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Photo of Heidi Kim, taken by Sarah Boyd

Professor / Director of the Asian American Center

2010, PhD English, Northwestern University

2001, A.B. Biochemical Sciences and Citation in French, Harvard University


Professor Heidi Kim’s work ranges through nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature and Asian American studies. Her monograph Invisible Subjects: Asian Americans in Postwar Literature (Oxford UP, 2016) resituates the work of Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and the Melville Revival critics through recent advances in Asian American studies and historiography. Illegal Immigrants/Model Minorities: The Cold War of Chinese American Narrative (Temple UP, 2020) extends this focus on the Cold War to the writing of and about Chinese Americans, who were dogged by the stigma of illegal immigration and paranoia about Communist infiltration. She also researches and speaks extensively on the literature and history of the Japanese American incarceration, including Taken from the Paradise Isle (UP Colorado, 2015), which won a Ka Palapala Po’okela Award from the Hawaii Book Publishers Association.

To read more, visit my website


  • Illegal Immigrants/Model Minorities: The Cold War of Chinese American Narrative (Temple University Press, 2020)
  • Invisible Subjects: Asian America in Postwar Literature (Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • Taken from the Paradise Isle: The Hoshida Family Story (University Press of Colorado Press, 2016)
  • “Incarceration, Cafeteria-Style: The Politics of Food and Family in the World War II Japanese American incarceration.” In Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader (NYU Press, 2013)
  • “Whitman’s Identity at War: Contexts and Reception of John Adams’ The Wound-Dresser.”  Walt Whitman Quarterly Review (Fall 2012)
  • “The Francophone Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” PMLA (May 2010)

Teaching Awards

  • Graduate Mentoring Award, 2016
  • Sitterson Award for Freshman Teaching, 2014


  • Taken from the Paradise Isle won the Hawaii Book Publishers Association Ka Palapala Po’okela Award, 2017
  • National Science Foundation, Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science (IBSS) Research Competition: Participatory Ensemble Modeling to Study the Multiscale Social and Behavioral Dynamics of Food Security in Dryland West Africa [collaborator], 2014-18
  • Carolina Performing Arts, Mellon Curatorial Fellowship for Arts@theCore, 2014-16
  • Library of Congress, Florence Tan Moeson Fellowship, 2015.
  • UNC Institute for the Arts and Humanities Fellowship, Spring 2015.

Courses Taught:

  • English 54: The Literature of World War I
  • English 88: The Legacy of the Japanese American Internment from WWII to 9/11
  • English 89: Special Topics seminar (various)
  • English 270: Studies in Asian American Literature
  • English 287: Faulkner
  • English 360: Contemporary Asian American Literature
  • English 445: American Literature, 1900-2000
  • English 847: Studies in American Literature

Curriculum Vitae / Resume