My work ranges through nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature and Asian American studies. In my book project, Invisible Subjects: Asian America in the American Imaginary, I study texts by twentieth-century canonical American authors of different ethnicities through recent advances in Asian American studies and historiography. This critical lens allows me to interpret overlooked subtleties in the depiction of race in the American literary canon. Building on Ralph Ellison’s theories of invisibility in his famous novel Invisible Man, I show that Asian Americans demonstrate the fluidity and limitations of their available legal and social roles. I resituate each of five major authors (Ellison, Herman Melville, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Maxine Hong Kingston) amid the Asian American presence in their works and historical time periods. I am also currently editing a memoir and correspondence of a Japanese Hawai’ian family incarcerated during World War II. Past projects have included work on Walt Whitman published in the Walt Whitman Quarterly Journal, and criticism and translation of a transnational antislavery Louisiana Francophone novel from the nineteenth century, published in PMLA.
My teaching focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century American and comparative ethnic literature, though I also teach some contemporary British literature. I am always looking for ways to bring my students’ work into conversation with the campus and public. Some of my classes have blogged their work, including my Spring 2011 Asian American Theatre class, and Fall 2011’s English 265 Honors class on literature and history, which is doing a large public event on their archival research on Chang and Eng Bunker in Wilson Library. I have also founded a new Asian American Studies Colloquium which I hope will bring exciting artists and academics to speak to students.
Hire date: 2010
Ph.D. and M.A., Northwestern University
A.B., Harvard University
Office: Greenlaw 444
Office Phone: 919-962-4042
(Photo: No. 7 Eccles Street, Leopold Bloom’s house in Ulysses. The door is preserved at the James Joyce Centre in Dublin.)