With our faculty advisor of many years gone to Hong Kong for the duration of this school year, AAA has been fortunate enough to have found a new faculty sponsor, Angela C. Pao, Ph.D. When asked if she ever anticipated coming to a place like IU, the answer was a “no.”
“It never occured to me, but my sister’s family had lived in South Bend for a few years, so Indiana was a familiar concept.”
The concept became reality for Dr. Pao when she accepted a “wonderful position” in Comparative Literature that would allow her to be involved in both theatre studies and Asian American studies.
The move from environments with a large Asian American presence and support base to a campus with a relatively microscopic population of Asian Americans is a drastic change.
However, when Dr. Pao discovered that there were indeed Asian Americans here at IU, she felt it seemed “very important and appealing to be part of a group of people with similar cultural backgrounds or experiences.”
Current job: Assistant prof., Comparative Literature
Education: Received doctorate from University of California, Berkeley. She taught in the Asian American studies department during her grauduate years.
Published materials: papers on 19th century French theatre; analysis on David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly.
Current project: completing book on Orientalism
Consequently, she decided to become involved with AAA as our advisor.
Dr. Pao admits though, this is the first time she has worked with a student group. Most of her previous involvement has been with professional Asian American organizations.
Some of the goals Dr. Pao hopes to accomplish for AAA and Asian Americans on this campus include offering courses in Asian American literature and culture that will involve speakers, screenings, and readings that would be of interest to AAA members.
“Once the Asian American Cultural Center opens, I’m interested in helping plan events and exhibitions…and building the research resources on campus for Asian American studies,” Dr. Pao said.
When our AAA advisor is not in the classroom lecturing, writing, or putting up with Bridging the Gap staff writers (you don’t have to include that part), she enjoys taking dance classes.
“I once wanted to be either a jockey or a ballerina,” said Dr. Pao.
Finally, when asked if she could be any food or dish, what would she be, Dr. Pao replied, “scrambled eggs – this is a metaphor.” Whether she prefers to be vegan style egg beaters or natural farm fresh grade A eggs, remains to be answered.