Congratulations to Professor Lynn Itagaki, who was recently awarded the 2014 Arts and Humanities Diversity Enhancement Award!
Itagaki, a professor of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and an affiliated faculty with Asian American Studies, has worked tirelessly for the Asian American Studies program, serving as a member of their advisory board and organizing a variety of events, for example, the Asian American Distinguished Lecturer in Spring 2013 and the English Department’s Kane Lecture featuring renowned Asian American Studies scholar Lisa Lowe in 2012. She has also been a guest speaker for several Asian American student groups and has worked hard and creatively to build enrollments in the Asian American Studies minor. She also recently participated in the 2014-2015 DISCO Welcome Recption, providing context and perspectives of Asian Americans in civil rights struggles as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Itagaki helped to found and execute Asian Americans in the Heartland: A Community Mapping and Oral History Project that is part of the digital archives of literacy narratives organized by Cindy Selfe and Louie Ulman. Implemented through Comparative Studies 2321: Introduction to Asian American Studies, this initiative continues to address the dearth of research on Asian American populations and demographic growth in the Midwest.
Itagaki has also expanded the departmental curriculum with her creatively designed classes, such as the Ethics of Ethnics: Comparative Racialization, Cultural Studies, and the Post-Racial Era; Multiracial Feminist Theory; and Representing Multiracial Feminisms. Itagaki also gives generously of her time by guest lecturing on some of her topics of expertise—Asian American literature, gender and sexuality studies, feminism, comparative race studies, and theories of intersectionality.
Toni Calbert, one of Itagaki’s graduate students, spoke fondly of Itagaki’s commitment to diversity. “[She] is an amazing teacher; her seminar on U.S. Ethnic Literature and Cultures introduced me to new ways of thinking about identity, difference, and the complexities of community in America. Dr. Itagaki is also someone who goes out of her way to offer thoughtful guidance, and always takes time to answer questions and listen to concerns whether or not they’re related to class.”
Professor Lynn Itagaki's commitment to diversity in research and education has benefitted so many students, faculty, and staff at OSU. Congratulations, Dr. Itagaki!