Our quarterly Fireside Chat series brings an Asian author, artist, or academic into conversation with Jafreen Uddin, Executive Director of AAWW. This March, Jafreen will be joined by writer, editor, and professor Piyali Bhattacharya to share updates from the Workshop, and to discuss AAWW from a writers’ perspective.
Piyali Bhattacharya is a writer, editor, and professor of Creative Writing. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Literary Hub, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic and elsewhere. She is editor of the anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion (Aunt Lute Books, 2016). The book was awarded gold medals from the Independent Publisher Book Award and the Next Generation Indie Book Award, in addition to receiving a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and being named an “Asian American Literary Achievement of 2016” by NBC. Piyali is Artist-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania’s Creative Writing Program. She was born in New York City, and lives in Philadelphia and New Delhi.
Jafreen Uddin is the Executive Director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She is the first woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1991. With over a decade of experience working in the public sector, she specializes in communications, education, and fundraising. She most recently served as Deputy Director of Development for Special Events with PEN America, managing a high-level portfolio of events and cultivation activities. Prior to joining PEN America, she helped oversee Executive Education as an Assistant Director with NYU’s Stern School of Business, developing and coordinating both degree and non-degree programming for cohorts of senior-level executives. She began her career with a nearly-eight-year stint at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she helped create the infrastructure for the public programming calendar of events, and spent nearly three years managing an online Book Salon for Aslan Media, spotlighting writers and artists from the greater Middle East/South Asia region. She regularly volunteers her time with a number of local South Asian and Muslim organizations in New York City, including serving as Chairperson of the Columbia Muslim Alumni Association from 2011-2015 and as a current Board Member for Laal-NYC. She received her B.A. in political economics from Barnard College, Columbia University, and her M.A. in global history from NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science.
Piyali Bhattacharya, Jafreen Uddin