HomeSpun, Indian American, Staff Update

HomeSpun Update: Introducing Curator Pawan Dhingra

Dr. Pawan Dhingra

Photo by Jenn Manna

Welcome to Dr. Pawan Dhingra, Curator for the HomeSpun: Smithsonian Indian American Heritage Project

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program is proud to bring on board Dr. Pawan Dhingra who will take the lead in presenting the story of Indian Americans to the Smithsonian and to Americans of all backgrounds and generations. He brings a wealth of scholarship with him to the APA Program’s HomeSpun Project. To download the official announcement, click here.

Message from Dr. Dhingra:

I am excited to join the Asian Pacific American Program at the Smithsonian Institution and to serve as curator for the HomeSpun Project. Hiring a curator has been a long–awaited task for the project, and this is one more step towards its fruition. I come to the Smithsonian from Oberlin College, in Oberlin, OH, where I have been an associate professor of sociology and comparative American studies. I have published and taught on the experiences of Asian Americans, with a focus on Indian Americans. This includes my book, Managing Multicultural Lives: Asian American Professionals and the Challenge of Multiple Identities (Stanford University Press, 2007), which won an award from the Association for Asian American Studies.

More than is possible within academic spaces, HomeSpun will help the public recognize the history, struggles, and creative contributions of Indian Americans. The current plan is to have the exhibition debut at the Smithsonian by late 2012 and then travel to cities across the country. In addition to the exhibition, there will be public programs, a website, and a middle school curriculum guide.

HomeSpun depends on the contributions and energy of community members. If you know of any objects or recordings you consider significant to the Indian American story, please let us know. We hope to collect an archive of materials that can be preserved and incorporated into the Smithsonian for decades to come. And, please consider making a tax-deductable donation to HomeSpun. This initiative depends greatly on resources from individuals!

The work of so many people has laid the foundation of the project. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities lying ahead. If you have suggestions for or questions about the project, please do not hesitate to contact me at


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