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Christina Ayson Plank

Christina Ayson Plank is a scholar, educator, and curator based in San Jose, California. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on migration, labor, and contemporary art of the Philippines and its diaspora. Her doctoral dissertation is tentatively titled “Counter-Production as Resistance: Contemporary Art of the Filipino Labor Diaspora.” She received an M.A. in Asian American Studies at UCLA and a B.A. in Art History and Studio Art at Marist College. Christina is also a graduate student researcher for the campus wide research initiative Watsonville is in the Heart (WIITH). She serves as a co-director of the WIITH Digital Archive. She is also the head curator for the WIITH art and history exhibition "Sowing Seeds: Filipino American Stories from the Pajaro Valley" which will open in April 2024 at the Santa Cruz Museum of the Art and History.
Research Interests: 

My research explores contemporary art and visual culture of the Philippines and its diasporas; the visual culture of labor, migration, and globalization; contemporary art of Southeast Asia; and Asian American art history.

I am also interested in critical and community engaged curatorial practices. I am the Watsonville is in the Heart (WIITH) Digital Archive Team Co-Director and Curator for the April 2024 art and history exhibition at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. 

Selected Publications: 

“The Consecration of Difference in Kelvin Burzon’s Noli Me Tangere.” In Kelvin Burzon: Noli Me Tangere. Syracruse, NY: Point of Contact Gallery, 2022.

“Watsonville is in the Heart: Documenting Histories of Transpacific Filipino Migration in the Pajaro Valley,” Pacific Arts: Journal of the Pacific Arts Association, 22, no. 1 (2022): 250-261.

“Counter-Producing National Narratives Filipina Diasporic Artists Challenge the Global Health Care System,” Social Transformations: Journal of the Global South, 9, no. 2 (2021): 15-39.

“Interview with Boreth Ly on Her Book Traces of Trauma,” Refract: An Open Access Visual Studies Journal, 3, no. 1 (2020): 173.

“The Makers of Meaning in Roots: Asian American Movements in Los Angeles,” American Quarterly, 69, no. 4 (2017): 947.

Teaching Interests: 

Courses taught:

  • HAVC 127F: Asian American Art History and Visual Culture
  • HAVC 124D: Contemporary Art of Southeast Asia and Its Diasporas
  • Winter 2023 - HAVC 124E: Southeast Asian-American and Diasporic Visual Culture
Honors and Awards: 

2023, National Endowment of the Arts, Public Humanities Projects: Exhibitions Planning

2022, University of California, Santa Cruz, Watsonville is in the Heart’s Monterey Peninsula Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship Recipient

2022, University of California, Santa Cruz, Watsonville is in the Heart’s Office of Research Seed Funding for Early Stage Initiatives Graduate Student Fellowship Recipient

2019 – 2022, University of California, Santa Cruz, Visual Studies Travel Grant

2021, University of California, Santa Cruz, Center for Archival Research and Training Fellowship

2021, University of California, Santa Cruz, Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship                 

2019, University of California, Berkeley, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship                                     


Education and Training: 
MA, Visual Culture, UCSC
MA, Asian American Studies, UCLA
BA, Art History and Studio Art, Marist College