My teaching experience is varied. I have taught American, British, U.S. ethnic literature (Asian American, African American), contemporary media, graphic narratives, popular culture, and film. My courses always emphasize the importance of race, gender, class, sexuality, nationality, and their relevance to the production, circulation, and reception of literature and media.
Teaching with Scalar – Workshop for Whittier College (talk with slides)
Ethnic Los Angeles
Spring 2014, Asian American Studies, UCLA
This course will ask students to examine city of Los Angeles as a site of ethnic spatialization, for example the famous Little Tokyo, Koreatown, or Historical Filipinotown. Drawing from urban studies, sociology, cultural and media studies, we shall examine Los Angeles as construct and as built space through the study of archives, narratives, visual culture, and space. Integral to this endeavor will be analysis the historical importance of the city’s ethnic populations and the ways in which they have carved out spaces for enterprise, community, and cultural production within the urban landscape. Throughout the course, students will be engaged in multi-modal scholarship that requires active classroom and online interaction. Ultimately students will choose one specific community and site to produce an in-depth research project, including personal observation from site visits. Students will also be encouraged to attend events hosted by the Urban Humanities Institute and participate with community organizations like PDub Productions, a civic engagement group in Historical Filipinotown, or the Little Tokyo Historical Society.
Asian Migration and Global Cities
Winter 2013, Asian American Studies, UCLA
This seminar will take the “global city” as its starting point, primarily Los Angeles, Dubai, and Ho Chi Minh City. Alternatively known as the alpha-city, world city, or mega city, we will examine the global city as the site of Asian migration, labor, and cultural production. Such cities are broadly defined by their networked connectivity, industries, capital, large populations, in-migration, and so forth. Students will be asked to actively engage with the defining and reworking of the these terms within an Asian Pacific framework, decentering the supremacy of the West or Hemispheric North, which have long boasted the top tanked global cities by such sites as Foreign Policy, Forbes, or A.T. Kearney and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. This interdisciplinary course will draw from urban studies, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. Students will be engaging with critical scholarship as well as primary cultural texts ranging from literature, film, new media, and contemporary art. Each mode of scholarship and production will inform the others, and students must be prepared to actively contribute to and maintain an online class community that will directly inform classroom activities. By the end of the course, students will also be expected to produce a detailed case study of one global city and its Asian and ethnic migrants and populace.
Summer 2013, Asian American Studies, UC Santa Barbara
This course asked students to critically engage with and problematize definitions of “popular” and “culture,” while introducing students to representations of Asian Americans in U.S. popular culture and Asian American cultural production. We started with major contemporary depictions of Asian Americans, then work backward to accomplish a historical survey of how Asians and Asian Americans have been represented in U.S. media in 19th and 20th century popular imaginary, ultimately focusing on contemporary modes of representation, production, and engagement. Media covered was diverse (including literature, film, television, graphic narrative) and required development of flexible and critical reading practices specific to each media. Similarly, emphasis was placed on genre and its limitations and potentials to complicate, counter, or subvert those commercially accepted my mainstream U.S. culture. The variety in form and content encompassed a wide breadth of Asian American cultural production and situated it within a larger U.S. social, historical, and cultural framework.
ENGL 134 TR: Literature & Media of Transnational Asian America
Winter 2013, English, UC Santa Barbara
The initial subjects of Asian American studies in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s were defined as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and Filipino communities in the U.S. (Elaine Kim, Reading the Literatures of Asian America), but the label “Asian American,” as studied in this class, goes beyond such identities. We interrogated the shifting definitions of “Asian” and “American” in recent decades, starting with early Asian American immigrant texts and moving toward the transnational contemporary, this course examined a number of cultural texts (literary, cinematic, digital) to discuss questions of race, ethnicity, community, diaspora, and (dis)location in a global networked context.
This class was not meant to be comprehensive nor exhaustive in representing Asian American diasporic texts, but instead offered a review of Asian American studies and introduced students to: transnational and global studies, immigration studies, and theories of media and popular culture. Literature covered in this course covered a range of genres and forms, including memoir, comics, magical realism, romance, comedy, and a variety of digital texts.
ENGL 114GT- Women in Literature: The Female, The Global, the Technological
Summer 2012, English, UC Santa Barbara
This course examined a number of cultural texts (literary, cinematic, visual) to discuss the questions of gender, genre, form, representation, and production in a global networked context. We discussed the cultural production of gender by turning to recent and contemporary texts from various geographic and national sites. Theoretically, this class offered an introduction to feminist theory, network and information theory, and theories of popular culture. There was be emphasis placed upon cyborg feminisms, transnational and third world feminisms, and the globalization of culture. Literature covered in this course covered a range of genres and forms, including contemporary magical realism, epistolary narrative, speculative fiction, “hard” science fiction, and popular romance. Historically, we started with the proto-feminist issues introduced in the 19th century and moved forward in time to examine females and technology within cultural production: from the first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace, to the female computers of WWII, the cybernetic bodies of cyberpunk, and to the call-center operators today.
AsAm118 – Asian American Popular Culture
Spring 2012, Asian American Studies, UC Santa Barbara
An earlier iteration of Asian American Popular Culture, taught in summer 2013, this course askrf students to critically engage with and problematize definitions of “popular” and “culture,” while introducing students to representations of Asian Americans in U.S. popular culture and Asian cultural production. We started with a historical survey of how Asians and Asian Americans have been represented in U.S. media in 19th and 20th century popular imaginary, ultimately focusing on contemporary modes of representation, production, and engagement.
ENGL 165 AC – Risk Society, co-taught with Bishnupriya Ghosh
Winter 2012, English, UC Santa Barbara
This course was part of the “Critical Issues in America: Speculative Futures” program for 2011- 12 (see: www.criticalissues.ucsb.edu) and the American Cultures and Global Contexts Center’s theme, “The Risk Society.” I co-taught this with Professor Ghosh while I served as the Graduate Research Fellow for the American Cultures and Global Contexts Center. This course examined media forms and technologies that habituate us to the awareness of risk: from “facts” narrated on the local news to fictionalized predictions in novels, videogames, and the cinema. Focusing on media, the course introduced students to the “risk society” debates and its implications for the “futures” we anticipate, conjecture, and imagine.
ENGL 165 LF – Literature and Film: “Translation, Adaptation, and the Global Media Assemblage”
Summer 2011, English, UC Santa Barbara
This course asked students to critically examine films often labeled as “world cinema” in relation to their source material (both Anglophone and in translation) and the social, historical, and cultural contexts of both. In reading original texts with their adaptations, we attempted to answer several questions: How and why was this story adapted? What culturally, spatially, temporally specific changes were made in the translation? And what significance do the changes in media, space, and time do to the narrative?
Students were introduced to a wide range of texts in the fields of world and transnational literatures, translation theory, film, and media theory. Ultimately, these texts were grounded in readings of primary texts, both literary and cinematic.