Professor of American Studies, Department Chair
Focuses on urban sociology and Asian American studies
Neill Hall 101
Karín Aguilar-San Juan, Professor of American Studies, holds a PhD in urban sociology from Brown University (2000). Together with Frank Joyce she co-edited The People Make the Peace: Lessons from the Vietnam Antiwar Movement (Just World Books 2015) featuring reflections by prominent U.S. antiwar activists and an interview with five U.S. ex-combat veterans now living in Viet Nam.During Fall 2015, the book was featured on CSPAN3.This book will be the basis of an antiwar symposium to be held at Macalester College and the East Side Freedom Library in April 2016.
Prof. Aguilar-San Juan’s interview with the legendary philosopher/activist Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015) was published in Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies. Her other books include a monograph, Little Saigons: Staying Vietnamese in America (University of Minnesota Press, 2009) and the edited volume, The State of Asian America: Activism and Resistance in the 1990s (South End Press 1994). She wrote the Foreword to Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire (South End Press 1997), edited by Sonia Shah. She has also published book chapters, journal articles, book and movie reviews in City & Community, Amerasia Journal, Nature and Society, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and Sojourner: The Women’s Forum (Boston), and Gay Community News.
As a first-time director, writer, and cinematographer, Prof. Aguilar-San Juan is currently working on a short documentary film called “Rice: A Filipino Love Story.” Created as an homage to the French feminist Agnes Varda, the project is based on a small farm in the Philippines where the rice plays a central role in the drama of everyday life.
Prof. Aguilar-San Juan arrived at Macalester in Fall 1999. Her courses include: The Problem of Race in U.S. Social Thought and Policy (exclusively for first-year students); Race, Place & Space; The School-to-Prison Pipeline; U.S. Imperialism from the Philippines to Viet Nam; and Hunger Games: Map and Mirror for the 21st Century. In Fall 2016 she will launch a new course called “Bruce Lee: Cultural Stereotype and Revolutionary Icon.”
Prof. Aguilar-San Juan received her B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College in 1984. Immediately after graduating, she taught an economics course at Wheelock College while working as an editor and production manager for dollars & Sense magazine. Later she joined the South End Press book publishing collective where she had professional encounters with Margaret Randall, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Cherrie Moraga, and Noam Chomsky. She and her South End Press colleague Loie Hayes appear in a 1992 documentary “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media.”
Since 2008, Prof. Aguilar-San Juan has served on the Board of Directors for Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul. She joined the Board of Directors for Volunteers of America-Minnesota/Wisconsin in 2013.