A color photograph of the head and torso of an Asian woman; she tilts her head to the left while looking directly at the camera

Aliza Wong

Profession
Director, American Academy in Rome (2022–25)
Biography

Aliza Wong, a professor of history and interim dean of the Honors College at Texas Tech University in Lubbock is the Academy’s twenty-fifth Director. Her three-year appointment, based in Rome, began in July 2022.

Wong studied at Amherst College before earning a PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2001. Her research focus is modern Italy and the Mediterranean with a particular concentration in race, nation, culture, and identity. A dedicated educator, she has taught for two decades at Texas Tech University where, in addition to being a professor and interim dean, she is the director of European studies. She has won numerous teaching and research awards as well as received recognition for her work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, including being named a Lubbock YWCA Woman of the Year for her work on social justice (2018) and a Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation professor (2019).

A two-time Fulbright Award winner, Wong is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Hispanic Service Institute Grant (2020) and an NEH Connections Planning Grant (2018). Her current research examines Italian constructions of the American West in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the realm of public and engaged scholarship, Wong is director of the Texas Liberators Project, a multimedia educational initiative that includes an app, educational resources, interactive maps, museum and digital exhibits, and a book. She is also the producer of the documentary film, Narratives of Modern Genocide (dir. Paul Allen Hunton, 2021) and curator of the corresponding museum exhibition, both funded by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Her books include Race and the Nation in Liberal Italy, 18611911 (2006) and The Texas Liberators: Veteran Narratives from World War II (2017).

The portrait of Aliza Wong was taken by Tif Holmes.