PULLMAN, Wash. — An internationally recognized scholar in the field of ethnic and cultural studies, Epifanio San Juan, Jr., has assumed the chairmanship of the Department of Comparative American Cultures at Washington State University.
San Juan comes to WSU from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he was professor of ethnic studies for the past five years. For the previous 25 years, he taught English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, with brief appointments at Brooklyn College, N.Y., the University of Trento, Italy, and the University of the Philippines as a Fulbright lecturer.
San Juan earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of the Philippines and his master’s and doctoral degrees in English and American literature from Harvard University. He is one of the internationally distinguished writers included in the “Harper Collins World Reader.” He is on the editorial board of Amerasia Journal; Nature, Society, and Thought; and the Institute for Critical Research in the Netherlands.
His book “Racial Formations/Critical Transformations” won awards from the Association for Asian American Studies and the Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights and he received the 1994 Katherine Newman Award from the Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literatures in the United States. His recent publications focus on comparative cultural analysis and the experience of Filipinos in the U. S.
San Juan has held fellowships at the Institute for the Advanced Study of the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society, Ohio.
“WSU is indeed fortunate to have a scholar of such keen intellect and high visibility in the field of ethnic and cultural studies join our faculty as chair of the Department of Comparative American Cultures,” said Barbara Couture, Liberal Arts dean. “Professor San Juan’s hiring is a landmark achievement for the department. His scholarship and leadership promises to be an inspiration to the faculty and a positive force in helping WSU meet its goals to promote diversity in our academic programs.”
Working with campus ethnic groups, including the Asian American, Native American, Chicano, and African American centers, and expanding and integrating CAC activities with the Women Studies and American Studies programs are among San Juan’s primary goals.
“A major in CAC was first created in 1995,” said San Juan. “We are working to expand offerings in our major and to create graduate courses as well. I believe WSU offers many opportunities to explore new ways to teach and conduct research, and I am looking beyond the U.S. into comparative studies of different cultures in order to promote awareness and appreciation of cultural differences.”