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.

Selected Publications


  • 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.
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