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Graduate Students - PhD

Active Ph.D. students in the Department of Literature.

Comparative Literature

  • Catherine Nina Evarkiou

    Catherine Nina Evarkiou

    Email Addresscevarkio@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2018
  • Ying Guo

    Ying Guo

    Email Addressyiguo@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2018
  • Ningning Huang

    Ningning Huang

    Email Addressnih007@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2017

    Biography:

    Ningning is a researcher and educator of Asian American literature /film and Transpacific Asian queer diaspora. Currently a PhD candidate from the Literature Department of UC San Diego, she also holds a master’s degree in Critical Asian Humanities from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lingnan University, Hong Kong. In her dissertation, she explores the paradoxical temporality trapping Asian Americans and Asian diasporic queers, both progressing from pest-like immigrants toward the model minorities and regressing back toward immaturity as emasculated /neutered pets, via the critical lens of animal studies. Revealing that the regression of Asian Americans as ornamental animals is the dark side of their progression as model minorities, she envisions regression as a strategic pathway for Asian Americans to transgress the racial, gender and species boundaries. In addition to animal studies and critical race theories, she also focuses on queer and women of color critique, environmental studies, biopolitics, and film theories. Her paper, “And I Shall Hear, Though Soft You Tread Above Me”: The Racialized Queer Migrations of “Danny Boy” is published by University of California Press in Resonance: The Journal of Sound and Culture. Another paper entitled as “Don’t F**k with Cats” and the Specter of Racialized Queer Violence is under review by The Journal for Critical Animal Studies. Ningning is also a bilingual creative writer seeking publication opportunities for her novella, Joseph the Violinist.

    Research Interests:

    Asian American Literature and Film, Pacific Islands Studies, Transpacific Queer Diaspora, Comparative Ethnic Studies, Comparative LGBTQ Literature, Queer and Women of Color Critique, Animal Studies, Race and Science, Biopolitics, Ecocriticism, Critical Race Theories, Film Theories.

  • Melina Jung

    Melina Jung

    Email Address: hyjung@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2022
  • Yui Kasane

    Yui Kasane

    Email Address: Contact Department
    Year of Entry: Fall 2017

    Research Interests:

    American Literature, American Studies, Japanese Studies, Cultural Studies, Literary Theory, Transpacific Studies.

    Research Skills:

    Academic translation experience in Japanese
  • Samuel Kim

    Samuel Kim

    Email Address: sak003@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020
  • Jasmine Yueming Li

    Jasmine Yueming Li

    Email Address: yul282@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2023

    Research Interests:

    Sinophone science fiction novels and theater, epistemology of science and technology, embodiment and disembodiment, performing and installation arts in contemporary China

    Academic Background:

    M.A., Bilingual Bicultural Education, Columbia University, 2023
    B.A., Chinese Language and Literature, Nankai University, 2021

  • Caleb Mertz-Vega

    Caleb Mertz-Vega

    Email Address: cmertzvega@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2021

    Research Interests:

    Latin American Literature, Contemporary American Literature, Northern Andean Region literatures, LGTBQ+ literature, Queer Theory, Affect Theory, reader response, Gender studies, psychology and literature, religion and culture.

    Biography:

    I was previously a restaurant manager for Emeril Lagasse in Pennsylvania but realized that I wanted to do more with my life. Deciding to move to San Diego—in part to get away from the cold—changed my life as I began attending San Diego City College where I remembered how much I loved learning. Transferring to UC Berkeley after three years, I again double majored in English and Spanish, earning both Bachelors by the end of 2020. It was during this time when I was finally able to embrace my love for LGBTQ+ literature and accept that I enjoyed literature the most when there was a character that I could identify with. Now, working toward my PhD in Comparative Literature, I combine that passion with a passion for teaching, knowledge, knowledge production and Latin America. I hope to teach and research at an R1 University in the future.

    Publications:

    Mertz-Vega, Caleb A. “Apetito «contra natura»: Celestina and Her Same-Sex Desires.” Celestinesca, vol. 46, Dec. 2022, pp. 97–117. ojs.uv.eshttps://doi.org/10.7203/Celestinesca.46.21582.

    Fiction:
    From Jason's Journal. Kindle Direct Publishing, 2023 (2nd ed.).
    The Silhouetted Leaves. Publish America, 2009.
    The Unexpected. CreateSpace, 2012.

    Conference Presentations:

    “Affect and the Archive,” UCSD First Annual Literature Symposium, Faculty Club Atkinson Pavilion, San Diego, CA, June 2023

    “Feminized and Queer/Cuir Bodies Around the Venezuela - Colombia Border,” Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association 120th Annual Conference, Hilton Portland Downtown, Portland, OR, Oct. 2023.

    “Feminized and Cuir Bodies on the Colombia-Venezuela Border,” Latin American Studies Association 2024, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia, June 2024.

    Education:

    AA Spanish & English – San Diego City College
    BA English and Spanish – University of California, Berkeley

  • Makenzie Read

    Makenzie Read

    Email Addressmrread@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019
  • Yomira Varela Guadiana

    Yomira Varela Guadiana

    Email Addressyvarelag@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020
  • Dingding Wang

    Dingding Wang

    Email Addressdiw004@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020

    Research Interests:

    Literature and space; eco-writing; speculative fiction; East Asian literature, visual arts, and culture; posthumanism, nonconscious cognition, cybernetics; architecture.

    Academic Background:

    M.A in Critical Asian Humanities, Duke University, 2019.
    B.A. in English Language and Literature, Wuhan University, 2017.

    Selected Publications:

    Yugongyishan: Renleishi de xiandai yuyan” 愚公移山:人類世的現代寓言 [Yugongyishan: The Modern Allegory of Anthropocene], Science Writing 科普創作, No. 2, June 2020, pp. 23–26.
    Dang zhiguai xiaoshuo zaoyu zhengqi pengke: Cong Ai, siwang he jiqiren tanqi” 當誌怪小說遭遇蒸汽朋克:從<愛,死亡和機器人>談起 [When Zhiguai Xiaoshuo Meets Steampunk: Starting from an Episode of Love, Death & Robots], Jiemian Wenhua 界面文化, 20 April 2019.
    Shiyu yuanshengxiang de diting” 始於淵聲巷的諦聽 [The War Siren over Nanjing: The Soundscape of Historical Memory], Xinhua Daily 新華日報, 7 Dec 2018: 18. Print.

    Selected Translations:

    Jason Goodwin, The Gunpowder Gardens: Travels through India and China in Search of Tea. (Jiangsu People’s, 2019).
    Nathaniel Isaacson, Celestial Empire: The Emergence of Chinese Science Fiction. (Jiangsu People’s: in preparation).
    N. Katherine Hayles, Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious. (Jiangsu People’s: in preparation).
    Carlos Rojas, “The Eye of the Other: Wu Ming-yi’s The Man with the Compound Eyes and the Challenge of Seeing Otherwise” 他者之眼:吳明益《復眼人》和異樣觀看的挑戰. Science Writing 科普創作, No. 2, June 2020, pp. 6-13.

  • Yuchen Yan

    Yuchen Yan

    Email Address: y9yan@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2021

    Research Interests:

    20th century Chinese literature and film; Literature and Cosmopolitanism; Urban literature and cultural history; Cityscape and memoryscape; Gothic Horror and Modernity/Modernism.

    Academic Background:

    M.A. in Critical Asian Humanities, Duke University, USA, 2021.
    B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature (minor in German Language and Literature), Peking University, China, 2019.

    Publications and Conferences:

    “Bookstore-cafés in Contemporary China: New Concepts, Cultural Capital and the Future of Physical Bookstores.” Presented at the Southeast Conference of Association for Asian Studies 2021 at UNC-Chapel Hill.
    “Encounter Holmes and Lupin in Shanghai: Murders, Social Orders and Cosmopolitanism.” Presented at American Comparative Literature Association 2021 Conference.
    “Model Citizen (1986): An Outlaw’s Boundary Exploration of Taipei.” Presented at 2020 SPAS Annual Student Conference at University of Hawaii, Mānoa.
    “Modern and Diabolism: Spatial Organization and Narrative Techniques in Shi Zhecun’s Haunted House (1933).” Writing (xiezuo写作), 2019 (1). 

  • Yumin Yang

    Yumin Yang

    Email Addressyuy064@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2022

    Research Interests:

    Modern Japanese literature, Japanese colonialism, the intersection of gender and colonialism, the intimate spheres and domesticity of the Japanese empire, and East Asian cinema.

    Biography:

    I was born in Shanghai. I finished my undergraduate studies at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, focusing on Chinese literature and languages. However, “unfortunately,” I was more interested in the Japanese language and literature than Chinese literature. Maybe the reason is the large number of Japanese animations I have watched since childhood. Then I began to have contact with some modern Japanese literature. I was obsessed with Tanizaki Junichiro, Nakatsuma Atsushi, and Dazai Osamu in college. I studied East Asian Studies at Duke University in 2016, focusing on the CAH track. Aimee Kwon’s Intimate Empire greatly inspired me regarding its content and writing style. Leo Ching’s class also taught me how to reflect on colonialism, so I decided to write on Japanese colonialism. I went to study Japanese in Yokohama for one year after graduating from Duke. 

    Currently, I am interested in Japanese colonial literature, especially female writers’ works. I am also interested in investigating the legacies of Japanese colonialism. I have been reading some works by Abe Kōbō and Tsushima Yūko. Although I use the word “post-colonial,” we can also argue that the war and colonialism in Japan have never ended. It was shocking to see some righteous left-wing Japanese writers not thoroughly reflect on the problem of Japanese colonialism. 

    In my spare time, I watch some movies and Japanese TV dramas. I am a huge fan of Sang-soo Hong and Murakami Haruki, although I do not want to write a paper on him. However, I might write a paper on Sang-soo Hong in the future.

  • Alice Zheng

    Alice Zheng

    Email Address: q9zheng@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2023

    Biography:

    Alice Zheng is a multilingual scholar, poet, and writer. Her current research focuses on transnational women and gender studies, memory, Chinese and/or Sinophone literature and cinemas. Other research interests include the transpacifics, diaspora, literary theory, experimental cinema, archives, poetics and translation. As a poet and writer, she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and published in journals such as Cutthroat and Santa Ana River Review. Outside of work, she enjoys poetry, music, and traveling.

Cultural Studies

  • Bahar Abdi

    Bahar Abdi

    Email Addressbabdi@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2022
  • Ngoc Linh Bui

    Ngoc Linh Bui

    Email Addressngbui@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2023
  • Manuel Carrion Lira

    Manuel Carrion Lira

    Email Addressmacarrio@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019

    Research Interests:

    Materialisms, Post-human Theory, Decoloniality, Contemporary Native American and Indigenous Literature, Indigenous Mapuche Epistemologies, Feminisms, Anticolonial Thought, Two-spirit Theory, New Materialisms, Post-human Theory, Queer Theory, Contemporary Indigenous Art, Contemporary Latin American Art, Film Studies.

    Academic Background:

    M.A., Arte, Pensamiento y Cultura Latinoamericanos, Instituto de Estudios Avanzados, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, 2017
    Professional Practice Certificate, Design, Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile, 2013
    B.A., Design, Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile, 2012

    Professional Experience:

    Artist at Residencia de Arte Colaborativo, Ministerio de las Culturas, las Artes y el Patrimonio, Chilean Government, Chile (2017-2019).
    Postgraduate Coordinator at the Faculty of Arts, Universidad Mayor, Chile (2015-2017).
    Lecturer at the Faculty of Arts, Universidad Mayor (2014-2017).

    Biography:

    I come from a small agro industrial town called Quillota, located in Chile, South America. A place that once was an indigenous metropolis where the Inca, Llolleo, Mapuche, Diaguita, Bato and other ancient cultures shared a common space for intellectual and political development. The traces of that ancient history still remain along with our colonial/modern present. It was in this territory where I experienced homophobia, racism and classism for the first time, it is the place that was most important for shaping my multidimensional sensibility.

    I am a non-heterosexual indigenous person. We call ourselves epupillan in our mapuche communities, which could be translated as two-spirit for the reality in Turtle Island (North America), since epu means two and pillan is a reference to an ancient spirit.

    As a contemporary epupillan artist and thinker, I dedicate my work to analyze remaining colonial continuities in our epistemologies and ontologies rendered as a binary matrix of thought. I am particularly interested in materiality as a critical dimension to understand the paradox of the human/culture divide as well as the active/passive divisions of agency present in our way of organizing our worlds. What does it mean to give form to matter? Does matter participate here or is it just a passive receptacle for the human action? Are non-western practices and epistemologies funded in this same divide?

    My work faces these kinds of questions through academic research but also through my artistic collective practice, allowing me to experiment and practice diverse approaches to question the spectator, reader or viewer. The "Catrileo Carrion Community" is our epupillan research-creation platform where we can modulate our questions through editorial, audiovisual, curatorial and contemporary art practices that include diverse techniques and resources such as book publications, political memory workshops, indigenous revitalization talks, video-art exhibitions, video-essays projections, archive exhibitions, collective essay writing, wool knitting, and poster and diagram design.

    Our community is currently composed of Constanza Araya Miranda (Journalist and social communicator, epupillan weaver and author of the radio programs Lafken Kürruf and Wente winkul mew), Alejandro Carrion Lira (epupillan healer and creator), Antonio Catrileo Araya (epupillan writer, teacher and weaver) and Manuel Carrion Lira (epupillan artist and thinker).

    We have published the following books:

  • Jing Chen

    Jing Chen

    Email AddressContact Department
    Year of Entry: Fall 2016
  • Bias Collins

    Bias Collins

    Email Addressbcollins@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2018

    Biography:

    Bias Collins is a queer, neurodivergent, transgender graduate student in the PhD in Literature program, Cultural Studies emphasis. His primary research focus is on analyzing adaptations of fictional dis/abled figures from literary to visual mediums, particularly in the genres of science fiction, horror, & the gothic. He is keenly interested in exploring the hybridity of morality & mortality in figures of the cyborg, zombie, & vampire and their reliance on dis/ability in their dis/configurations of the human body. His wider areas of research interests include Disability, Queer, Feminst, & Film Studies.

    Art Credit:
    Trein Zuniga
    https://www.instagram.com/sparebikes/ 

  • Monique Dixon

    Monique Dixon

    Email Addressm1dixon@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2022
  • Erik Christopher Homenick

    Erik Christopher Homenick

    Email Address: ehomenic@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2017

    Research Interests:

    My scholarly interests include representations of monstrosity in literature and films as well as the narrative/semiotic potential of music in films. My doctoral dissertation focuses on the outstanding narrative importance of music, especially by the composer Akira Ifukube, in Godzilla films. Other interests include 17th and 18th century French literature (especially the Marquis de Sade), cinema history, cinema sound, and musicology.

    Academic Background:

    Bachelor's degree in French (Minor in Linguistics), San Diego State University
    Master's degree in French, San Diego State University

    Professional Experience:

    I have worked as a French and Humanities instructor at San Diego State University. Also, I have been an adjunct French professor at Mesa College, City College, and Southwestern College in the San Diego area. I have also served as a French translator for two video game companies, Sony Online Entertainment and Midway Home Entertainment.

  • Tatum Howey

    Tatum Howey

    Email Address: thowey@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2021

    Research Interests:

    Visual and Media Studies; History of Technology; Poetics; Hermeneutics; Phonetics; Transgender Studies; Performance Studies; History of Representation; Phenomenology; Surveillance Studies; Materiality of Language; Biopolitics

    Biography:

    My current focus, on the function of the screen and page as ontological exile for the transgender subject, seeks to examine the failures of representation of its constitutive body and the possible methodologies of self-determination through address, both in narrativization and performance, through which the transgender subject may become legibly constituted. I am currently thinking through both art historical and new media theories of visuality––specifically that from Martin Jay, Hal Foster, and Christian Metz––to research this precarious legibility.

    My interests are not limited to transgender representation in the arts, and I am currently engaged in a variety of critical theory, including using Walter Benjamin’s studies on toxicity to complete research on the “profane illumination” of Paul Celan’s late poetics and the artist Hamad Butt’s installation pieces that he made while succumbing to AIDS, which contain toxic chemicals. I am also writing through Johann Winckelmann’s theories of imitation and Jacques Derrida’s analysis of the phantasm to emphasize how mimicry and idolatry proliferate in queer communities. I have written on the liberatory force of the gesture for marginalized bodies in both performance and surveillance, and most recently the poetics of transmasculine vocalization through the additive technology of testosterone.

  • Nilufar Karimi

    Nilufar Karimi

    Email Address: nikarimi@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2021
  • Siqi Li

    Siqi Li

    Email Addresssil061@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2022
  • Ziyang Li

    Ziyang Li

    Email Addresszil042@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020

    Research Interests:

    Musicology, sound studies, cinema studies (silent and sound films), gender studies, media technological advance and human mindset

    Academic Background:

    M.A., Critical Asian Humanities, Duke, U.S., 2018
    B.A., Chinese Language and Literature, Zhejiang University, China, 2014

  • Jessica Lizarraga

    Jessica Lizarraga

    Email Addressjelizarraga@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020

    Research Interests:

    Hegemonic narratives, Post-colonial theory, border literature, transnational literature, and narco archetypes. 

    Academic Background:

    B.A. in English from California State University, Fullerton

  • Wentao Ma

    Wentao Ma

    Email Addressw4ma@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020

    Research Interests:

    War and media, East Asian cinema, materiality and materialism, Chinese masculinity and melodrama, celebrity studies, interactive & algorithmic media, senses and media

    Academic Background:

    M.A. in Film and Media Studies, Columbia University
    B.A. in Media and Communication, Swansea University
    B.A. in Literature of Theatre, Film and Television, Shandong Normal University

    Selected Translation:

    (From English to Chinese) 

    William Urrichio. “Rethinking Documentary in An Interactive Age” In Documentary and MethodsInternational Forum on Documentary Film 紀錄與方法: 國際記錄影像論壇. Forthcoming.

    Jane M. Gaines. “Radical Documentary: World Connection Before & After the Internet.” In Documentary and MethodsInternational Forum on Documentary Film 紀錄與方法: 國際記錄影像論壇. Forthcoming.

    Joseph Vogel. 2018. “Whitewashing Slave Rebellion: The Confessions of Quentin Tarantino.” 昆汀·塔倫蒂諾的供詞: 《被解放的姜戈》與“洗白”奴隸起義. In Contemporary Cinema 當代電影, May 2019, 86-93. 

    Patrick F. Campos. 2011. “The Politics of Naming a Movement: Independent Cinema According to the Cinemalaya Congress.” 電影運動之命名論——依照菲律賓Cinemalaya電影大會所定義的獨立電影(2005—2010). In Contemporary Cinema 當代電影, July 2018, 101-109. 

    (From Chinese to English)

    Journal of Beijing Film Academy (ed.) 2019. Beijing Film Yearbook 2017, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2019, 270 pages, ISBN: 9781783209316.

  • Alick McCallum

    Alick McCallum

    Email Address: amccallum@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2021
  • Bianca Negrete Coba

    Bianca Negrete Coba

    Email Addressbnegrete@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020

    Research Interests:

    Chicanx Studies/Literature, Chicana Feminisms, Chicanx Histories, Multiethnic Literature, Critical Race Theory/Studies, Ethnic Studies, Mixed-Race Studies, Critical Gender Studies, Place/Space Studies, Gentrification Studies, Urban Planning/Studies, Prison Studies

    Academic Background:

    BA English, Writing Minor, UC Merced
    MA Interdisciplinary Humanities, UC Merced

    Awards:

    UCSD Literature Department Shen Fellowship, 2020-2024

  • Jessica Silbaugh-Cowdin

    Jessica Silbaugh-Cowdin

    Email Addressjsilbaug@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019

    Biography:

    Jess Silbaugh-Cowdin is a queer nonbinary (she/they) PhD student in Cultural Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She studies theories of affect and emotion through emergent strategies in visionary and radical forms of contemporary speculative fiction and film. She also attended Clarion West Writers' Workshop in 2016, and she writes and edits speculative fiction in her free time.

    Academic Background:

    BA, Psychology (minor in English), 2011
    MA, Literature and Culture (emphasis on film), 2018 

    Research Interests:

    Affect Theory, Emotion, Speculative Fiction and Film, Visionary Fiction, Octavia Butler, Speculative Imagination, Critical Fabulation, Black Radicalism, Emergent Strategies, Decolonial Methodologies, Environmental and Restorative Justice, Ecotheory, Black Feminist Thought, Queer Feminist Liberatory Practices, Queer & Feminist Theories, Anti-Colonial Pedagogy, Popular Culture

  • Yi Sun

    Yi Sun

    Email Addressyis020@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019

    Research Interests:

    Animal studies, the alterity of animal, animal representation in different forms of art, Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature.

    Biography:

    I was born and grow up in Beijing, China. During 2009-2016, I studied Tourism Management and Chinese Literature in Soochow University, which is in Suzhou, a city famous for its rivers and bridges in southern China. I finished my East Asian Studies MA program in Duke University in 2018.

  • Yichen Tan

    Yichen Tan

    Email Addressy7tan@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019
  • Reem Taşyakan

    Reem Taşyakan

    Email Addressrehazbou@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019

    Research Interests:

    Anglophone Arab literature; Diaspora studies; Arabic literature in translation; Arab-American cultural studies; Middle East cultural studies; Arab-American ethnic and racial studies; Post-colonial studies; Arabic literary translation and translation theory; Modern Middle East history

    Professional Experience:

    From 2013-2019, I was a lecturer at San Diego State University and University of San Diego where I taught courses in Arabic literature in translation, Arab-American literature, and Middle East culture while conducting course-related and independent research. From 2011-2015, I worked in the translation industry performing Arabic to English translations and coordinating translation and interpreting projects for individuals, non-profit organizations, and corporations.

    Academic Background:

    M.A., Middle East and North African Studies (MENAS), University of Arizona, 2011
    B.A., Creative Writing, University of Arizona, 2004

  • Evelyn Vasquez

    Evelyn Vasquez

    Email Addressevvasque@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019

    Biography:

    I am from East LA, Lincoln Heights (Clifton St., Ave 28, and Ave 26) and worked on Whittier Blvd. and Arizona Ave. throughout my childhood up to an adult. Triqua for life. I rep sopes from King Taco all day every day. Rap is my harmony. Cumbias are my jams. 

    Academic Background:

    B.A., English (Literature, Criticism, and Theory Emphasis), University of California, Davis, 2016 
    Pasadena City College (2008-2013) 

    Research Interests: 

    I am currently interested in researching depictions of impoverished housing in the American city novel (late 19th and early 20th century). In these depictions, I investigate how authors detail the architecture of housing and the narrative structure in which they design living spaces in the city. Some of my previous research experience includes studying the tenement in American comics and urban documentation (planning for low-income housing and communities). Some of my more specific research has included analyzing comic book panels and tenement architectural drawings in Will Eisner’s A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories (1978).

    Professional Experience:

    While an undergraduate student, I studied abroad at Oxford, England and Santiago, Chile. After graduating from UC Davis in 2016, I worked at Pasadena City College, where I assisted students with transfer resources and provided personal statement workshops. I worked at Aspires West Pasadena, an after-school program, dedicated to fill in academic gaps. Some of the community work I have done include organizing a low-income housing community meeting to bring awareness of the housing changes occurring in the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood (2018) and the impact on the neighborhood residents. I conducted geography and reading workshops for Lincoln Heights youth in the summers of 2012 and 2013 at the local library and low-income housing center. 

    Awards: 

    Interdisciplinary Research Award, Graduate & Professional Student Association, UC San Diego (05/2022) 
    Jewish Studies Fellowship, UC San Diego (07/2021 & 2020 )
    Sawyer Seminar Fellowship, UC San Diego (03/2021) 
    Student Training Academy for Research Success (STARS) Fellowship (09/2019)
    Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Teaching Assistant (09/2018)
    University of California Education Abroad Program Scholarship (UCEAP) (01/2016)    
    Mentorship for Undergraduate Research in Agriculture, Letters and Science (MURALS) (2015 & 2013)

  • Constance Von Igel De Mello

    Constance Von Igel De Mello

    Email Addresscvonigeldemello@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2023
  • Chenfeng Wang

    Chenfeng Wang

    Email Addresschw058@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020

    Research Interests:

    East Asian film and literature, memory and trauma studies, non-fiction and documentary studies, transcultural and transmedia adaptation studies

    Academic Background:

    M.A., East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania, 2020
    M.A., History, Tsinghua University, 2018
    B.A., Chinese Language and Literature (Minor in Journalism), Tsinghua University, 2015

  • Shiya Zhang

    Shiya Zhang

    Email Addressshz030@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019
  • Chengfan Zhou

    Chengfan Zhou

    Email Addresschz076@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2022

Literatures in English

  • Laala Al-Jaber

    Laala Al-Jaber

    Email Address: Contact Department
    Year of Entry: Fall 2016

    Research Interests:

    The rise of the novel; Victorian literature; Gender Studies; Film Studies; Literatures of migration, passing, and mobility; Psychoanalysis; The Harlem Renaissance; Ethnic Studies; Performativity; Literary representations of The Other; Popular Culture Studies

    Professional Experience:

    I was the literature and popular fiction librarian at the Qatar National Library for two years. At UCSD, I worked as a graduate student researcher and served as a teaching assistant in the Warren Writing Program. While earning my master’s degree in comparative literature at Dartmouth, I worked on an oral history project and conducted interviews with undergraduates. I served as an intern for the ABA Journal and the CQ Researcher while pursuing my journalism degree at Northwestern. I am fluent in English and Arabic.

    Academic Background:

    M.A. in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College 2013
    B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University in Qatar 2012

  • Joanmarie Bañez

    Joanmarie Bañez

    Email Addressjbanez@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019

    Biography:

    Joanmarie Bañez is a PhD candidate in the Literatures in English section. She is from Atlanta, Georgia, where she completed her BA and MA in English literary studies at Georgia State University. She studies aesthetics and narratology in multiethnic literature of the U.S. from the 19th-century to the present; kinship and transracial adoption narratives; and Asian American diaspora in the U.S. South. Her work can be found in the South Atlantic Review and The Georgia Review.

    Academic Background:

    M.A., English (Literary Studies), Georgia State University, 2019
    B.A., English (Spanish minor), Georgia State University, 2017
    Universidad de Málaga, Spring Semester 2016

  • Steven Beardsley

    Steven Beardsley

    Email Addresssbeardsl@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2018

    Research Interests:

    Filipino/x American & Filipino/x Spanish American Literature of the 20th to 21st century; 19th and 20th Century American, Latin American, and Spanish Literatures; queer theory, particularly queer people of color critique and queer diasporic studies; Asian American, African American, Indigenous American, and Transpacific Literatures; psychoanalysis; feminist theory and queer masculinities; postcolonial studies and the subaltern; identity construction, subjectivity, and nationalizing projects; ecocriticism; and media and popular culture. I am currently interested in reading the intersections between Filipino and Filipinx American Literature and Indigenous Literature from the Philippines through a Queer Decolonizing framework.

    Research Skills:

    I am fluent in Spanish, and I conducted an interdepartmental honors project between the English and Modern Languages Departments at Hamline University in Minnesota titled:

    “Revolution, Redemption, and Romance: Reading Constructions of Filipino Spanish American Identities and Politics of Knowledge in Rizal’s Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo alongside Filipino American Fiction.” This ninety paged project is published in the Hamline Digital Commons. A section of it is also published through the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2016 proceedings.

    Professional Experience:

    I have two years of experience teaching English as a second language to Spanish and Russian speakers. I taught for the Center for Interamerican Studies (CEDEI) in Cuenca, Ecuador for one year (2016-2017). I then taught for Berlitz in San Luis Potosi, Mexico for one year (2017-2018). I also taught for Skyeng an online school based in Russia for three months (June-September 2018). I also have experience working as an independent contractor for the Center for Global Environmental Education (CGEE) where I helped design and write a blog discussing environmental education topics such as water conservation and alternative energy.

    More about me on my Linkedin profile

  • Mayra Cortes

    Mayra Cortes

    Email AddressContact Department
    Year of Entry: Fall 2015

    Research Interests:

    "New World" Travel Writing
    English and Spanish Colonialism
    Transatlantic Studies
    Sound Studies
    Literary Histories of Class, Race, and Labor 
    Decoloniality
    Indigenous Studies
    Utopian/dystopian fiction

  • Nolan Dannels

    Nolan Dannels

    Email Address: Contact Department
    Year of Entry: Fall 2017
  • Hannah Friederike Doermann

    Hannah Friederike Doermann

    Email Addresshdoerman@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2017

    Academic Background:

    C.Phil., English Literature, Graduate Specialization in Critical Gender Studies, UCSD, 2020
    M.A., Comparative Literature, Dartmouth College, 2017
    B.A., English Literature, Spanish & Queer Studies, Denison University, 2016

    Research Fields:

    Children’s and Young Adult Literature Studies; Youth and Childhood Studies; Girl Studies; Fan Studies; Queer Studies; Critical Whiteness Studies; Ecocriticism

    Dissertation:

    Hannah Doermann’s dissertation, “Girls Will Be Girls: Reimagining Girlhood in Contemporary Young Adult Literature,” explores the racial politics of models of girlhood in Young Adult literature (YA). Employing theories of temporality from queer studies, postcolonial studies, and youth and childhood studies, this dissertation argues that YA takes girls seriously in the present moment and reimagines girlhood as a state of being rather than a state of becoming in service of the nation. Using different engagements with girlhood in YA as a site to explore the racial politics of this marketing category, she traces its history from its establishment as a marketing category for middle-class white girls to the predominance of neoliberal diversity politics and emphasizing interventions by YA authors of color who explore girlhood as a racialized category. Merging analyses of YA novels and girls’ online discussions of YA, this dissertation bridges of the gap between the study of literature for young people and young people themselves, intervening in the central debate in Childhood Studies about the slippage between the discursive category of childhood and the materiality of actual children by reading YA as a site that discursively constructs girlhood and is simultaneously shaped by the lived experiences of actual girls.

    Publications:

    “Embracing the ‘Silly Teen Girl’: Intergenerational Feminism, Perpetual Girlhood, and the Twilight Renaissance.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, accepted pending revisions.

    “Against Ecocidal Environmentalism: Anti-Capitalist, Queer & Decolonial Critiques of Mainstream Environmentalism in Lilliam Rivera’s Dealing in Dreams.” The Lion and the Unicorn, vol. 45, no. 2, April 2021, pp. 137-153.

    Teaching Experience:

    Instructor of Record, Literature Department, UCSD
    Girls in Literature (Summer 2022)
    Vampires in Literature (Spring 2022)
    Young Adult Literature (Summer 2021)

    Instructor of Record, Critical Gender Studies Program, UCSD
    Sexuality & Nation (Summer 2022)

  • Óscar Fernando García

    Óscar Fernando García

    Email Addresso4garcia@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2021

    Research interests:

    Latinx/Chicanx Studies; Queer Literatures and Theory; Critical Race Theory; Decoloniality; Media Studies; Vagrancy

    Academic background:

    B.A. English, Spanish (Literary Journalism minor), University of California, Irvine, 2021

  • Aimee Jurado

    Aimee Jurado

    Email Addressajurado@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020

    Biography:

    Aimee Jurado received her B.A. in English at California State University, Fullerton in December of 2019. Currently, she is a first-year Literature Ph.D. student at UCSD on the English Literature track. Her research interests include 19th-20th century American literature, American identity, and African American and Asian-American narratives. Outside of school and work, Aimee enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and dogs. She is an advocate for equitable education and higher education, and she hopes to weave this personal passion into her professional work.

    Research Interests:

    19th-20th century American literature, American identity, African American and Asian-American narratives and their role in defining American identity, Victorian literature and its impact on American character, food as symbols in literature, and food fiction.  

    LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aimee-jurado-22b643117/

  • Trung T. Le

    Trung T. Le

    Email Addressttl072@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2017

    Research Interests:

    Theory and Criticism, with focus on post(-)colonialism; film aesthetics; world literatures, especially Pacific literatures and Vietnamese literatures; cultural studies; linguistics; comparative literature; modernist and postmodernist literature

    Current Research Areas:

    The intersection of the body, the nation, and gender in the formation of identity; practices of encoding the body: the digital, the tattoo, bio-chemical and social influences on the body and behaviour; interdisciplinary studies: postcolonial theory, post-colonial period, and Vietnamese/Pacific literary zones.

  • Samuel Lyons

    Samuel Lyons

    Email Address: slyons@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019
  • Kellie Miller

    Kellie Miller

    Email Address: knmiller@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2019
  • Matthew Moore

    Matthew Moore

    Email AddressContact Department
    Year of Entry: Fall 2016
  • Barışcan Ozkuzey

    Barışcan Ozkuzey

    Email Addressoozkuzey@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2023
  • Maya Richards

    Maya Richards

    Email Address: mirichar@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2018
  • Camille Uglow

    Camille Uglow

    Email Addresscuglow@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2022

    Research Interests:

    Early Modern English and French drama, Early Modern English and French literature, ecocriticism, dramaturgy, performance studies, Renaissance studies

    Publications:

    “On Overthinking.” Alchemy, Issue 22, August 2023 (creative translation) 
    https://quote.ucsd.edu/alchemy/on-overthinking/

    Conference Presentations: 

    “Shakespeare’s Blue Globe: An Ecocritical Examination of A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Writing Environments: Earth, Water, Fire, and Air Symposium, Literature Department, University of California, San Diego, June 2023

    Academic Background: 

    B.A. in Literature (General Literature, Intensive), University of California, Santa Cruz, 2021

  • Vyxz Vasquez

    Vyxz Vasquez

    Email Address: lmvasquez@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2021

    Research Interests:

    Protest Literature, Translation, Creative Writing, Asian American Studies, Poetry, Philippine Literature, Police Archives, Filipino Diaspora

    Academic Background:

    MA in Creative Writing, University of the Philippines, 2019
    BA in Creative Writing, University of the Philippines, 2012

  • Phuong T. Vuong

    Phuong T. Vuong

    Email Addresspvuong@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020

    Research Interests:

    critical race theory, gender studies, queer theory, constructions of knowledge and the subject, Asian American studies, decolonial/settler colonial studies, 20th and 21st century multi-ethnic U.S. literature.

    Biography:

    Phuong T. Vuong is a Vietnamese American poet and writer from Oakland. She is a PhD candidate whose critical research explores Asian/American women and queer writers and artists' work with the archives, creative refusal of recognition, and relations to land and water. Phuong is the author of two poetry collections including A Plucked Zither (Red Hen Press, 2023), which won the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award 2021. She has publications in American Poetry Review, Best American PoetryPrairie Schooner, The Asian American Writers' Workshop: The Margins, and elsewhere. Her reviews and interviews have been published in journals such as The Rumpus and The Adroit Journal. She often writes to interrogate language, migration, race, gender and other topics related to her research. You can find out more about her work at phuongthaovuong.com.

    Academic Background:

    MA in Literature, University of California- San Diego, 2023
    MFA in Creative Writing, University of Colorado- Boulder, 2020
    BA in Black Studies, Amherst College, 2009

Literatures in Spanish

  • Jessica Aguilar

    Jessica Aguilar

    Email Addressjea035@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2017

    Academic Background:

    Master of Arts in Spanish, New Mexico State University (2016)
    Bachelor of Arts with majors in Spanish Literature and Latin American Studies, University of California, San Diego  (2014)
    University of California, Education Abroad Program at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (2012)

    Research Interests:

    !9th Century Latin American Literature
    Contemporary Mexican Literature
    Critical Race Theory
    Critical Gender Studies
    Critical Ethnic Studies
    Decoloniality
    Narco-Politics
    Politics of Death 
    Critical Migration and Refugee Studies
    Central American Transmigration Studies
    Border Studies

    Research Skills:

    At New Mexico State University, Jessica conducted research on Spanish Language Acquisition and Teaching Methodology for Heritage and Second Language Learners. Through the implementation of Case Studies, Survey Research, and Critical Discourse Analysis, she was able to present a Didactic Unit specifically designed for teaching Spanish to Heritage Learners. In addition, as a UCSD Competitive Edge fellow (2017), Jessica also worked on a project that took from Fredric Jameson’s concept of “National Allegory” to analyze the relationship between the mutilated body and neoliberal economic practices in Salvadoran short stories published between 1990-2000.

    Biography:

    Jessica Aguilar is originally from the San Ysidro/Tijuana border region and a first-generation, low-income, transfronteriza student. She graduated from UCSD in 2014 with BAs in Latin American Studies and Spanish Literature and received a Master’s Degree in Spanish from New Mexico State University in 2016. While at NMSU, Jessica volunteered for the College Assistant Migrant Program, worked closely with the Center for Latin American and Border Studies, and was a member of literary workshop Pizca a las 6:30. Upon her return to San Diego, Jessica worked closely with unaccompanied migrant children from Central American backgrounds, something she continues to do during the summer time. 

    Jessica is a founder and current Co-Chair of the Latina Doctoral Student Collective at UCSD. She also works for the Raza Resource Centro as a Graduate Learning Specialist (GLS), where she assists in the facilitation of high impact learning components of the Raza Research and Conference Program, and coaches undergraduate Latinx/Chicanx students in the creation of pathways to post-baccalaureate opportunities. 

  • Marisol Cuong

    Marisol Cuong

    Email Address: Contact Department
    Year of Entry: Fall 2017
  • Yingjie Fei

    Yingjie Fei

    Email Address: yifei@ucsd.edu 
    Year of Entry: Fall 2020

    Research Interests:

    Decolonizing theories
    Colombian armed conflict 
    Dirty war
    State terrorism 
    Nadaísmo
    Narratives on violence
    Chinese community and diaspora in Latin America

    Research Skills:

    Spanish-Chinese translation and interpretation
    Translation work:  [Chinese] Mutis, Álvaro. Relatos De Mar y Tierra.

  • Veronica Perez Garcia

    Veronica Perez Garcia

    Email Address: mperezgarcia@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2023
  • Carolina Ramirez Moreno

    Carolina Ramirez Moreno

    Email Address: cramirezmoreno@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2021
  • Ana Villalpando

    Ana Villalpando

    Email Address: anvillalpando@ucsd.edu
    Year of Entry: Fall 2023
  • Andrea Zelaya

    Andrea Zelaya

    Email Address: Contact Department
    Year of Entry: Fall 2017