Olivia Lim (BA, English Language and Literatures, Honours)

Olivia Lim (she/her/hers) is a UBC graduate of Chinese Filipino and European descent currently working, living, and learning on the traditional, ancestral, and unceeded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-waututh nations. She completed her BA in Honours English with a minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migrations Studies. Her research interests include critical race and critical disability studies, life writing, affect theory, embodiment, postcolonial theory, and Asian Canadian, Asian American, Filipinx, and Asian Diaspora literatures.

Why did you declare a minor in ACAM? What drew you to the program?

I was drawn to ACAM because it offered an opportunity to learn and grow in community while studying issues that were meaningful to me. I loved the interdisciplinary nature of the program and how it encouraged students to discuss and learn from their own experiences of migration, race, colonialism, mental health, and so much more. ACAM provided space for conversations and dialogues that meaningfully engaged with students’ concerns and interests in a way that I hadn’t seen reflected in other parts of the university. I am truly grateful for the many students, staff, faculty, and community members who have made ACAM the program it is today.

Name an ACAM faculty whose class had a significant impact on you and share why.

I would like to thank Dr. Chris Lee whose class, English 480: Asian Canadian and/or Asian Transnational Studies, first introduced me to ACAM. Taking this class changed the path of my undergraduate studies and inspired me to explore literature that spoke to my experiences and my community. With his guidance and support, I completed my Honours thesis on the representations of mixed-race faces in Asian diasporic life writing. I would also like to thank Dr. Y-Dang Troeung. Her course, English 478: Post-Colonial Studies, had a profound impact on my research interests and encouraged me to delve into postcolonial, critical race, and critical disability theory. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to learn from her as both a student and a research assistant. Finally, I would like to extend a big thank you to all the ACAM faculty who supported and encouraged me in my academic journey.

Have you completed any projects through or related to an ACAM course? If so, could you share your experiences?

For ACAM 350, I created a short documentary “Raising the Bar” along with my group members Kevin Li, Vanessa Chan, Hilary Leung, and Carl Cai. The film follows Monica Ma, a Chinese Canadian woman in her sixties, as she trains for the 2020 IPF World Classic Masters Powerlifting Championships. As we follow her journey, we learn about her experience of breaking stereotypes as a powerlifter and get to see the community that supports her along the way. Making the film was such a fun experience and a great example of the ways that ACAM welcomes and fosters multimedia projects and storytelling. You can watch the full documentary at https://youtu.be/3Ic6QyQjy4w.