My research addresses the fraught history of colonial desire. Through cultural criticism—including queer of color critique, women of color feminism, and performance methodologies—I trace the connections between interracial sex, mixed race subjects, and US intervention in Asia & the Pacific.
Areas of expertise
feminist & queer theory; aesthetics; critiques of multiracialism;
the colonial present; memory; temporality; visual culture;
comparative race and ethnicity
Fields of knowledge
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Asian American Studies;
Critical Mixed Race Studies; Performance Studies;
Once the subject of social panic, racial mixture is now idealized as a sign of progress, even as an antidote to generations of racial injury. Many studies on multiraciality historicize the connection between eugenics, anti-miscegenation laws, and a “post-racial” America, but few have thoroughly contended with the way interracial desire harkens back to colonial encounter and conquest. My first book traces the ideological function of racial mixture and racial fetish within the archive of Asian American performance art and visual culture. Beginning in the years preceding Loving v. Virginia (1967) and the end of the Vietnam War, my project addresses the peculiar enchantment of the Asian/Pacific Islander and white subject—the Eurasian or hapa. While the mixed race subject is often interpreted as the face of the future, I argue that memory unfolds as a critical realm to contend with racial mixture’s often disavowed violent beginnings. Moving across performance art, film, photography, memoir, and true crime, each chapter dwells on the racialized erotics that are survived, fantasized, or enacted by Asian people with white heritage—including Sui Sin Far, Nancy Kwan, Chanel Miller, Emma Sulkowicz, Andrew Cunanan, Elliot Rodger, and Daniel Holtzclaw. Through pathos and thick description, I write against the disavowal of colonial desire, forcing a reckoning with the sexual undercurrents of white supremacy.
In writing this book, my goal is to intervene into current debates on multiracialism, orientalism, and antiblackness by revealing how mixed race subjection - like all racial subjection - is a violent phenomenon with reverberating implications for the structure of racial form writ large.