Chao Center for Asian Studies

The Chao Center for Asian Studies is a research institute attached to a thriving undergraduate major. We support a model of Asian Studies that looks carefully and critically at the complex ways people in ‘Asia’ have been involved with one another and with the rest of the world, not only today, but also in the past. Toward these ends, we work closely with peer organizations in inter-Asia, indeed, in some cases with those whom we study, and in every case collaborating with scholars who pursue similar questions as we do.

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Recent Submissions

  • Sherry Cheng and Wei Jiang oral history interview and transcript 

    Cheng, Sherry; Jiang, Wei (2020-04-01)
    Sherry Cheng holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of the same from the University of Oklahoma. She moved to Houston in 1999 with her husband, Houston Symphony violist Wei Jiang. Sherry is involved in various capacities in Houston’s diverse arts community. As a musician, Sherry performs ...
  • Gary Sham oral history interview and transcript 

    Sham, Gary (2021-10-18)
    Gary Sham was born in Houston in 1963 to second-generation Chinese American parents. Mr. Sham graduated from Rice University in 1985, with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematical Sciences. After university, he worked as a seismic geophysicist at Shell Oil Company and as a flight controller at NASA. He ...
  • Hyun Ja Norman oral history interview and transcript 

    Norman, Hyun Ja (2022-05-27)
    Hyun Ja Norman was born in Gudam, South Korea in 1968. She was the seventh child of nine children to her parents. Her family managed a small store where her father was a butcher. Norman went to college and studied Spanish because many companies at the time were doing business in South America. After graduating college, Norman went to South America ...
  • Dr. John Paul Liang oral history interview and transcript 

    Liang, John Paul (2021-11-02)
    Dr. John Paul Liang was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1974. His parents had emigrated from Taiwan in the early 1970s. Dr. Liang spent 10 years growing up in Brazil before he moved to Houston, Texas in the United States after an unfortunate incident where his father was attacked in a carjacking. Since then, Dr. Liang has spent most of his time living ...
  • Edwin Carson oral history interview and transcript 

    Carson, Edwin (2022-01-25)
    Edwin Carson was born in Cebu City, Philippines, and he first got into punk/hardcore music while he was in high school. Some of the bands he initially listened to included The Sex Pistols, Minor Threat, and Black Flag. As he was drawn further into the genre, he started to learn the guitar and eventually created a band with his friends; this band would ...
  • Tam Le oral history interview and transcript 

    Le, Tam (2022-06-06)
    Born in 1989 in Houston, Texas, Tam Le’s steady passion for traveling and expanding her worldview has led her to work in New York, London, Central and South America, Istanbul, Singapore, and Vietnam at various points her life. Currently residing in Austin, Le is a brand strategist for Landor & Fitch, helping to bridge gaps between designers and her ...
  • Lucy Pendon oral history interview and transcript 

    Pendon, Lucy (2021-10-22)
    Ms. Lucy, short for Luzviminda, Pendon was born in Orani, Bataan in the Philippines in 1942. She immigrated to the United States in 1964 to work as a nurse at Methodist Hospital in Houston. Ms. Pendon was the Associate Director of Nursing at Brazosport Memorial Hospital in Freeport, where she worked for 27 years before retiring in 2000. During her ...
  • Gregorio Pendon oral history interview and transcript 

    Pendon, Gregorio (2021-10-22)
    Gregorio (Greg) Pendon was born in 1941 in the town of Pototan, in the province Iloilo, Philippines. During his childhood, he lived with his parents, five siblings, and 4 cousins. He was also close with his grandmother, Gregoria, after whom he was named. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Adamson University in Manila, Philippines, in the field of ...
  • Tan-Hua Wu oral history interview and transcript 

    Wu, Tan-Hua (2020-07-09)
    Tan-Hua Wu was born in a small village in Jiangsu, China in 1924. He was a young student when the Japanese first invaded China, and as a result, he enlisted in the military. He completed his training in Chengdu, Chongqing and was assigned to the 205th platoon, also known as the Youth Army, due to his stellar grades, and worked under General Liu Anqi ...
  • Nibu Abraham oral history interview and transcript 

    Abraham, Nibu (2021-12-05)
    Nibu Abraham is a punk musician based in Houston who is currently the bassist for Celtic punk band The Tomfooligans. His interest in punk, metal, and hardcore music was fostered early on by watching skate videos and by hanging out with skaters, and at the age of 10, he picked up a guitar and started playing the guitar tabs found at the end of magazines. ...
  • Rogene Gee Calvert oral history interview and transcript 

    Calvert, Rogene Gee (2022-01-19)
    Rogene Gee Calvert is a followup interviewee (last interviewed 10 years prior) and is an exemplary advocate for healthcare services among the Asian American, and more recently, immigrant/refugee communities in Houston. A board member of the Asian American Coalition/HOPE Clinic, she is a large driving force behind the proliferation of the HOPE Clinic, ...
  • Rajeev Raghavan oral history interview and transcript 

    Raghavan, Rajeev (2021-05-06)
    Rajeev Ragjavan was born in Corning, New York in March 1979, six years after his parents initially moved there from India during the “brain drain,” a migration wave in the 1970s when scientists and professionals were in demand in the US. When he was four, he and his brother moved back to India to stay with their grandparents for 2.5 years, which was ...
  • Kittie Farmer oral history interview and transcript 

    Farmer, Kittie (2021-12-21)
    Kittie Farmer is the lead vocalist for Austin based metal band Flooded Tomb. Thanks to the Matrix Movies soundtracks, she has loved rock and heavier music since she was a child, and she joined her first metal band at the age of 15 in suburban Oklahoma (which eventually broke apart). She went to the University of Texas at Austin for college, where she ...
  • Karen Tso oral history interview and transcript 

    Tso, Karen (2021-11-10)
    Karen Tso is a retired dietician who has worked tirelessly to support her community using her knowledge of industrial management and clinical dietetics, as well current social issues. She attended the University of Houston for her undergraduate education, where she first decided to pursue food and nutrition, and later attended Louisiana Tech University ...
  • Lynne Nguyen oral history interview and transcript 

    Nguyen, Lynne (2022-03-01)
    Lynne Nguyen was a refugee from Saigon in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States with her mother, father, and two brothers when she was a child. Initially living in upstate New York, her family quickly joined their distant cousins in Houston, where Lynne attended school and eventually went to the University of Houston. Earning a degree in ...
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  • Oscar Wong oral history interview and transcript 

    Wong, Oscar (2021-10-12)
    Oscar Wong was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to the United States when he came to college at the University of Notre Dame. He first started his career as an engineer, eventually creating his own nuclear related engineering business 13 years after he graduated college. After he sold that business in the 1980’s, he began his brewing company, ...
  • Dr. Lalitha Raman oral history interview and transcript 

    Raman, Lalitha (2021-06-10)
    Lalitha Raman was born in Burma and raised in India, where she attended college. Studying physics, she proceeded to work in the research industry with Bhabha Atomic Energy, later immigrating to the United States to pursue a PhD in Biophysics at Michigan State University. She continued her career in research at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh ...
  • Sambo Phon oral history interview and transcript 

    Phon, Sambo (2021-09-07)
    Sambo Phon was born in Cambodia in 1966. Along with her parents, four sisters, and brother, she survived the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, during which she was forced to work in a labor camp for three years. Although she was only ten years old when her family was separated to different labor sites, Phon would sacrifice one of her meals every day in order ...

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