Emerging technology’s role for telling critical Asian American history

Photo by Red Morley Hewitt

Professor Lien Tran is part of DePaul University’s 2022-23 The OpEd Project’s Public Voices fellowship. Professor Tran’s first op ed entitled “Lunar New Year Offers a Chance to Reflect on Asian American History“, was published in VISIBLE magazine ahead of Lunar New Year on January 22, 2023.


In this op ed, Tran shares examples for how museums and emerging technology such as augmented reality and virtual reality can play a critical role in sharing stories of complex and troubled but important historical events of prejudice, hate, and racism. In the op ed, Tran shares examples from both the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, CA, and the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Chicago, IL.



– ELIE WIESEL, Holocaust Survivor

The state of Illinois was the first in the nation to require Holocaust education, and now as recently as 2021 Asian American history, be taught in K-12 schools. As such, Tran has and continues to explore how emerging technology can facilitate such education. The op ed uses the upcoming international holiday of Lunar New Year as the hook for the importance of remembering and reflecting on our understanding and appreciation of Asian American history.

It’s critical that we do not homogenize Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander identities. The United States is home to 22 million Asian Americans, who have roots in more than 20 countries. That population is expected to surpass 46 million by 2060, but we are only recently seeing commitments to honoring and educating future generations about the lived experiences, historic contributions and often racist treatment of Asian Americans.