August 1, 2019
Welcome back to Boulder! Though, for me, it is a welcome to rather than a return, since I am just beginning my term as the incoming director of the Center for Humanities and the Arts. I am very excited to start my tenure at the CHA—I am so impressed with everything I am learning about the faculty, staff, and students of CU Boulder, particularly the role of the arts and humanities in the life of the Boulder community.
A little about me: I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, specifically Hayward, CA, home of the Shasta soda company. I missed being classmates with Academy award winning actor Mahershala Ali by a year, but we can both claim to be proud graduates of Mount Eden High School. I spent my undergraduate years at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I majored in English, and I continued the study of literature at Boston University, where I hold both an MA and PhD. I am coming from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I spent 16 years in the Department of English and Comparative Literature teaching Asian American literature and culture, contemporary multiethnic literature, and critical race studies, and these subjects also comprise my central research interests and publication output. I am also the incoming president of the Association of Asian American Studies (AAAS), a title I’m enormously proud of and humbled by since AAAS has fostered my earliest intellectual development since I was an undergraduate.
When I’m not in the CHA’s offices in Macky Auditorium you can most likely find me in the Ethnic Studies department, which is my home unit at CU Boulder. There is so much I look forward to learning about Boulder, both the local environment and campus community. I intend to spend the fall semester listening, learning, and meeting with as many of you as I can. I do have an ambitious wish list of things I’d like to do at the CHA, as one example, I’m hoping for the CHA to have a more public presence on and off campus. I’m also eager to begin working alongside Sharon Van Boven, the new operations and finance manager at the CHA, and Leah Coffey, a familiar face who has been greeting guests in the CHA office and helping our faculty and grad student fellows. And since I’m new to Boulder I also look forward to exploring the area, so recommendations of hiking trails, tea shops, art spaces and local food are especially welcome.
Feel free to write to me at Jennifer.Ho@colorado.eduwith suggestions—both for the CHA and for things I should look into as a new resident of Colorado. And please contact me if you’d like to meet up in person—I welcome hearing and learning from you.
Again, welcome back to Boulder!
Director, Center for Humanities and the Arts
Professor, Ethnic Studies