Faculty Bio

Janelle Wong

Professor, American Studies


Janelle Wong received her PhD from the Department of Political Science at Yale University. She is also Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the University of Maryland in 2012, she was at the University of Southern California in the Departments of Political Science and American Studies and Ethnicity. She also served as Executive Director of the Institute of Public Service at Seattle University (2011-12). Wong is author of Democracy’s Promise: Immigrants and American Civic Institutions (2006, University of Michigan Press) and co-author of two books on Asian American politics. The most recent is Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and their Political Identities (2011, Russell Sage Foundation), based on the first nationally representative survey of Asian Americans’ political attitudes and behavior. This groundbreaking study of Asian Americans was conducted in eight different languages with six different Asian national origin groups. Wong has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Irvine Foundation, and Carnegie Foundation. She was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, in 2006-2007.

Wong’s research is on race, immigration, and political mobilization. Her current book project focuses on how growing numbers of Asian American and Latino evangelical Christians will impact the traditional conservative Christian movement and immigrant political participation. The study is based on qualitative interviews, participant observation in Los Angeles and Houston, and analysis of survey data. As a scholar and teacher, Wong has worked closely with social service, labor, civil rights, and media organizations that serve the Asian American population.


B.A. UCLA (1995)
PhD Yale University (2001)

Research and Publications


Wong, Janelle Karthick Ramakrishnan, Taeku Lee, and Jane Junn. 2011. Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and their Political Identities. New York: Russell Sage. Wong, Janelle. 2006. Democracy’s Promise: Immigrants and American Civic Institutions. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Lien, Pei-te, M. Margaret Conway, and Janelle Wong. 2004. The Politics of Asian America: Diversity and Community. New York; Routledge.


Wong, Janelle. 2015. The Role of Born-Again Identity on the Political Attitudes of White, Blacks, Latinos and Asian Americans. Politics and Religion. 8(4): 641-658 Wong, Janelle. 2015. “Politics” In Linda Vo and Cathy Schlund-Vials (eds.), Key Words for Asian American Studies. New York: NYU Press. 189-195.

Iwamura, Jane, Khyati Joshi, Sharon Suh, and Janelle Wong. 2014. “Reflections on the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s Asian Americans: A Mosaic of Faiths Data and Report,” Amerasia Journal. 40(1): 1-16.

Wong, Janelle. 2013. “Immigrant Political Incorporation: Beyond the Foreign-Born versus Native-Born Distinction.” In Jennifer Hochschild, Jacqueline Chattopadyay, Claudine Gay, and Michael Jones Correa (eds.), Outsiders No More? Models of Immigrant Political Incorporation. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bedolla, Lisa García, Katherine Tate, and Janelle Wong. 2013 “Indelible Effects: The Impact of Women of Color in the U.S. Congress.” In Sue Thomas and Clyde Wilcox (eds.) Women and Elective Office Past, Present and Future (3rd Edition). New York: Oxford University Press.

Junn, Jane, Taeku Lee, Karthick Ramakrishnan and Janelle Wong. 2011. “Asian American Public Opinion.” In Robert Shapiro (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ramakrishnan, Karthick, Jane Junn, Taeku Lee and Janelle Wong. 2011. “Bringing Asian American Voices to Policy Debates: Findings from the 2008 National Asian American Survey.” AAPI Nexus: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Policy Practice and Community. 9 (1&2): 11-21.

Ramarkrishnan, Karthick, Janelle Wong, Jane Junn and Taeku Lee. 2009. “Race-based considerations and the Obama Vote.” DuBois Review. 6:219-238

Lien, Pei-te and Janelle Wong. 2009. “Like Latinos? Explaining the Transnational Political Behavior of Asian Americans.” In Pei-te Lien and Christian Collet (eds.), Transnational Politics of Asian Americans. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Wong, Janelle and Vivian Tseng. 2007. “Political Socialisation within Immigrant Families: Challenging Parental Socialisation Models.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 34(1): 151- 168.


  • AAST 200: Introduction to Asian American Studies
  • AAST 388: Asian American Studies Experiential Learning
  • AAST 443: Asian American Politics
  • AAST 498V: Asian American Religions and Spirituality