Executive Committee

Leslie Bow

Professor, English and Asian American Studies


7179 Helen C White Hall, 600 N Park St, Madison, WI 53706


Leslie Bow is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Mark and Elisabeth Eccles Professor of English and Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. She is the author of the award-winning, ‘Partly Colored’: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South (New York University Press, 2010); Betrayal and Other Acts of Subversion: Feminism, Sexual Politics, Asian American Women’s Literature (Princeton University Press, 2001); editor of the four-volume, Asian American Feminisms (Routledge, 2012) and a reissue of Fiona Cheong’s novel, The Scent of the Gods (Illinois University Press, 2010). Leslie is a contributor to Progressive magazine and the Progressive Media Project through which her op-ed columns appear in newspapers across the United States. She is currently working on a book that explores race and pleasure in the public sphere, focusing on fantasy and visual culture.

Cindy I-Fen Cheng

Director, Asian American Studies; Professor, History and Asian American Studies


306 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706


Cindy I-Fen Cheng is a historian by training with an emphasis in feminist studies and critical theory. After taking her first Asian American Studies course as an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she was hooked. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine, hoping that one day she could share with others just how transformative it was for her to see herself represented in U.S. history and culture. She dedicated her first book to exploring how Asian Americans shaped U.S. Cold War culture and in particular, the credibility of our nation’s democracy. Citizens of Asian America: Democracy and Race during the Cold War (New York University Press, 2013) won the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association’s Award for Literature in Adult Non-Fiction. She followed this book by editing The Routledge Handbook of Asian American Studies (Routledge, 2016). She has also published numerous articles that have appeared in the American Quarterly, Journal of Asian American Studies, and other academic journals and anthologies. Currently, she is working on a book length study on race, immigration, urban poverty, and the growth of California’s skid rows.

Peggy Choy

Associate Professor, Dance and Asian American Studies


125 Lathrop Hall, 1050 University Ave, Madison, WI 53706


Peggy Myo-Young Choy (M.F.A., 2006) is Associate Professor of Dance and Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Specializing in Asian dance (Korean and Javanese forms), Asian martial and vital energy arts, she teaches her contemporary Dance Noetics that encompasses Asian/Asian American dance, martial arts and vital energy thought, practice, and explorations into Afro-Asian fusion. Her courses include Asian American Movement, Afro-Asian Fusion, Taijiquan, and Javanese dance. She is a choreographer and dancer, and the artistic director of Peggy Choy Dance (2010), a New York-based dance company, and President of The Ki Project, Inc., a non-profit organization that committed to performance and creative thinking for future generations.

Joan Fujimura

Professor, Sociology


(608) 265-2724

7101 Sewell Social Sciences, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706

LiLi Johnson

Assistant Professor, Gender and Women's Studies and Asian American Studies


3434 Sterling Hall, 475 N Charter St
Madison, WI 53706


LiLi Johnson is an Anna Julia Cooper Postdoctoral Fellow and, starting in Fall 2020, will be an Assistant Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies. She completed her Ph.D. at Yale University in American Studies with a certificate in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. Her research focuses on Asian American racial formation and multiculturalism, family and kinship, and cultural studies of science. Her dissertation and first book project, titled Family Conceptions: Technologies of Asian American Family Formation, theorizes different technological systems and non-biological forms of kinship to examine Asian American family formation from the twentieth century to the present.

Lori Kido Lopez

Associate Professor, Communication Arts


(608) 265-0069

6134 Vilas Communication Hall, 821 University Ave, Madison, WI 53706


Lori Kido Lopez is Associate Professor in Media and Cultural Studies and a member of the Program Advisory Committee of Asian American Studies. Her research examines the way that minority groups such as women, racial minorities, and queer communities use media in the fight for social justice. She is interested in struggles to improve the representation of disenfranchised groups within mainstream media, as well as the different ways that grassroots/activist media, digital media, and consumer culture all can play a role in transforming identities and communities. Her book Asian American Media Activism: Fighting for Cultural Citizenship (2016, NYU Press) examines the efforts of Asian Americans to impact the way that their community has been represented. Using ethnography, interviews, and archival research, it examines the work of traditional activists who have worked since the 1960s to protest and reform imagery, but also contextualizes the kinds of media activism undertaken by advertising agencies, fans, YouTube artists, and bloggers. She is dedicated to the blending of scholarship and activism, and highly value collaborations between community organizations and academics. Her newest research examines Hmong Americans and the culturally specific ways that they are participating in the production and consumption of digital media, particularly considering the gendered dimensions of Hmong media cultures.

Stacey Lee

Professor, Educational Policy Studies, School of Education


(608) 262-6846, (608) 265-5956

209 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI 53706


Stacey J. Lee is Professor in Educational Policy Studies and a faculty affiliate in Asian American Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology of Education from the University of Pennsylvania, M.A. in Political Science from New York University and A.B. in Political Science from Vassar College. Her research focuses on the role of education in the incorporation of immigrants into the US. She is the author of Unraveling the Model Minority Stereotype: Listening to Asian American Youth and Up Against Whiteness: Race, school and immigrant youth.

James McMaster

Assistant Professor, Gender and Women's Studies and Asian American Studies


3418 Sterling Hall, 475 N Charter St
Madison, WI 53706


James McMaster is Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies and Affiliate Faculty Member of the Interdisciplinary Theater Studies Program. He is currently working on a book project that puts the discourse of care theory into conversation with queer, feminist, and Asian Americanist critique and cultural production. His writing has appeared, or will soon, in the Journal of Asian American StudiesAmerican QuarterlyTDR/The Drama Review, and Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory where he is also the co-editor of a special issue titled The Between: Couple Forms, Performing Together with Olivia Michiko Gagnon. He completed his Ph.D. in the department of Performance Studies at NYU.

Yang Sao Xiong

Assistant Professor, Social Work and Asian American Studies


306 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706


Yang Sao Xiong is Assistant Professor of Social Work and Asian American Studies. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. at the University of California and his B.A. at University of California, Davis. His research examines the various dimensions, mechanisms and effects of assimilation and political incorporation on immigrants and immigrant groups’ life chances, collective action, and influence in the United States. His current project is one of a kind. Using an adapted and translated version of the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin developed by researchers at the UW-Madison Department of Population Health Sciences, his research team is piloting a comprehensive randomized study on the health seeking behaviors and health outcomes of Hmong adult women and men in central Wisconsin. He has provided consultation to organizations such as the Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Association and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. In 2015, Professor Xiong was appointed by the United States Commission on Civil Rights to serve as a member of its Wisconsin State Advisory Committee.

Michael Thornton

Professor, Afro-American Studies


(608) 263-1148, (608) 263-1642

4111 White Hall, 600 N Park St, Madison, WI 53706


Michael Thornton is Professor of Afro-American Studies and Asian American Studies. His interest, both personal and professional, is related to how and why people cross boundaries, particularly racial and cultural. He has a B.S. from Michigan State University, a M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology and Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan. Most of his work focuses on factors influencing how close blacks feel towards Asian Americans, Latinos and Native Americans. He has examined how religion, political ideology and economic competition colors these views. His first book (co-authored with Hemant Shah), Newspaper Coverage of Interethnic Conflict: Competing Visions of America is about how black, Asian American, Latino and mainstream newspapers describe and explain the nature of race relations among groups of color as epitomized in the LA, Washington D.C., and Miami riots. Current projects explore how Japanese language news sources portray African Americans, how mass media examines Black immigration, and how students explain the differences between black and white athletic success.


Morris Young

Professor, English


(608) 263-3367

6187c White Hall, Helen C, 600 N Park St, Madison, WI 53706


Morris Young is Director of English 100, Professor of English, and faculty affiliate in Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  His research and teaching focus on the relationship between writing and identity, the intersections of literacy and rhetorical studies, and Asian American literature and culture. Morris’s current research interests take up rhetorical space as both metaphor and material and how this shapes rhetorical activity in response to exigencies of exclusion, marginalization, and containment. His book, Minor Re/Visions: Asian American Literacy Narratives as a Rhetoric of Citizenship (2004) received the 2004 W. Ross Winterowd Award and the 2006 CCCC Outstanding Book Award. His co-edited collection (with LuMing Mao), Representations: Doing Asian American Rhetoric(2008), received honorable mention for the 2009 MLA Mina P. Shaughnessy Award.

Timothy Yu

Professor, English and Asian American Studies


7137 White Hall, Helen C, 600 N Park St, Madison, WI 53706


Timothy Yu is Professor of English and Asian American Studies. He is the author of Race and the Avant-Garde: Experimental and Asian American Poetry Since 1965 (Stanford University Press), which won the Book Award in Literary Studies from the Association for Asian American Studies, and the editor of Nests and Strangers: On Asian American Women Poets (Kelsey Street Press).  He is also the author of a poetry collection, 100 Chinese Silences, the editors’ selection in the NOS Book Contest from Les Figues Press.