Cynthia Yuan Gao is a PhD candidate in American Studies at New York University. Her research focuses on 20th century Asian American activism and its relationships to revolutionary movements in Asia, particularly Vietnam and China. This work draws upon archival research and original oral history interviews conducted with activists. Other areas of specialty include socialist China, second-wave feminism, and intersections between Asian Americans and other people of color. She is the editor of an upcoming special issue of Positions: Politics on Global Maoism. Her work has also been published in International Labor and Working Class History and The Scholar and Feminist. She is currently Scholar-in-Residence at The Chapin School, where she works with K-12 educators to diversify the American history curriculum and lectures on immigration, citizenship, race, gender, sexuality, and social movements. She has previously taught courses in Asian American Studies, US social movement history, and Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Articles, Publications, and Appearances


“‘Don’t Wave It, Use It!’: Maoist Criticism/Self-Criticism and the US New Left.” Positions:
Politics. Forthcoming 2023. (Editor of Special Issue, “Maoism at the Margins.”)

“Against Normalcy: A Collective Testimony of Student Workers Organizing During the
Pandemic.” Co-authored paper. International Labor and Working-Class History. Forthcoming 2023.

“Our Fair City: Blueprint for Gender and Sexual Justice in New York City.” Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia Law School. June 2014.

“The Virtuosic Virtuality of Asian American YouTube Stars.” Scholar & Feminist Online 10, no. 3. 2013.


Interview on Asian American History. Montez Press Radio. July 28, 2021.