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Announcing the 2020-2021 AAC Fellows

The Asian American Center is proud to announce the inaugural AAC Fellows for the 2020-2021 academic year. UNC’s AAC Fellows program is unique in the nation, bringing together pre-eminent scholars and artists working with Asian American themes for collaboration, workshops, and public talks that inspire engagement with Asian American studies across campus. Chosen to address the breadth and richness of Asian America, we hope that this inaugural cohort will help us to envision future years that will include community organizers and UNC/local Fellows. Be on the lookout for public events featuring the Fellows this spring!

Dr. Iyko Day joins us from the Department of English and Critical Social Thought at Mount Holyoke College. Author of Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism (Duke University Press, 2016), Day’s research focuses on the visual culture and literature of Asian North America. (Dr. Day already spoke at a jointly hosted Asian American Center and Carolina Asia Center event in the “Anti-Blackness and Alliance” series: video available here with ONYEN login.)

Rajiv Mohabir, a faculty member in the BFA/MFA program in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College, is an award-winning Indo-Carribean poet and translator of poetry. Mohabir’s first book of poetry The Taxidermist’s Cut (Four Way Books, 2016) exposes the wounds of coming of age as a queer brown youth. I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara (Kaya Press, 2019), Mohabir’s translation of Lalbihari Sharma’s 1916 book of poems, the only known literary work by an indentured servant in the Anglophone Caribbean, captures the hardships of life as an island “coolie” worker.

Dr. Nitasha Tamar Sharma, of the Department of African American Studies and the Program in Asian American Studies at Northwestern University, brings to the AAC Fellows a focus on the relationships between racialized peoples, specifically intersections of Black, Native, and Asian America. In Hawai’i is my Haven: Race and Indigeneity in the Black Pacific (Duke University Press, forthcoming August 2021) Sharma explores essential questions regarding race, identity, art, and place.