Christopher T. Fan

I am an Assistant Professor of English at UC Irvine, and a senior editor at Hyphen magazine, which I also co-founded. My research and writing focus on 20/21st c. Anglophone and Asian/American cultural production, speculative fiction, and racial formation. I received my PhD in English literature from UC Berkeley in 2016, and was formerly a UC Chancellor’s postdoctoral fellow in the English department at UC Riverside.

In addition to Hyphen, my writing has appeared or is forthcoming in American Quarterly, the Journal of Asian American Studies, the Journal of Transnational American Studies, Post45: Peer Reviewed, and The New Inquiry.

I am currently working on a book tentatively titled Principles of Selection: Asian American Fiction after 1965. It takes stock of the simultaneous emergence of Asian American fiction and an Asian American knowledge worker class occupationally segregated into techno-scientific fields. It reads the mutual determination of these two dimensions in fiction by writers like Ted Chiang, Susan Choi, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ruth Ozeki, and Charles Yu that depicts the historical transition away from exclusion as well as the consequences of selection.

My second project, tentatively titled China in the Geopolitical Imagination, explores how China’s rise has shaped the geopolitical imaginations of Anglophone writers like Chimamanda Adichie, Mike Daisey, Chang-rae Lee, and Maureen F. McHugh. Orientalism in these texts differs from Edward Said’s famous model, in which East is East and West is West. Instead, these novels register the anxieties and opportunities created by a pragmatic acceptance of East-West interdependency.

Refereed Articles

"Animacy at the End of History in Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea," American Quarterly 69.3 (September, 2017), special issue on "The Chinese Factor: Reorienting Global Imaginaries in American Studies," eds. Chih-ming Wang and Yu-Fang Cho.

"Battle Hymn of the Afropolitan: Sino-African Futures in Ghana Must Go and Americanah," Journal of Asian American Studies 20.1 (February, 2017), special issue on "Transpacific Futurities," eds. Aimee Bahng and Christine Mok.

"Techno-Orientalism with Chinese Characteristics: Maureen F. McHugh’s China Mountain Zhang," Journal of Transnational American Studies 6.1 (2015).

"Melancholy Transcendence: Ted Chiang and Asian American Postracial Form," Post45: Peer Reviewed (November 6, 2014).

"WordSeer: A Knowledge Synthesis Environment for Textual Data," ACM Conference of Information and Knowledge Management (2013).

Selected Non-refereed Articles

"‘Forms of Taboo, Forms of Love’: a review of The Loved Ones by Sonya Chung," Public Books, July 11, 2017.

"Asian/American Antibodies: An Ending," Post45: Contemporaries, April 14, 2016.

"Asian/American (Anti-)Bodies: An Introduction," Post45: Contemporaries, November 23, 2015.

"Not All Nerds," The New Inquiry, November 4, 2014.

"Review of Who We Be: The Colorization of America by Jeff Chang," Hyphen, October 21, 2014.

"‘Future Islands’: a review of On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee," The New Inquiry, May 19, 2014.

"Cartesian Centaurs: Modernism and the Bicycle," Berkeley English Department Blog, July 11, 2013.

"Vincent Chin: Some Lessons and Legacies," Hyphen, June 25, 2012.

"Jean Quan and the Death of Asian America," Hyphen, November 21, 2011.

Upcoming Appearances

February 27, 2018, Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive Center (Lower Gateway Plaza)
"Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others Book Club Discussion," Open to the public, UC Irvine Illuminations Series, Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive Center (Lower Gateway Plaza). Invited.

March 7, 2018, Crystal Cove Auditorium
"Ted Chiang Public Reading," Introduced by Chris Fan, UC Irvine Illuminations Series, Crystal Cove Auditorium. Invited.

March 29, 2018, UCLA
"Nerds, Race, and Silicon Valley Fiction," "The Fate of Character in the Long Twentieth Century," American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, UCLA.

May 24, 2018, Amsterdam
"Slow Life in Still Life," "Slow Asias," ASAP/Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

Recent Appearances

"The “Pivot” Novel," "Transpacific Alignments after the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Asia and Latin America," MLA Annual Meeting, New York, NY, January 5, 2018.

"Asian/American Utopias and Dystopias," "Asian/American Utopias and Dystopias," MLA Annual Meeting, New York, NY, January 4, 2018.

"Why Write the Future, and How?," Roundtable with Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, Patrick Sharp, Ashley Grayson, and Bill Tomlinson, moderated by Sherryl Vint, "Writing the Future," U.C. Irvine, Irvine, CA, May 31, 2017. Invited.

"Chinese Clones and Postracial Zombies in Never Let Me Go and Zone One," "Imagining Asia in the Era of Trump," University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, May 23, 2017. Invited.

"Asian/American Silicon Valley Narratives," Presentation and discussion with Jim Lee (UCI) and Ted Martin (UCI), "Critical Voices Series," U.C. Irvine Asian American Studies Department, Irvine, CA, May 17, 2017. Invited.

"Transpacific Futurities: Beyond the Special Issue," Roundtable with Aimee Bahng (Dartmouth), Christine Mok (U. Cincinnati), Lilly Nguyen (UNC, Chapel Hill), Erin Suzuki (UCSD), and LeiLani Nishime (U. Washington), Association for Asian American Studies Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, April 14, 2017.

"Post-Historical Form in On Such a Full Sea," Roundtable with Warren Liu (Scripps) and Andrew Leong (Northwestern), "Let's See Who Cares: Speculative Forms for Asian American Futures," Association for Asian American Studies Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, April 13, 2017.

"Roundtable on Arrival and Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life," with Michael Szalay, Oren Izenberg, and Irene Tucker, U.C. Irvine Department of English, Irvine, CA, March 16, 2017. Invited.

"Asian American Silicon Valley Narratives," U.C. Riverside Department of English, Riverside, CA, March 8, 2017. Invited.

"Diversity as Arbitrage: Silicon Valley and Asian/America," "Asian American Speculative Fictions," MLA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, January 6, 2017.

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