"Am I Asian American?" An Exploration of Identity and History,
and a Preview of the new TV series "Asian Americans"


Saturday, May 9th, 2020

4:00-5:15 p.m. EDT



Join Oscar-nominated director Renee Tajima-Peña AB ’80 for a personal conversation about Asian American identity, history and challenge, with Harvard Univ. Press editor and author Sharmila Sen AB ’92 and Occidental College professor and author Jane Hong PhD ’13, both featured in Renee's ground-breaking series "Asian Americans," premiering May 11/12 on PBS. Columnist/cultural critic Jeff Yang AB ’89 moderates.

Co-sponsored by Harvard Asian American Alumni AllianceCoalition for a Diverse HarvardTask Force on Asian American Progressive Advocacy and Studies (TAPAS).


Renee Tajima-Peña AB '80 is the series producer of PBS's "Asian Americans" and a professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA. Her previous films include the Academy Award-nominated "Who Killed Vincent Chin?", "My America or Honk if You Love Buddha" and "No Más Bebés." At Harvard she was co-chair of the United Front Against Apartheid and co-creator of the Radcliffe Asian Women's Group slide show.
Sharmila Sen AB '92 is the author of the award-wining memoir-manifesto Not Quite Not White: Losing and Finding Race in America (Penguin USA, 2018). She is the Editorial Director of Harvard University Press. Sharmila graduated from Harvard College in 1992 and received her Ph.D. from Yale. She was an assistant professor of English literature at Harvard before her appointment at Harvard University Press in 2006. Sharmila lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband, three teenage children, and their dog Atticus. 
Jane Hong PhD '13 is an associate professor of history at Occidental College and the author of Opening the Gates to Asia: A Transpacific History of How America Repealed Asian Exclusion (UNC Press, 2019). Drawing on research in three countries, Opening the Gates argues that the dismantling of Asian exclusion laws in the United States was an unintended consequence of America's postwar empire in Asia. She is currently writing a history of how Asian Americans have changed U.S. evangelicalism and evangelical politics. Jane received a B.A. from Yale and a history Ph.D. from Harvard in 2013. A Brooklyn native raised in northern New Jersey, she now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter, born in February of this year.