John Kuo Wei (Jack) Tchen
Inaugural Clement A. Price Chair in Public History and the Humanities
Director, Clement A. Price Institute
Professor of History
Jack Tchen is a facilitator, teacher, historian, curator, re-organizer, and dumpster diver. He works on understanding the multiple presents, pasts, and futures of American cities and metropolitan areas, identity formations, trans-local cross-cultural communications, archives and epistemologies, and progressive pedagogy. He also works on decolonizing Eurocentric ideas, theories, and practices and making our cultural organizations and institutions more representative and democratic.
Professor Tchen is the founding director of the Asian/Pacific/American (A/P/A) Studies Program and Institute at New York University and part of the original founding faculty of the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU. He co-founded the Museum of Chinese in America in 1979-80 where he continues to serve as senior historian.
He is author of the award-winning books New York before Chinatown: Orientalism and the Shaping of American Culture, 1776-1882 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001) and Genthe's Photographs of San Francisco's Old Chinatown, 1895-1905 (Dover Publications, 1984). He is the co-author, along with Dylan Yeats, of Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear, which was published by Verso in 2014. Professor Tchen is now working on a book about New York City that focuses on the unrecognized tradition of intermingling people, creativity, and improvisation among everyday residents. He regularly collaborates with filmmakers and media producers, artists and collectors, and, through the A/P/A Institute, sponsors and produces hundreds of programs and performances.
Professor Tchen has been building research collections of Asians in the Americas for over three decades. In doing so, he has critically examined practices of collecting and archiving to make sense of how we come to know what we know and don't know. He was awarded the Charles S. Frankel Prize from the National Endowment for the Humanities and in 2012 received the NYU MLK Jr Humanitarian Award. He is co-principle investigator of the report “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Facts, Not Fiction - Setting the Record Straight,” produced with The College Board. He is currently co-chairing the effort at the Smithsonian Institution to form an Asian Pacific American Center. Most recently, he co-curated the Museum of Chinese in America’s core exhibition, With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America, in a space designed by Maya Lin, and served on New York City’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers.
Associate Director, Clement A. Price Institute
Professor, African American and African Studies
Salamishah Tillet is currently the Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies and a faculty member of the Alice Paul Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a much sought-after commenter on the politics of artistic expression and a leading thinker on the relationship between art and social justice. In 2003, she co-founded A Long Walk Home, a Chicago-based national non-profit that uses art to educate, inspire, and mobilize young people to end violence against girls and women.
Professor Tillet received her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization and A.M. in English from Harvard University and her M.A.T. from Brown University. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania where she received her B.A. in English and Afro-American Studies. In 2010-11, she was the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellowship for Career Enhancement and served as a visiting fellow at the Center of African American Studies at Princeton University. In 2010, she was awarded the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2013-14, she was a Scholar-in-Residence at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Her book Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Imagination (Duke University Press, 2012) examines how contemporary African American artists, writers, and intellectuals remember antebellum slavery within post-Civil Rights America in order to challenge the ongoing exclusion of African Americans from America’s civic myths and to model a racially democratic future. In 2010, she co-edited the Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters Special Issue on Ethiopia and her work has appeared in American Literary History, American Quarterly, Callaloo, Novel, Research in African Literatures, Savoring the Salt: The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara, Violence in the Lives of Black Women: Battered, Black, and Blue, and Women's Review of Books. She is currently working on a book on the civil rights icon Nina Simone.
Salamishah has appeared on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, TedxWomen, and written blogs and editorials for The Atlantic, the Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, The Nation, the New York Times, The Root, and Time. In 2010, she wrote the liner notes for John Legend and The Roots’ three-time Grammy award-winning album, Wake Up!. In 2013, she published Gloria Steinem: The Kindle Singles Interview for Amazon.
Her research interests include American Studies, twentieth and twenty-first century African American literature, film, popular music, cultural studies, and feminist theory.
Associate Director, Clement A. Price Institute
Professor, Arts, Culture and Media
Alexandra Chang is Associate Professor of Practice with the Art History program at the Department of Arts, Culture and Media and affiliated with the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience. Chang works on the topics of EcoArt and Global Asias Art at RU-N, where she gathers the monthly EcoArt Salons at the Paul Robeson Galleries at Express Newark and is a part of the campus-wide Eco Working Group. She organizes the Climate Working Group, a creative gathering of more than 50 members that bridges Science, Humanities and Arts researchers, scholars, artists, practitioners, and institutions for short and long term collaborations considering climate, data, policy, power, and the history of globalization. She also serves as Vice Chair on the Communications Committee of the Environmental and Climate Network of the Alliance of American Museums.
Chang is the director of the Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange (GAX)and the Virtual Asian American Art Museum with A/P/A Institute at NYU. She is Co-Founding Editor of Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas(ADVA)with publisher Brill (Leiden) and institutional partners, the Asia/Pacific/American Institute at New York University and the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University. She is Co-Founder of the College Art Association’s affiliated society the Diasporic Asian Art Network(DAAN). She received the New Leadership Award from ArtTable in 2019.
She served on the curatorial committee of What is Feminist Art? (2019-20, Smithsonian Archives of American Art, National Portrait Gallery) and curated exhibitions including CYJO/Mixed(2019, co-curator with artist, NYU Kimmel Windows); Ming Fay:Beyond Nature(2019 Sapar Contemporary); Zarina: Dark Roads(2017-18, co-curator with artist, A/P/A Institute, NYU), (ex)CHANGE: History Place Presence (2018, Asian Arts Initiative); Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art (2017-2018, lead curator, Getty PST II: LA/LA, Chinese American Museum and California African American Museum);Portals of Possibility(2017, Smithsonian APAC Culture Lab); 2012+ (2009, co-curator, The Drop: Urban Art Infill special exhibition); Urban Archives: Happy Together— Asian and Asian American Art from the Permanent Collection(2010, Bronx Museum of the Arts);Art, Archives and Activism: Martin Wong’s Downtown Crossings(2009, lead curator, A/P/A Institute, NYU). She also co-curated numerous exhibitions as co-founder of the Dream So Much artist collective.
She was the managing editor of Art Asia Pacific and features editor of amNewYorkand has written numerous essays for artist monographs and exhibition catalogues. She is the author of Envisioning Diaspora: Asian American Visual Arts Collectives (Timezone 8, 2018) and editor of Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art (Duke UP, 2018).