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Karthick Ramakrishnan. 2014.

Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Urgency of Public Relevance
Forthcoming from Journal of Asian American Studies.

Divisions between humanistic and social science approaches to Asian American studies play against a backdrop of a widespread devaluation of research and teaching in the liberal arts. There are a host of larger, structural reasons for this predicament, but the insulation of the academy is also partly to blame.

In order to improve matters, we need to engage more meaningfully with external audiences, and universities need to find better ways to reward such outreach. This is particularly true for public institutions of higher learning, as legislators and taxpayers have a dim understanding of the work we do. Thus, the interdisciplinary problem confronting Asian American studies goes beyond simply needing a bigger, more welcoming tent for scholarship; it also requires greater public outreach by faculty regardless of their discipline or topic.


Karthick Ramakrishnan. 2013.

Surveys of AAPIs: Lessons from the 2012 Election Cycle
Presentation at Princeton University, October 22, 2013


Pratheepan Gulasekaram and Karthick Ramakrishnan. 2013.

The Role of the Federal Executive in Catalyzing State Legislation on Immigration

SSRN Link to Abstract

In this paper, we lay out a systematic conceptual framework with which to classify the relationship between federal executive action and state-level legislation. Next, we focus on three key moments in state-level legislation on immigration over the past decade, to flesh out the circumstances under which federal executive action may prompt an increase in state legislation on immigration, either in a permissive or restrictive direction. These include: 1) the inability of the Obama administration in its first term to use enforcement schemes as a way to defuse state-level demands for restrictive legislation, 2) the indirect effects of Deferred Action in dislodging states from a post-9/11 status quo on driver licenses and generating a new wave of permissive legislation, and 3) the intentional, yet calibrated, way that the federal government has engaged with state demands for exemptions from enforcement schemes such as Secure Communities, while at the same time signaling to Congress its seriousness about immigration enforcement.


Andrew Flores and Karthick Ramakrishnan. 2012.

Restrictive Attitudes towards Same-Sex Marriage:
The Varying Importance of Gender by Race

In the aftermath of Proposition 8, a California constitutional amendment repealing gay marriage, attention focused on whether African Americans and Latinos propelled the measure to victory. Lost amidst the dominant framing around race was the role of gender, and the intersectional roles played by gender across racial and ethnic groups. We make use of two surveys of California voters to show that gender plays a different role in shaping gay marriage attitudes among whites and African Americans than among Latinos and Asian Americans. We discuss the reasons for this divergence in light of past research on the predominance of straight-marriage norms among the latter two groups.


Ramakrishnan, Karthick. 2008. Voting by Race and Immigrant Generation in the United States: 2004 and 2006.

Updated Tables to Democracy in Immigrant America.