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Heidi Kim


A Letter from the Director, September 2020

Heidi Kim is a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Her research ranges through nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature and Asian American studies. Illegal Immigrants/Model Minorities: The Cold War of Chinese American Literature (Temple University Press, 2021), sheds new light on the writing of and about Chinese Americans, who were dogged by the stigma of illegal immigration and paranoia about Communist infiltration. Her first monograph Invisible Subjects: Asian Americans in Postwar Literature (Oxford UP, 2016) resituates the work of Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and the Melville Revival critics through recent advances in Asian American studies and historiography.

She also researches and speaks extensively on the literature and history of the Japanese American incarceration, including Taken from the Paradise Isle (UP Colorado, 2015), which won a Ka Palapala Po’okela Award from the Hawaiian Book Publishers Association. She enjoys partnering with community and academic organizations on this topic, including Out of the Desert at Yale University and Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Prof. Kim received her undergraduate degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University, with a brief management consulting stint in between. (“It’s a long story,” she says.) She has been a Tar Heel since 2010 and lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, young daughter, and a large black cat.

Prof. Kim has completed the UNC HAVEN, SafeZone, and SafeZone Continuing Education: Trans and Nonbinary trainings, as well as the Racial Equity Institute’s Phase I program.

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Kevin Kim

Associate Director

Jung Min (Kevin) Kim is the Associate Director for the Asian American Center. Prior to joining the AAC he served as a collections researcher and lead curator for the Asian Pacific American Foodways Project at the Anacostia Community Museum (ACM), a joint project between the ACM and the Asian Pacific American Center that documented the diversity, power, and resilience of Asian American food cultures in the Washington, DC region.

A food ethnographer, curator, and storyteller, his research focuses on the cultural politics of food within and across Asian American diasporic communities. His work has been features on CNN and Gastropod and he has previously taught in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park where he recently defended his dissertation, “Setting the Transpacific Kitchen Table: The Cultural Politics of Food in the Korean American Diaspora” to receive a Ph.D. in American Studies. He received his undergraduate degree in History (with Honors) from Swarthmore College. You can find him at home in Durham, NC cooking from his collection of vintage restaurant cookbooks or on food-themed road trips with his friends and family in his spare time.

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Marcus Donie

Program Coordinator

Marcus is a two-time alumnus from UNC and joined the team in 2022.  Previously, he worked on campus in The College of Arts and Sciences as well as The Athletics Department.  In addition to his duties with The AAC, Marcus is a Resilience Coach where he assists students with identity-based traumas.

He has completed the Carolina Firsts, Coach Approach, DEI in the Work Place, Embody Carolina, Green Zone, Mental Health 1st Aid, One Love, Safe Haven, Safe Zone & UndocuCarolina trainings.

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