Washington, D.C. (April 8, 2011) – The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program’s HomeSpun: The Indian American Heritage Project, an unprecedented initiative by the Smithsonian Institution to document the lives and experiences of Indian Americans, welcomes award-winning sociologist and Asian American studies scholar Dr. Pawan Dhingra as its Curator.
“The American story is told by a diverse set of voices,” said Dr. Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture and Acting Director of the APA Program. “We welcome Dr. Dhingra to the Smithsonian and look forward to his curatorial help with providing Indian Americans, and their vast and varied experiences, a sustained voice on a national stage.”
The HomeSpun Initiative was conceived in 2007, when the APA Program and members of the Indian American community came together and recognized the need for Indian Americans to have a greater presence at the Smithsonian.
“It is an honor to work with the Asian Pacific American Program and the community to help represent Indian Americans at the Smithsonian,” said Dr. Dhingra. “For over a century Indian Americans and South Asian Americans generally have struggled to not only achieve in the United States but also move the country forward.”
Dhingra’s area of expertise is U.S. immigrant experiences, and he has published numerous works on the lives of Indian Americans. His 2007 book, Managing Multicultural Lives: Asian American Professionals and the Challenge of Multiple Identities, won the Honorable Mention Award for 2007 Best Book in the Social Sciences by the Association for Asian American Studies.
His latest book, Life Behind the Lobby: Indian American Motel Owners, Inequality, and the American Dream, is being readied for publication.
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program provides vision, leadership and support for Asian and Pacific Islander American initiatives at the Smithsonian and works to better reflect their contributions to the American experience, world culture, and the understanding of our planet and the natural world through Smithsonian collections, research, exhibitions, outreach, and education programs.