Photo of smiling multiracial Asian woman in a red coat

Erica Kanesaka Kalnay

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, Victorian and Neo-Victorian studies, affect theory, aesthetic theory, feminist theory, and visual and material cultures. My dissertation brings these interests together to explore the transnational circulation of racial affects by way of children’s dolls and picture books 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, Journal of Asian American Studies, Oxford Literary Review, V21: Victorian Studies for the 21st Century, and Victoriographies.

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 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 or find me on Twitter at @ericakanesaka.

Here are a few things I’ve published on the Internet: