This spring semester, 2014, Professor Christoff is teaching 1) Introduction to Asian Studies; 2) America’s Wars in Asia; 3) Science and Civilization in China; and 4) American Poets and China. This past summer, with a Talent Grant from Stony Brook’s Teaching, Learning, and Technology (TLT) Center, she worked at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in the Asian Division with the Office of Strategic Initiatives to develop materials to enable students to develop their own “collections” by creating maps, timelines, pie charts, and word clouds. Currently, Christoff is working on two projects –one, completing an oral history on memory and imagination in Shaoxing, China; and, working with various departments at Stony Brook to create an online platform and develop archival collections on Asian connections to America.
Raised first in Charlottesville, Virginia and then in a rural community near St. Paul, Minnesota, Christoff attended the University of Minnesota as an undergraduate majoring in International Relations and achieving Chinese language certification. She received a dissertation research grant from the Pacific Cultural Foundation (Taiwan) to conduct field research in China; and received a doctorate in International Relations from the American University in Washington, D.C. (1984). After teaching for Boston University’s Graduate Program in International Relations in Europe (1985-1987) and for the University of Cincinnati (1988-1991), she became an independent scholar in Chicago’s Chinatown (1992-1999). Upon relocating to Washington, D.C. in 2000, Christoff pursued a career in government service that included helping to establish a scholarly center in the Library of Congress, The John W. Kluge Center, and managing China debates on Capitol Hill for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 2007, she conducted research and wrote a report for use by the U.S. Department of Defense and, in 2009, was awarded a research grant from the East-West Center under the “Asia Matters for America” project. She subsequently received a travel-to-collections grant from the Wu Family Foundation, became a Lecturer at Towson University (2011-2012), and was awarded a Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) grant to participate in faculty development summer seminar.
Professor Christoff’s interests include pedagogy in Asian and Asian American studies. Special topics are migration and displacement, cultural preservation, social transformation, and the changing roles of women. Her research investigates Asia’s historical connections to America by examining the activities of diplomats, politicians, missionaries, military personnel, self-identified Asian Americans, travelers, journalists, students, scientists, and scholars.
- “Key Statistics on Voting Behavior among Asian America,” East-West Center, (http://www.asiamattersforamerica.org/asia/key-statistics-on-voting-behavior-among-asian-americans, Nov 23, 2012)
- Biographical entry of Shirley Geok-lin Lim, In Great Lives from History: Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (Salem Press, 2012)
- Tracking the Yellow Peril: The INS and Chinese Immigrants in the Midwest, (Picton Press, 2001)
- “An Archival Resource: INS Case Files on Chinese Women in the American Midwest,” in the Journal of Women’s History, (Indiana University Press, autumn, 1998)