Ava L.J. Kim is a PhD Candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a BA in Creative Writing at Macalester College where she also worked as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and Frank Karel Fellow. Ava's dissertation, "Trans / Nation: Death, Democracy, and Transnormativity" analyzes the discourse of “transition,” both to describe a person’s physical, psychic, and/or bodily movement from one gender to another and its deployment by nations to narrate political change through globally circulated terms like democratization and development. Her current research interests include 20th and 21st century culture with a focus on trans aesthetics and anti-imperialism in literature, music, and film.
Ava is a co-founder and co-coordinator of the Trans Literacy Project. She previously served as co-coordinator of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Reading Group (2017-2019), co-director of the Queer Urgencies Conference (April 5-6, 2019), and SASgov (School of Arts and Sciences Government) Representative (2017-2018).