Before and Beyond Whiteness: Asian American Buddhists – with Dr. Funie Hsu and Chenxing Han 

Brad speaks with Dr. Funie Hsu and Chenxing Han about race, heritage, and Asian American Buddhisms. They discuss the ways Asian American Buddhists are often misunderstood in the United States due to the incomplete representation of Buddhism in American culture and the contemporary predominance of Whiteness in Buddhist spaces.

Dr. Funie Hsu is currently Associate Professor of American Studies at San José State University and was a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Davis. Her first book, Instructions for (Erasing) Empire: English, Domestication, and the US Colonization of the Philippines (under contract), demonstrates how English language instruction served to erase the violent reality of US occupation.

Chenxing Han (she/her) is the author of Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists (2021); one long listening: a memoir of grief, friendship, and spiritual care (2023); and numerous articles and book chapters for both academic and mainstream audiences. A frequent speaker and workshop leader at schools, universities, and Buddhist communities across the nation, she has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Hemera Foundation, the Lenz Foundation, and the University of Michigan. 

Learn more about APARRI

APARRI’s vision is to create a society in which Asian Pacific American religions are valued, recognized, and central to the understanding of American public life. Since 1999, The Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI) has been a vibrant scholarly community advancing the interdisciplinary study of Asian Pacific Americans and their religions. 

Producer: Dr. Bradley Onishi: @bradleyonishi

Audio Engineer and Musician: Scott Okamoto: @rsokamoto

For more information about research-based media by Axis Mundi Media visit:

Funding for this series has been generously provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.

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