Our History

The Asian American and Diaspora Studies Program at Duke was founded in 2018 after over twenty years of student activism. As this timeline details, students at Duke created many initiatives, protests, and campaigns to institutionalize Asian American studies as an academic unit on campus. In 2016, the Asian American Studies Working Group was constituted by students, faculty, and staff who advocated for the establishment of the Asian American Studies department. AADS was founded in spring 2018 after an external review, and Dr. Nayoung Aimee Kwon (Associate Professor, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies) became the founding director. The establishment of the program was supported by a number of supporters both in and outside of Duke. In spring 2021, a cluster search in Asian American studies was conducted, and Dr. Calvin Cheung-Miaw (Assistant Professor, History) and Dr. Anna Storti (Assistant Professor, Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies) were hired. In spring 2022, new minor program was established in partnership with Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES).

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