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Duke hires two new faculty in Asian American and Diaspora studies program

Photos courtesy of Anna Storti and Calvin Cheung-Miaw

Anna Storti (left) will be an assistant professor in gender, sexuality and feminist studies, and Calvin Cheung-Miaw (right) will be an assistant professor in the history department. Both were hired as part of Duke's Asian American and Diaspora studies program.

Duke has hired two new professors as part of a hiring initiative in the Asian American and Diaspora studies program.

Anna Storti and Calvin Cheung-Miaw will join the University in the fall, according to an announcement provided by Professor of Theater Studies Esther Kim Lee, who chaired the search committee for the new faculty.  Storti will be an assistant professor in gender, sexuality and feminist studies, and Cheung-Miaw will be an assistant research professor in the history department for a year before becoming an assistant professor. 

Storti has a doctorate in women’s studies from the University of Maryland. She wrote in an email to The Chronicle that she is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Dartmouth College, where she taught a course on race and memory, applying a “queer and feminist approach to performance.”

Storti wrote that committing to Duke was an easy decision, adding that it “really is a dream job.” 

“Beyond campus, I’m looking forward to joining the Durham community and learning more about the urgent organizing work that’s happening across the Triangle in racial justice, transformative justice, and mutual aid. I also come from a family of basketball fans so it’s exciting to move to a basketball state,” Storti wrote.

According to the email announcing the hires, much of Storti’s academic work focuses on  “violence of racial fetishization—an issue whose urgency is once again in the news—and explorations of ‘racialized anger’ at white supremacy.” 

Storti wrote that becoming a faculty member in both GSF and AADS “opens up so many doors.”

“I feel lucky to be joining others in making Duke a hub in racialized erotics, women of color feminism and Asian American studies,” Storti wrote. “I’m most excited to learn what types of issues students are passionate about and working with colleagues across the university to think creatively about how to be socially engaged scholars in light of an overdue racial-reckoning in the US.”

Storti added that one of her goals is to have every Duke student take a GSF and AADS class. 

“These are classes that changed my life, and I know they’ll change theirs too, for the better,” Storti wrote. 

Cheung-Miaw is finishing his doctorate at Stanford’s program in modern thought and literature. He said his main research focus at the moment is an intellectual history of Asian American Studies. 

Cheung-Miaw said that he was drawn to Duke in part because of the legacy of decades of student activism at the university.

“I’m excited to be at a campus where students have fought for and won an Asian American studies program,” he said. 

He also said he is excited to be joining the community of scholars at Duke, including faculty in AADS and history but also in GSF, African and African American studies, international comparative studies and the program in Latino/a studies in the global south. 

“I’m excited to be part of the intellectual community, to see how it transforms and pushes my scholarship and teaching. I’m excited to be in conversation with my research and my colleagues’s research. I’m excited to help build the AADS program. And I will hopefully be there as it takes a step into having a minor,” he said.

The California native is also thrilled to move to North Carolina. Cheung-Miaw said that last fall, he coordinated a group of 50 people across the country to support local groups like Durham For All and Carolina Federation, two elections-focused organizations. 

“I strongly believe that U.S. politics—the future of U.S. politics—is going to be determined by politics in the South,” he said. “I'm really excited to see how Asian Americans play a role in that.” 

The announcement noted that the committee received more than 250 applications and interviewed eight finalists before settling on Cheung-Miaw and Storti. The committee also included Patrice Douglass, assistant professor of GSF; Ashley Jardina, assistant professor of political science; Nayoung Aimee Kwon, associate professor in the department of Asian and Middle Eastern studies; and Mark Anthony Neal, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of African and African American studies.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify that Cheung-Miaw will be an assistant research professor for a year before becoming an assistant professor, and that he expressed his excitement about joining the history department as well as AADS.


Chris Kuo

Chris Kuo is a Trinity senior and a staff reporter for The Chronicle's 118th volume. He was previously enterprise editor for Volume 117.

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