On Monday, March 25, Barnard faculty will formally submit to the Barnard Committee on Instruction their proposal to establish an Asian Diaspora and Asian American Studies Program (ADAAS).

For the past two years, a group of Barnard students and faculty members have been working to establish an Asian Diaspora and Asian American Studies (ADAAS) program at Barnard, allowing the possibility of completing a minor or concentration.

By this Monday, March 25, they plan to submit the first proposal to the Barnard Committee on Instruction (COI) in hopes of having the program approved. The COI, the College’s regulatory body for educational policy, manages the introduction or modification of fields of study, courses, and curricular changes.

A group of five Barnard students—Julie Wu (BC ‘25), Aurelia Tan (BC ‘25), Kristen Santarin (BC‘24), Christina Park (BC‘26), and Nithiya Meng (BC‘26)—make up the Student Advisory Board (SAB) that has worked closely together with Barnard faculty and administrators to establish the ADAAS program. Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Professors Manijeh Moradian and Neferti Tadiar collaboratively drafted the 12-page proposal to be submitted on Monday.

The ADAAS program hopes to implement an inclusive curriculum that centers on the Asian diasporic experience, utilizing an interdisciplinary approach informed by transnational and intersectional feminism, Black, Indigenous, and critical ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, and queer diasporic critique. The program, if approved, would aim to build on what already exists at other institutions, with topics like the processes of racial formation, diasporic belonging/unbelonging, and the aesthetic practices of representation and self-representation being at its forefront. 

Wu (BC ‘25) told Bwog, “It is exciting to see the work we’ve done for the past few years coming to fruition… We are proud to be spearheading this student initiative to not just establish the first ADAAS program in Barnard’s history, but to hopefully create a program that is at the forefront of the field and to continue evolving it to meet the needs of Barnard’s future generations to come.” 

In the final stages of this first step of the process, the SAB is collecting signatures to express student interest and support for the creation of the ADAAS program.

Barnard College via Bwog Archives