Intercultural Hospitality conference is part of IU Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • April 1, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will host its inaugural Intercultural Hospitality conference from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 9.

All events will take place in the State Room East of the Indiana Memorial Union on the Bloomington campus. The conference is among several keynote events in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs and the Asian Pacific American Faculty and Staff Council.

“The conference will highlight the ways intercultural hospitality is practiced in diverse communities,” said Samrat Upadhyay, the Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities in the Department of English Creative Writing Program within the College of Arts and Sciences. “We’ll have insightful conversations on how our culture centers embody hospitality, how generosity and kindness are discovered across borders, and how we engage with our planetary commons.”

Intercultural hospitality is also at the heart of IU’s history, said Liana Zhou, director of library and archives at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction.

“Dr. Herman B Wells’ vision for Indiana University was truly based on intercultural hospitality. He brought the diverse cultures of the world to the Bloomington campus to foster and promote academic freedom,” Zhou said, adding that the council works throughout the year to increase connections and collaborations among faculty, staff, students and academic programs. “We planned the inaugural conference to engage Indiana University communities from all campuses. We want to inspire new and more creative ways for intercultural collaborations.”

The focus on intercultural hospitality is in sync with IU’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month theme of encouraging dialogue for change, which seeks to engage the campus community in enriching intercultural hospitality within, across and beyond Asian American communities.

During the conference, IU’s first Asian Pacific Americans Inspiration awards will be presented. The following criteria were considered when selecting the winners:

  • Commitment toward outreach, support and celebration of the Asian Pacific American heritage in IU and the broader community.
  • Participation and leadership in IU and local Asian community.
  • Building and establishing collaboration.
  • Communication between Asian Pacific Americans and other communities.

"Hospitality is not always easy, but it can be the starting point for great things to happen, when we make time and space for others,” said Joan Pong Linton, associate professor of English and an affiliate in the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. “Nurturing this great potential in all of us is what this conference is all about, when we make room for one another across cultural, generational, institutional lines."

“We are excited that we have announced the APA Inspiration Awards to honor the leaders among faculty, staff and students whose individual efforts inspire and bring about the positive changes in communities within IU and beyond. Both the awards and the conference reflect our mission, which is to provide leadership in promoting the development of Asian Pacific American faculty and staff at Indiana University,” Zhou said.

The conference is free and open to the public. However, seats for the luncheon are limited.  For more information about registering for the luncheon and conference, go to the web site for the Asian Pacific American Faculty and Staff Council. For more information about this event, please email Liana Zhou at

Related Links

Samrat Upadhyay

Samrat Upadhyay

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Media Contacts

George Vlahakis

  • IU Communications
  • Office 812-855-0846
  • Cell 812-345-1500
  • IU Inc.

Harmeet Sawhney

  • Asian Pacific American Faculty Staff Council
  • Office 812-855-0954

Joan Pong Linton

  • Asian Pacific American Faculty Staff Council
  • Office 812-855-2285

Liana Zhou

  • Asian Pacific American Faculty Staff Council
  • Office 812-855-3060