Guro Dino Flores and Guro Bud Balani guest speakers at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Asian American Studies Department, Feb 2012

Guro Dino Flores and Guro Bud Balani guest speaking at the UCLA Asian American Studies, Feb 2012
“Exploring Ethnic Cultural Arts through Oral History” class taught by Professor Valerie Matsumoto.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Asian American Studies Department.



This course offers an introduction to the research method of oral history, with a focus on Asian Pacific American cultural arts.  One objective of the class is to provide basic instruction in preparing for, conducting, indexing and transcribing an oral history interview.  Students will also write a research paper placing their interview subject within a larger context and analyzing the significance of the interviewee’s experiences as a practitioner of a particular cultural art form.  The goals are to learn interview skills that can be utilized beyond the classroom, as well as to gain a sense of the vitality and importance of cultural arts—including dance, music, martial arts, and foodways—in ethnic communities.

About Professor Valerie Matsumoto:

A graduate of Arizona State University (B.A.) and Stanford University (Ph.D. History). Professor Matsumoto has had a distinguished career that has already spanned over 20 years at UCLA and hundreds of undergraduate and graduate mentees. Her book, Farming the Home Place, is widely regarded as a classic in Japanese and Asian American community studies. She also co-edited (with Blake Allmendinger) Over the Edge: Remapping The American West. Her newest book manuscript, which focuses on (second-generation Japanese American) Nisei women’s social networks before, during, and after World War II, is a timely, innovative study which promises to be as influential as its predecessor. Dr. Matsumoto also continues her on-going research projects on Asian American History; U.S. 20th Century, Women’s History, and Oral History..

Professor Matsumoto is also one of UCLA’s stellar instructors. She was the inaugural recipient of the C. Doris and Toshio Hoshide Distinguished Teaching Prize in 2006, as well as the recipient of the university-wide Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007. She has chaired or been a member of hundreds of senior theses, MA theses and doctoral dissertations, and the students she has mentored are faculty members across the nation, award-winning writers, and leaders in the community and society.
During her UCLA career, Professor Matsumoto has also contributed to the Asian American Studies Center by serving as guest editor of several special issues of Amerasia Journal, Associate Director of the Center, organizing conferences and events, and chairing selection committees. She also has been an active leader in the Asian American Studies Department, and was Vice Chair of the department and a member of a number of committees. She is also an active volunteer with many local and national museums, historical societies, and other organizations and institutions.

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Asian American Studies

The Asian American Studies Department promotes the study of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. from several disciplines. An undergraduate major leading to a B.A. degree is available for those students who wish to pursue their studies about Asian Pacific Americans in more depth, while the graduate program leads to the M.A. degree. Students enrolled in an organized undergraduate major other than Asian American Studies may pursue a minor in the field.

A major goal of the department is to communicate the experiences of Asian Pacific Americans as an ethnic group. Courses examine the important issues and concerns of Asian Pacific Americans, including their history, community, and culture.

Asian American studies is a specialized field of intellectual inquiry in higher education that examines the diverse experiences of Asian-ancestry and Pacific Islander Americans, including their histories, communities, cultures, socioeconomic mobility, and political participations, and their relationships with ancestral homelands and other Asian diasporas.

Interdisciplinary scholarship has from the outset been the cornerstone of the field, but Asian American studies also seeks to interrogate disciplinary boundaries by adopting comparative and cross-disciplinary or multidisciplinary perspectives to study racial and ethnic relations in America, diasporic and transnational communities, U.S.-Asian relations, and globalization.

The department recognizes its vital historical and continuing linkage with the struggle for the civil rights and social justice of people of color and other disadvantaged social groups. Faculty members are committed to offering a curriculum that embraces the historical and contemporary realities of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, supporting research that promotes equality, encouraging community services, and making higher education more inclusive and responsive to American diversity.

The department equips students with theoretical, methodological, and practical knowledge, as well as analytical and communication skills needed to be successful in American society while creating a nurturing environment for faculty, students, and staff in their interdepartmental and extramural collaborations and activities. It aims to build on UCLA’s preeminence and to strengthen its position as the national leader in Asian American studies.

The department also is enhanced by its connection to and interaction with the Asian American Studies Center. Established in 1969, the center has been widely recognized as one of the world’s top Asian American studies institutions.

The undergraduate and graduate programs aim to enhance and infuse the UCLA curriculum with an interdisciplinary understanding of the Asian American experience to promote innovative research and cutting-edge scholarship in Asian American studies, provide leadership training to individuals interested in working in Asian American communities, and prepare students for advanced study in the humanities, social sciences, and professional disciplines.


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA is one of the world’s great research universities, number 11 in London’s Times Higher Education rankings (2010-2011). Our faculty includes Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, multiple MacArthur fellows and scores of national academy members. Interdisciplinary teaching and research is a particular strength, with initiatives in the arts, stem cells and other biosciences, nanoscience, international studies and the environment.


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