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Dr. Derek Chang, Associate Professor in the Department of History and Asian American Studies
Posse Two Faculty Mentor

I came to Cornell in 2002 and am an associate professor in the Department of History and in the Asian American Studies Program. I currently serve as the Director of Asian American Studies. I'm also affiliated with the American Studies Program and with Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I recently joined the Cornell Institute for the Social Sciences Project on Immigration: Settlement, Integration and Membership.

I was born in Massachusetts, raised in southern California, attended college in Connecticut (at Trinity), did my graduate work in North Carolina (at Duke), and now reside in central New York. All of this makes me profoundly curious about the role of regional and geographic difference in Americans' lives. My first book, Christians of a Christian Nation: Evangelical Missions and the Problem of Race in the Nineteenth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), examines the regional variations in white supremacy and racial formation during the late-nineteenth century. I analyze black-white relations in the U.S. South and Chinese-white relations on the Pacific Coast.

My current projects also address, although somewhat differently, race and region. In one, I am researching the segregated South, the place of Asians within it, and its relationship to broader economic and regional systems (like the Caribbean). In the other, I am analyzing how nineteenth-century American missionaries and mission theorists understood the relationships among cultural difference, geographic space, and historical time. More generally, my research and teaching interests focus on comparative race and ethnicity, American religious history, and gender and women's history, but I also have an abiding interest in the history American social movements.

I spend most of my non-academic time with my family (my partner, Lauren, and our kids Max and Isabel). We live in Ithaca's Fall Creek neighborhood with a dog, a cat, two goldfish, a guinea pig, a crayfish, and a 

leopard gecko. I love soccer. I coach my kids' youth teams, root for Liverpool FC, and play recreationally when I can. I am also obsessed with the music of the late great Joe Strummer (his work, obviously, with the Clash but also his work for film and with the Mescaleros). Finally, I have learned to love Ithaca - the lake, the hills, the gorges, the Chapter House.