I am excited to join the University of Michigan as an assistant professor of American Culture and History. U-M feels in some sense like a homecoming: several members of my family attended Michigan, and my husband Peter’s grandparents met here 6 decades ago.
I am a social and cultural historian of the United States. My research and teaching focus on Asian American history and on the history of the U.S. in the world between 1850 and 1950. I come to this work as a first-generation American who was born in Hong Kong, grew up in California, and spent the past decade and half on the East Coast. My work is guided not only by my training in historical methods, but also by my dedication to critical race and ethnic studies.
I am currently working on several projects. My book manuscript—entitled Imperfect Knowledge: Chinese Art and American Power in the Transpacific Progressive Era—examines Chinese art collecting in the U.S. in the early 20thcentury as a contested process of knowledge production that bolstered ideas of American exceptionalism, even while it relied on transpacific circuits of labor and expertise. Additionally, I am writing an article about the Boy Scout movement in New York’s Chinatown, as well as a book chapter and on the role of colleges and universities in U.S.-China relations and Asian immigration in the long 19th century.
My courses in AC and History will explore these themes. In the fall, I will teach Asian American History (ASIANPAM 314). In future semesters, I will offer courses on U.S.-China relations, U.S. empire, American Orientalism, and the Pacific World.
Outside of the office and classroom, I co-host a podcast that interviews authors of new books in Asian American studies (http://newbooksnetwork.com/category/peoples-places/asian-american-studies/), and am also an avid tennis player and cook.