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Lecture by Dr. Karen Su.
Title: "Kids Know More About Dinosaurs Than About Asian Americans: Why We Need More Asian American Children’s Books"
Synopsis: This talk focuses on the representation of Asian Americans in children’s books past and present and the importance of movements to diversify U.S. children’s literature. Karen Su will also touch on her own process of becoming a children’s book creator and reflect on the stakes of Asian American arts and creativity.
Bio: Dr. Karen Su served as the Assistant Director of the Asian American Studies Program and founding director of the Pan-Asian American Community House at Penn from 2000-2002 and worked closely with Yoonmee Chang when she was a graduate student at Penn. Karen Su received her Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in English with a concentration on U.S. writers of color and Asian American literature. She is an aspiring children’s book creator and was chosen as 2018 We Need Diverse Books non-fiction picture book mentee and since 2017 has been a mentee of children’s book author and illustrator Maya Gonzalez through Reflection Press and School of the Free Mind. She is a member of SCBWI (the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and Banyan: Asian American Writers Collective based in the Chicago area.
Currently, she is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Global Asian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is the Principal Investigator and Project Director of the UIC Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Initiative which is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education to enhance the educational outcomes and experiences of Asian American, Pacific Islander, English language learner and low-income first generation undergraduate college students at UIC. She was the founding director of UIC’s Asian American Resource and Cultural Center from 2004-2013. She has also been involved in establishing Asian American Studies at multiple institutions on the west coast, east coast, and midwest.