History

The Department of American Ethnic Studies was established in 1985, upon the reorganization of the ethnic studies programs that emerged at the UW in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this sense, our unit carries on the legacy of the Civil Rights era, which gave origin to those programs.

The AES faculty includes 5 Professors, 5 Associate Professors, 2 Assistant Professors, 1 Senior Lecturer, and 2 Full-time Lecturers.

Over the years, AES faculty have garnered numerous honors and awards, including 1 National Book Award, 3 American Book Awards, 1 Association for Asian American Studies Book Award, 1 Fulbright Lectureship, 3 UW Distinguished Teaching Awards, 1 UW Excellence in Teaching Award, 1 UW Outstanding Public Service Award, 1 UW James D. Clowes Award for the Advancement of Learning Communities, and 2 Woodrow Wilson Junior Faculty Development Fellowships.

Collectively, the AES faculty holds a distinguished record of professional service. Among other positions, we count 1 President of the American Studies Association, 1 President of the National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1 President of the Society for Community Research and Action, 3 Presidents of the Association for Asian American Studies, and 1 Chair of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies.

The AES faculty, staff, students, and curriculum are among the most culturally diverse at the UW. This distinctive feature sets our unit apart and enhances our ability to provide a nurturing environment and, at the same time, to foster the educational benefits of diversity, such as students’ ability to regard subjects from multiple, critical points of view, and to engage in rigorous analysis and productive dialogue.