the College to begin plans for merging the programs

2014: ASST and ASAM faculty meet for several weeks in the fall to discuss the merger; Asian Studies and Asian American Studies officially vote to pursue the merger and submit a proposal for the Global Asian Studies Program and Minor to the Dean.

2015: The consolidation of ASAM and ASST into GLAS is approved by EPC, LAS Faculty, SCEP, the Senate, and the Board of Trustees

2016: Asian American Studies (ASAM) and Asian Studies (ASST) merge to create Global Asian Studies (GLAS); Michael Jin joins UIC as a tenure track appointment (75% in GLAS and 25% in History), as a result of efforts by ASAM and CCSAA; Jin is part of the Chancellor’s Diaspora Cluster Initiative; Radha Modi joins as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in GLAS (funded by AANAPISI).  GLAS Opening Ceremony is held. Catherine Becker (100% in Art and Art History), Diem-My Bui (100% in Communication), Laura Hostetler (100% in History), Rama Mantena (100% in History), and, Xuehua Xiang (100% in Linguistics) become 0% affiliated faculty in GLAS.

Spring 2017: GLAS hosts inaugural GLASapalooza event featuring presentations and a research gallery to celebrate the minors, graduates, and fierce work GLAS undertakes in the classroom, on campus, and in the Chicagoland communities. 


Phone: (312) 996-3165
Office: 929 UH
Phone: (312) 996-3165
Office: 929 UH
Phone: (312) 996-3165
Office: 929 UH
Assistant Professor, Art and Art History
Assistant Professor, Art and Art History