The Asian Pacific American Program is delighted to welcome Dr. Masum Momaya as Curator for the Smithsonian Indian American Heritage Project. Dr. Momaya brings a wealth of experience as a researcher, educator, curator, writer and advocate to this role, beginning more than 20 years ago as a teenager organizing youth service projects in the Indian American community.
Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Dr. Momaya was a curator at the International Museum of Women and engaged in curatorial work for the Indo-American Heritage Museum. Her professional work, which includes exhibitions, publications, podcasts, lectures, and workshops, uses multimedia technologies and artistic representations to document the experiences of minority communities around the world.
Dr. Momaya earned a doctorate in Human Development and a master’s degree in Education from Harvard University, a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Feminist Studies from Stanford University, and pursued advance studies in the University of Oxford’s Development Studies Program. She is a graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs and a recipient of a National Science Foundation Research Fellowship.
Dr. Momaya will be continuing the work of the former curator, Dr. Pawan Dhingra, who accepted the position of Chairman and Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at Tufts University. Dr. Dhingra will continue to be part of the Indian American Heritage Project in his new role as Senior Advisor.
Message from Dr. Momaya:
I am honored to join the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program and continue the groundbreaking work in presenting the history, struggles and contributions of the Indian American community. Dating back to 1790, the experiences of Indian Americans in the United States are as multifaceted and vibrant as the story of our nation itself, and this is what we will share with visitors when the exhibition opens at the Smithsonian and then travels to museums, libraries, community centers and other public spaces throughout the country.
Ultimately, the reach and impact of 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 me know. And, please consider making a tax-deductable donation to HomeSpun. This initiative depends greatly on resources from individuals!