In Autumn 2017, AES will welcome two new Assistant Professors to the department.
Professor Jang Wook Huh received his PhD in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, with a dissertation focusing on Afro-Korean connections in literature. Huh is originally from Seoul, South Korea where he attended Seoul National University. Since receiving his PhD, Huh had been teaching literature at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. At UW, Huh will be teaching Comparative American Ethnic Literature, Hawaiian Literatures, Asian American Theater, and Contemporary Asian American Literature. In the future, he also plans to offer new courses on Critical Race Theory, Race, Sexuality, the Visual Archive, and Afro-Asian Romance. Huh explains that he is “excited about the vibrant intellectual community and diverse student body at UW and looks forward to engaging in broad conversations across academic fields and ethnic groups.” Huh also looks forward to “discussing with students a variety of forms of aesthetics and politics that illuminate the complexity of life and culture, whether it be racial and gender formation, desire and intimacy, identity and relationship.” Huh is working on a book that focuses on the “literary connections between black liberation struggles in the United States and anticolonial movements in Korea during the Japanese and American occupations.”
Professor Linh Nguyễn will be teaching American Ethnic Studies and Asian American studies courses. Raised in Escondido, California, Nguyễn received bachelor’s degrees in Women's Studies and Spanish from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2008 before completing her PhD in Ethnic Studies at the same institution in 2016. Before coming to the UW, Nguyễn also worked as a lecturer in the UC San Diego Ethnic Studies department, teaching courses in Contemporary Asian American History and Contemporary Immigration Issues. Nguyễn is working on a book manuscript. She describes her project: “[The book] examines the Vietnam War and refugee experience. Reading a broad range of texts including sociological studies of Vietnamese refugees to art, performance, and graphic novels, I look at the ways that ideas of family framed the reception of refugees, but also critically challenge dominant narratives, showing how experiences of war continue to be lived, felt and understood intergenerationally.” At the UW, Nguyễn is looking forward to teaching courses that take up work on “Southeast Asian refugees, history, and memory”; she also plans to work in the local community. In particular, Nguyễn explains “I am excited about the long history of collaboration the department has with the larger Seattle community. This aspect of the department's mission really affirms the commitments of Ethnic Studies to its own history.”