Congratulations to Dr. Shirley Tang, Endowed Distinguished Professor for Asian American Studies

SGISDInclusion
2 min readMar 23

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Congratulations to Professor Shirley Tang, who was recognized as the first Endowed Distinguished Professor for Asian American Studies at UMass Boston.

Shirley Tang portrait

Professor Tang joined UMass Boston in 2001 and received the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2016. She holds a deep commitment to teaching, particularly students who are first-generation, working-class, from immigrant or refugee families, and from local communities of color. Professor Tang has also led the development of an archive holding over 400 student and community narratives addressing mental health, intergenerational learning, language justice, and other critical community-building and advocacy issues. She has more than two dozen publications in print, many of which document histories and stories from community-based research, particularly with local Khmer, Vietnamese, and Chinese diasporic communities.

UMass created this new professorship with funding from a $6 million anonymous gift that acknowledges and honors UMass Boston’s role as a leader among Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI). This professorship is particularly timely, given the recent anti-Asian racism that has sparked violence across the US.

Professor Tang shared, “The layered, textured, purposeful storytelling work we do and share through our platform weaves together historical and cultural contexts, interdisciplinary research, and personal narrative. I believe history, social science, literature, policy, and narrative all work together. The story data knowledge we co-produce, especially with our students and their real-life family and community contexts, represent unique and valuable alternatives to the stereotypes and mis/disinformation we so often need to deal with.”

Dr. Shirley Tang has demonstrated clear, sustained leadership in Asian American Studies. She is uniquely qualified to be the inaugural holder of the Distinguished Professorship for Asian American Studies at UMass Boston. Congratulations, Dr. Tang!

Learn more about Dr. Tang’s work and achievements.

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