My research tests the power of Marxist and aesthetic analysis at a moment when the expression, traffic, and consumption of race and ethnicity is both seemingly intuitive and distorted beyond repair. My approach to global Asian popular culture—which encompasses not only Asian diasporas but their use of Anglophone aesthetic forms—distinguishes my methodology and its stakes. Rather than trace the global Asian in the transnational circuits of Asian bodies and material goods, I seek to describe the phenomena of global Asian-ness as it manifests in the aesthetic and affective genres of British and American empires. Contemporary Asianness continues to be mediated through imperial genres—a way of representing and feeling Asian that can only be grasped through analyses of cultural forms.

 

Generic Asians, my dissertation, develops a theory of contemporary Orientalism in the post-1970s era of US economic stagnation and East Asian economic ascendence. I show how Asians have pervaded global cultural production not by representing Asian faces, but by recapturing imperial British genres: the historical romance, sentimental novel, melodrama, and science fiction. Reading a range of international hits—from Kazuo Ishiguro’s and Kevin Kwan’s novels to Ang Lee’s and Jon M. Chu’s films—I show how Asians have infiltrated Anglophone popular culture by adapting Oriental genres and stereotypes. While Asians are typically viewed as still under-represented in mainstream Anglophone media, my project reveals them to be hidden in plain sight. The rise of Asia has occurred not through the representation of Asian bodies, but through the mass dissemination of generic forms. 

At Berkeley, I have taught courses entitled Race and Love in American FilmThe Booker Prize, Party Time, and The Romantic Comedy; in addition to TA-ing courses on critical race theory, novel theory, the American novel, the film Western, and the sitcom.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

“The Essay Online.” The Cambridge Companion to the Essay. Eds Kara Wittman and Evan Kindley (forthcoming).

"Ang Lee's Tears: Digital Global Melodrama in The Wedding Banquet, Hulk, and Gemini Man," Verge: Studies in Global Asias 7.2 (Fall 2021), pp. 151-176.

"Kazuo Ishiguro and the Asian Anglophone Historical Novel," MFS Modern Fiction Studies 61.7 (Spring 2021), pp. 123-148.

Orientalism, Redux,” Special Issue on “Undisciplining Victorian Studies,” Victorian Studies 62.3 (Spring 2020), pp. 460-473.

War in the Time of Genre,” Modernism/modernity Print+ 5.2 (July 2020).

Interception as Mediation in A World of Love,” Textual Practice 27.7 (December 2013), pp. 1197-1215.