Lily Anne Welty Tamai

Lily Anne Welty Tamai earned her doctorate in History from the University of California Santa Barbara. She conducted research in Japan and in Okinawa as a Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow and was also a Ford Foundation Fellow. Her forthcoming book titled, Military Industrial Intimacy: Mixed-race American Japanese, Eugenics and Transnational Identities, documents the history of mixed-race American Japanese and American Okinawans born after World War II and raised during the post-war period. Dr. Tamai was formerly the Curator of History at the Japanese American National Museum and currently serves on the U.S. Census Bureau National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations. At UCLA she teaches Asian American Studies 20, 20W, 30W, 115, 170, and 187C (Multiracial and Multiethnic Asian Americans).

Dr. Tamai has done service for the UCLA Mixed Student Union and the UCLA Southeast Asian Admit Program. She also serves on the Japanese American Citizens League Ventura County chapter board, and as a consultant for the Ventura County Maternal Mental Health Coalition. She has previously been a consultant for Wowow Network, NHK, Fuji TV, Yumiuri Shinbun, and Madama Butterfly, by Puccini for the The Norwegian Opera (Den Norske Operaen). She is currently working on articles about the historic preservation of a segregated Japanese cemetery in Ventura County, California and another on race in the Harry Potter series.

Kelly Fong

Dr. Kelly Fong (she/her) holds a Ph.D. in archaeology from UCLA with a graduate concentration in Asian American Studies. Her interdisciplinary work bridges her interest in Asian American social histories, community-based histories, and historical archaeology to examine everyday life through materials and memories left behind. Dr. Fong is involved with several research projects. In Isleton, Chinatown, she utilizes archaeological methods, material culture, and oral histories to explore everyday experiences during Exclusion in this Sacramento Delta community. Her work in Isleton has been featured in the Asian Americana podcast and the HBO series “Take Out with Lisa Ling” (2022). Dr. Fong is also the project co-lead for Five Chinatowns, a community place-based history project with the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California that documents five different Chinese American communities in Los Angeles city between 1882 and 1965. Drawing from archival sources and oral histories, Five Chinatowns is a multigenerational public history project that has involved training several cohorts of high school and college student interns in community-based oral history research. Finally, Dr. Fong is part of the research team examining Chinese American diasporic networks through 20th century restaurant ceramics distributed by F.S. Louie Company, a Berkeley-based wholesaler that supplied ceramics to many Chinese restaurants across the US.

Over the past decade, Dr. Fong has taught in Asian American Studies, history, and anthropology at multiple universities in Southern California. In addition to teaching in AASD at UCLA, she regularly teaches with the UCLA GE Cluster 20 (Race and Indigeneity) teaching team. Her approach to teaching draws from Ethnic Studies pedagogy and seeks to inspire students to make critical connections between what they are learning in the classroom to themselves, and to apply this knowledge to make a difference in their communities. To foster this pedagogical approach, Dr. Fong designs creative projects for her courses that engage learners and challenge them to apply their knowledge in different formats, including creating community newspapers inspired by Gidra, developing a community cookbook, and authoring a “People’s Guide” to Chinatown. In 2022, Dr. Fong was the first lecturer to receive the UCLA Asian American Studies Center’s C. Doris and Toshio Hoshide Distinguished Teaching Prize in Asian American Studies.

In addition to teaching for AASD, Dr. Fong is project co-director for the UCLA Asian American Studies Center’s Foundations and Futures: Asian American and Pacific Islander Multimedia Textbook. This narrative change project seeks to bring Asian American Studies to high school and college classrooms across the US and is scheduled to launch mid-2025.

Dr. Fong has also been active in advocating for institutional change and increased diversity within archaeology. She is a member of the Society for California Archaeology’s Coalition for Diversity in California Archaeology (CDCA) and she serves as co-taskforce lead for Asian American Pacific Islander archaeologists within the Coalition. Her work with CDCA has included pushing the Society for California Archaeology to commit to anti-racism training, developing an equity statement, and openly recognizing the need to address institutional inequities in the field.