Photo of smiling multiracial Asian woman in a red coat

About Me

I am a Ph.D. candidate in English Literary Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where I specialize in children’s literature and culture, with interests in Asian and Asian diaspora studies, affect theory, aesthetic theory, critical race theory, feminist disability studies, and visual and material cultures. My dissertation brings these interests together to explore the transnational circulation of racial affects by way of children’s books and toys that traveled across Japan, England, and America beginning at the fin de siècle.

My academic research has received awards from the Association for Asian American Studies, the North American Victorian Studies Association, and the Northeast Victorian Studies Association as well as fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and the UW-Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities. Essays and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Oxford Literary Review, Victoriographies, and V21: Victorian Studies for the 21st Century.

I view teaching as integral to my scholarly work and have taught a range of courses in Asian American studies, literature, creative writing, and composition. Social justice is at the heart of my teaching practice. I give talks and lead workshops on intersectional approaches to pedagogy that center the needs of students from marginalized groups. 

I am committed to bridging the gaps between academia, art, and activism, and in addition to my research and teaching, I write for public audiences, engage in outreach, and advocate for access and inclusion in higher education. I also hold an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from New York University and write short stories, creative nonfiction essays, and (occasionally) comics.

A recent C.V. is available here. You can contact me at kalnay@wisc.edu or find me on Twitter at @ericakanesaka.