As a writer and teacher, I am interested in movements in two senses. My newest book, Like Water: A Cultural History of Bruce Lee (NYU Press, 2022) explains how the iconic martial artist and actor Lee became a global superstar. His constant motion back and forth across the Pacific mirrored transpacific flows of culture, aesthetics, and martial arts in the 1960s and 1970s. Too elusive to be pinned down to any one location or culture, Bruce crossed borders and combined influences drawn from all those he encountered.
My first two books examine movement in a different sense, as both study social movements for justice by Asian Americans in the 1960s and 1970s. In that vein, I have published two books on the Asian American movement, Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America (University Minnesota Press, 2009) and Rethinking the Asian American Movement (Routledge, 2012).
I am Dean and Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education at the University of Colorado Boulder, I’m also a Professor of Ethnic Studies. In that role I teach classes on social movements, Asian American history and culture, comparative ethnic studies, and sports.
Having studied and taught at several colleges and universities across the U.S., I am thrilled to call CU my home. Boulder is a spectacular setting in which to write, teach, learn.
I currently sit on the editorial board of the Justice, Power, and Politics Series published by the University of North Carolina Press. I formerly served as on the Board of Directors of the Association of Asian American Studies and as a member of the editorial board the Journal of Civil and Human Rights Studies.
I was an avid snowboarder until Covid put a damper on everything and my passion for golf is matched only by my lack of skill. I enjoy reading and writing, watching movies and television (especially sports), hiking, and the proverbial spending time with my family. I’m also a rabid fan of University of Michigan football and basketball – Go Blue! And of course, Sko Buffs!