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Kurien contributes chapter to new publication Asian American Matters

Jan 25, 2018

Who are Asian Americans?

Prema Kurien

AAARI-CUNY, January 2018

Prema Kurien

Prema Kurien

Prema Kurien, professor and chair of sociology, contributed an essay to the recently published book Asian American Matters: A New York Anthology (AAARI-CUNY, 2017). The book features forty New York and U.S. scholars, writers, artists, and activists and is the first national anthology to address post 9/11 issues around Asians, Asian Americans, South Asians, and Muslims in relation to Asian American Studies and communities.

Kurien's essay, "Who are Asian Americans," examines how the meaning and content of Asian American Studies changes when South Asian Americans are included in the curriculum. "Having worked in Asian American Studies (focusing on research on Indian Americans) for a long time, both on the East and West Coasts, I have noticed a tendency within Asian American programs on both coasts, to primarily, and sometimes exclusively, focus on East Asian Americans," says Kurien. She points out that East Asians are actually a minority of Asian Americans, and the groups that are responsible for the recent growth of the Asian American population in the United States are South Asian. 

Kurien's contribution to the book was also cited in the News India Times article, "Indians in the US have felt animosity for 100 years, now a feeling of déjà vu creeps in."