Spotlighting MacArthur Fellows This Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Invisibility, which is a constant hindrance to Asian-Americans, is an advantage in that I can see everyone. It’s up to me to turn this limitation into a superpower.” — Ocean Vuong, Poet and Fiction Writer

One of the things I find most rewarding is the opportunity to discover new things about how the world works and to be able to do that collaboratively. At a meta level, I enjoy the social interactions associated with our study of social interaction.” — Jenny Tung, Evolutionary Anthropologist and Geneticist

I have come to understand that we create our stories, and therefore, our world. We have a choice, to create our identities with the vision of a more whole world, or to retreat into our brokenness…Forgiveness is the brave choice to sing a new story into the world.” — Vijay Gupta, Violinist and Social Justice Advocate

Faces are like a Rosetta stone. The brain uses a certain set of rules to convert different face images into patterns of electrical activity…One of the joys of studying the brain is that I get to actually peek inside the carpenter shop and see each step that the brain is using to construct our perception of reality.” — Doris Tsao, Neuroscientist

When I began studying Indian history at university, I found an absolute disconnect — there was no mention of Southeast Asia…My academic research helped bridge together what I intuitively knew to be true, having spent the first 18 years of my life in the region, which is that there are all kinds of connections and flows — migratory, cultural, economic — crossing borders, but these weren’t at all academically linked.” — Sunil Amrith, Historian

Making art means you are exploiting your experience essentially, and I find that to be endlessly provoking. There is clearly some extraction that happens in that process, producing something that gives our life meaning. But that is problematic, in a good way.” — Wu Tsang, Filmmaker and Performance Artist

No one should underestimate the danger of this pandemic. But neither should we underestimate the threat to our liberty arising from the government’s response…we can respond to coronavirus without destroying the precious freedom we enjoy in this country.” — Ahilan Arulanantham, Human Rights Lawyer

I will continue to explore and reflect on the neocolonial violence within the historical context of South Korea and U.S. relations…I would like the readers to reflect on how our lives overlap and how we are tragically connected by imperial violence.” — Don Mee Choi, Poet and Translator

You should never give up in your personality. Maybe something in front of you is very complicated, it’s lengthy, but you should be able to pick up the major points by your intuition.” — Yitang Zhang, Mathematician

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