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Ryan Ku

Ryan Ku works across Asian diasporic, Southeast Asian, and multiethnic American literatures after World War II in the context of history beyond boundaries. In his first book project, Imperial Wounds: Filipino/American Novels and Late Modernity, he reads ethnic American narratives with Filipino novels, thus as postcolonial texts. This integration is based on the Filipino’s “structurally queer” position as a subject that, in not fitting into the terms of minority multiculturalism, points instead to U.S. empire history as a traumatic foundation of ethnicity in the nation. More broadly, he is interested in narrative and media that index the nation’s internal contradictions with the transpacific scenes of liberal modernity. Cultivating a critical practice attentive to story, discourse, and context, he also treats reading as an opportunity to philosophize about language, knowledge, reality, temporality, and ecology. As a teacher, he aims to let students explore the world through texts, thereby know the other and the self.

Courses Taught