Sunny Xiang

Sunny Xiang's picture
CEAS Affiliate
Yale University Department of English
Areas of interest : 
20th- and 21st-Century Literature; Asian American/Asian Anglophone Literature; World Literature; U.S. Ethnic Studies; Postcolonial Studies; Narrative and the Novel; Cold War; Human Rights

Sunny Xiang’s research and teaching engage 20th- and 21st-century Anglophone literature, especially contemporary Asian/Asian American literature. Her book manuscript Voicing Asia: Post-Cold War Novels, Geopolitics, and Human Rights draws on literary and documentary archives to compare how novels and geopolitics differently represent a voice as “Asian.” It reads the post-Cold War Anglophone novels of Chang-rae Lee, Ha Jin, Kazuo Ishiguro, Wei Hui, Mian Mian, Amitav Ghosh, and Monique Truong as a critical response to Cold War America’s crusade to cultivate Asia’s anti-communist voice. In treating “Asian” and “human” as formal effects of the novel, Voicing Asiapushes literary criticism on race beyond biological and geographical rubrics. It also seeks to provide a less homologous account of the relation between the literary humanities and Human Rights Discourse. Her second book, The Chindian Imaginary, reads Sinophone, Chinese Anglophone, and subcontinental literatures through the portmanteau “Chindia,” a term that for Professor Xiang indexes the co-belonging of Asia’s neoliberal homo economicus with its Third Worldist revolutionary.


ENGL 369, AMST 374, EAST 369

Cultures of Militarism in Asia and the Pacific

This seminar explores the diverse cultural manifestations of war, empire, and militarism in Asia and the Pacific during the long Cold War (roughly the 1940s-1980s). A portion of the course is devoted to iconic literary and cultural figures who came to prominence through cultures of militarism (e.g., Jade Snow Wong, James Michener, C.Y. Lee, Richard Mason, Epeli Hau’ofa). We consider important genres privileged by cultural imperialism and soft power (e.g., autobiography, travel writing). We also read more faddish and less canonical writers (e.g., Kim Yong Ik, Induk Pahk, Janice Mirikitani, Maria Yen) and engage stranger and more ephemeral cultural objects (e.g., advertisements, fashion magazines, tourist guidebooks). Important topics for the course include refugee migration, the model minority, global education reform, and the belated resurgence of reparation movements. We conclude the semester by examining the Asian American Movement of the 1960s and the publication of Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior in 1975.

Term: Fall 2019
Day/Time: T, Th 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM