About me

queer; feminist; han-manchurian; immigrant; made in china; she/her/hers, they/them/theirs

I am a media and cultural studies scholar with a focus on sound-centred cultural practices for ways they intersect with social justice and creative activism. I am joining the Department of Media, Film, and Journalism Studies at the University of Denver as an Assistant Professor in Media, Race, Equity, and Justice in the fall of 2022. Previously, I taught in the Department of Communication and Journalism and the School of Culture, Gender, and Social Justice (Gender and Women's Studies; African American & Diaspora Studies; Native American & Indigenous Studies; and Latina/o Studies) at the University of Wyoming from 2019-2022. Before that, I taught media studies, critical and cultural theory, and popular culture in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities from 2016-2019, where I also received my PhD with a concentration in cultural studies and critical media studies.

My current book project unsettles the idea that Orientalized aesthetics and affects are only tools for nefarious agendas by unravelling how Asian American women rockers and indie musicians (ranging from the 1970s to the present) have transformed and reclaimed musical Orientalism as an artistic and political tool to dismantle the cultural myth of Asian American apoliticism. From the resurgence of the Oriental riff since post-60s popular music to post-punk's postmodern experimentations, from the women's music movement to queercore and riot grrrl, from Fanny and Tribe 8 to Japanese Breakfast and Mitski, this project investigates how the sounds, diasporic sensibilities, and imperialist imaginations of Asian America unveil the limitations of hegemonic formulations of musical activism and the relationship between sound, identity, and affect. This will evolve into my first book project, which will produce the first monograph about musical activism that concentrates on Asian American women musicians.

Meanwhile, I developed a lifelong research and teaching interest in the intersectional politics of rock music and musical subcultures from my experience as a musician. Music and creative activities have always been key components of my research and pedagogy. In college, I started teaching members of the guitar club and many young adult women how to play the guitar in Baoding and Shanghai, China. I was an active member of the local music scene during my college years, playing as the lead guitarist in a rock band that dabbles in both Chinese rock and pop punk. This band is still active to date, taken up by a new generation of rock players.

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