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David L. Eng

Richard L. Fisher Professor of English

Faculty Director of the Program in Asian American Studies


Fisher-Bennett Hall 212

Office Hours

spring 2024

By appointment

David L. Eng is Richard L. Fisher Professor of English and Faculty Director of the Program in Asian American Studies. He is also Professor in the Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory and the Program in Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies. After receiving his B.A. in English from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley, he taught at Columbia and Rutgers before joining Penn in 2007. Eng has held visiting professorships at the University of Bergen (Norway), King's College London, Harvard University, and the University of Hong Kong. He is the recipient of research fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, and the Mellon Foundation, among others. In 2016, Eng was elected an honorary member of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR) in New York City. In 2021, he was awarded the Kessler Prize from the Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS), which is given to a scholar and/or activist who has produced a body of work that has had a significant influence on the field of LGBTQ Studies. His areas of specialization include American studies, Asian American studies, Asian diaspora, critical race theory, psychoanalysis, queer studies, gender studies, and visual culture.

Eng is author of Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation: On the Social and Psychic Lives of Asian Americans (co-authored with Shinhee Han, Duke, 2019, winner of the Boyer Book Prize and Association for Asian American Studies Book Award Honorable Mention), The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy (Duke, 2010), and Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America (Duke, 2001). He is co-editor with David Kazanjian of Loss: The Politics of Mourning (California, 2003) and with Alice Y. Hom of Q & A: Queer in Asian America (Temple, 1998, winner of a Lambda Literary Award and Association of Asian American Studies Book Award). In addition, he is co-editor of three special issues of the journal Social Text: with Jasbir Puar, "Left of Queer" (2020), with Teemu Ruskola and Shuang Shen, "China and the Human" (2011/2012), and with Jack Halberstam and José Esteban Muñoz, "What's Queer about Queer Studies Now?" (2005). His current book project, "Reparations and the Human" (Duke, forthcoming) investigates the relationship between political and psychic genealogies of reparation in Cold War Asia. 

At Penn, Eng is a founding convenor of the Faculty Working Group on Race and Empire Studies as well as a member of the Executive Board of Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies and the Alice Paul Center. In 2013-14, he helped to organize a Mellon Sawyer Seminar on "Race, Across Time and Space" sponsored by the Mellon Foundation. Eng is a member of the editorial boards of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, JAPA: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Social Text, and Studies in Gender and Sexuality: Psychoanalysis, Cultural Studies, Treatment, Research. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Asian American Writers' Workshop and a former Chair of the Board of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in New York City. Currently, he is a convenor of The Law & Humanities Workshop, a consortium organized among Georgetown University Law Center, Stanford Law School, UCLA School of Law, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Southern California Center for Law, History, and Culture. In addition, Eng is also serving on the Committee of Scholars for the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. 


News & Events

Doctoral Dissertations Chaired


Matthew Aiello "Writing Under Duress: Trauma and Repetition in Early England, 1065-1250 "


Melanie Abeygunawardana "Dissenting Flesh: Racial Feeling in an Age of Colorblindness"
Ava L.J. Kim "Trans / Nation: Gender and Democracy in an Age of Transition"


Thomas Conners "New Latinx Feelings: Race, Affect, and Form in Queer Latinx Literature"


A. Yumi Lee "Someone Else's War: Korea and the Post-1945 U.S. Racial Order "


Jungha Kim "Trauma of Empire: Violence, Minor Affect, and the Cold War Transpacific"
Sunny Chen Yang "Fictions of Territoriality: Legal and Literary Narratives of US Imperial Contestation Zones, 1844-1914"

Courses Taught

fall 2024

ENGL 7640.401 Marx and Freud  

spring 2024

fall 2023

spring 2023

ENGL 7901.401 Guilt and Reparations  

fall 2022

ENGL 1400.401 Introduction to Literary Theory: Ideology canceled  

spring 2022

fall 2021

spring 2021

ENGL 272.401 Race and Psychoanalysis  

fall 2020

ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

spring 2019

ENGL 705.401 Race, Across Time and Space  

spring 2018

spring 2017

spring 2015

ENGL 272.401 Race and Psychoanalysis  

fall 2014

ENGL 590.401 Trauma and Repair  

spring 2014

ENGL 066.001 Literature and Law  

fall 2013

ENGL 705.301 Race, Across Time and Space  

spring 2012

fall 2011

ENGL 799.301 Reparations  

spring 2009

ENGL 765.401 Critical Race Theory  

fall 2008

ENGL 066.401 Literature and Law  

spring 2008

ENGL 066.001 Literature and Law  

fall 2007

ENGL 590.401 Freud and His Commentators