Meet the Directors

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Kunimoto's profile picture

Namiko Kunimoto

Director, Center for Ethnic Studies
Associate Professor, Department of History of Art

Namiko Kunimoto is a specialist in Asian American studies as well as modern and contemporary Japanese art. Her research interests include the visual politics of race and gender, art and diaspora, and issues of migration and nation-formation. Her essays include “Intimate Archives: Japanese-Canadian Family Photography, 1939-1945” in Art History, “Olympic Dissent: Art, Politics, and the Tokyo Games” in Asia Pacific Japan Focus, “Photographic Pluralities” in Blackflash Magazine, and “Tactics and Strategies: Chen Qiulin and the Production of Space” in Art Journal.


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Elissa Washuta

Program Director, American Indian Studies; Associate Professor, Department of English

Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and a nonfiction writer. She is the author of Starvation Mode and My Body is a Book of Rules, named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. With Theresa Warburton, she is the co-editor of the anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, Creative Capital, Artist Trust, 4Culture, and Potlach Fund. Her book White Magic is forthcoming from Tin House Books.


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Pranav Jani

Program Director, Asian American Studies
Associate Professor, Department of English

Pranav Jani is an associate professor of English with a focus in postcolonial studies and critical ethnic studies. His research and teaching interests lie in the literatures, cultures and history of colonized and formerly colonized people (in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Ireland) and people of color in the United States. In particular, Jani specializes in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora, Marxist theories of nationalism and colonialism, and the intertwined legacies of colonialism, settler colonialism and slavery.


Photo of Paloma Martinez-Cruz

Paloma Martinez-Cruz

Program Director, Latino/a Studies; Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Paloma Martinez-Cruz works in the area of contemporary hemispheric cultural production, women of color feminism, performance, and alternative epistemologies. Martinez-Cruz’ book entitled Women and Knowledge in Mesoamerica: From East L.A. to Anahuac (University of Arizona Press, 2011) argues that healing traditions among Mesoamerican women constitute a hemispheric intellectual lineage that thrives despite the legacy of colonization. She is the translator of Ponciá Vicencio, the debut novel by Afro-Brazilian author Conceição Evaristo, about a young Afro-Brazilian woman's journey from the land of her enslaved ancestors to the multiple dislocations produced by urban life. She is the editor of Rebeldes: A Proyecto Latina Anthology, a collection of stories and art from 26 Latina women from the Midwest and beyond.