I grew up around Vancouver and attended high school on the North Shore. I graduated from the Honours English Program at UBC and also studied critical theory and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. From the West Cost of Canada, I moved to the East Coast of the United States to attend graduate school at Brown University. Before writing my dissertation, I spent a year in Beijing taking classes and conducting research.
I returned to UBC in 2006 and am currently Associate Professor of English.
From 2010-2013, I was also the Associate Principal for Community Engagement at St. John’s College, a residential graduate college at UBC.
My current research project, Losing China: Transpacific Literary Thought and Cold War Geopolitics, explores the circulation of ideas about literature during the Cold War through translation, travel, and writing. This research is supported by a Standard Research Grant from SSHRC. A second project, The Typical Chinese Canadian, explores how fiction about Chinese Canadians negotiates between the demands of nationalist histories and the transnational realities of the modern Pacific World.
Multidisciplinary or Collaborative Projects
I am currently the Director of UBC’s new Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program. I am currently the Canada Area Editor for the journal Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas.
- The Semblance of Identity: Aesthetic Mediation in Asian American Literature. Stanford University Press, 2012. Winner of the 2014 Literary Criticism Book Award, Association for Asian American Studies.
- Tracing the Lines: Reflections on Contemporary Poetics and Cultural Politics in Honour of Roy Miki. Ed. with Maia Joseph, Christine Kim, and Larissa Lai. Talonbooks: 2012.
Book Chapter(s) or Journal Article(s)
- “Globality and Aesthetics: Framing the Three Gorges Dam.” Third Text (spec. issue on “The Transnational Turn: East Asian Mobility”). 28.1, 2014. 32-45.
- “Asian Canadian Critical Practice and the Work of Commemoration.”Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada, eds. Melina Baum Singer, Christine Kim, and Sophie McCall. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2012. 117-131.
- “New Directions in Asian Canadian Studies.” Ed. with Christine Kim. West Coast Line 71 45:3, Fall 2011. 72-117.
- “Rhythm and the Cold War Imaginary: Listening to John Adams’ Nixon in China.” differences: a journal of feminist cultural studies. 22.2-3, 2011. 190-210.
- “Asia as Metaphor” (in Chinese, translation by Szu Shen) Router: A Journal of Cultural Studies. 12, 2011. 74-93.
- “Asian Canadian Performance and the Politics of Misrecognition.” Asian Canadian Theatre, eds. Ric Knowles and Nina Lee Aquino. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2011. 102-114.
- “Form Giving and the Remains of Identity in A Gesture Life.” Journal of Asian American Studies. 14.1, 2011. 95-116.
- “Asian American Literature and the Resistances of Theory. Modern Fiction Studies. 56:1, 2010. 19-39.
- “Enacting the Asian Canadian.” Essays on Canadian Writing. 199, 2008, 28-44.
- “Chinese Studies and Postcolonial Studies” (Review essay). Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. 14.2, 2007, 69-78.
- “The Lateness of Asian Canadian Studies.” Amerasia Journal. 33:2, 2007. 1-18.
- “Rethinking Realisms through the Writings of Eileen Chang.” Amerasia Journal. 32:3, 2006, 59-77.