Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Ann Ho


Ann Lena Ho is a scholar of contemporary urban literature and media. Her dissertation titled “Infrastructures of Narrative: Lagos, Johannesburg, Mumbai” explores how the contemporary world novel represents urban infrastructural change in rapidly developing postcolonial cities. She argues that an in-depth, infrastructural analysis of physical space is crucial for understanding the novels and social relationships set within those cities, as well as for examining the oft-hidden cost of human life necessitated in infrastructural development. By focusing on interstitial zones of urban sociality in which undesirable surpluses accumulate and overwhelm existing infrastructural capacities, her research shows how cities and books alike are fueled, not burdened, by the presence of human traffic. For instance, her first chapter examines how traffic is concomitantly a space of micro-economic opportunity for Lagos’s urban dispossessed, the site where the state realizes its most violent necropolitical aims, and a cinematic feature of the world literature genre. As such, the dissertation examines the shifting relationship between the city and the novel, analyzing how each remediates the other across new technological and media infrastructures, discourses of urban hyper-development, and new horizons in the field of world literature. Ann holds a certificate from the Center for Teaching and Learning and has taught classes at Penn in new media and television, comics, and Japanese anime. She has taught the 4-week Pre-Freshman Program for entering first-gen students and is currently teaching a class on storytelling to incarcerated students as part of a collaboration between Arcadia University and the Philadelphia Department of Prisons. She was the cover artist for Travis Chi Wing Lau’s Paring.

Courses Taught