Associate Professor of Cultural Psychology
Kim's teaching and writing sits at the intersections of anthropology and psychology, culture and self, with a focus on "Chinese" and "American" identities and communities across the Pacific. Her courses combine critical ethnography with creative writing to explore questions of identity, belonging, and citizenship for those whose lives span national borders and cultural worlds. Her current work takes creative non/fiction as the quintessential hybrid literary form for writing about migration and diaspora. Her recent book, Accomplice to Memory (Kaya Press, 2017), mixes memoir, fiction, and documentary photographs to explore the limits and possibilities of truth telling across generations and geographies.
Kim is a participating faculty member in Hampshire's China Exchange Program and the Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program. She has lived and worked extensively in Hong Kong and China, and is an Honorary Professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.
In this course, we will explore the relationship between methods of critical social inquiry and creative forms of writing and representation. While discipline has traditionally bound method to form in the social sciences, we ask: what forms are necessary for conveying what kinds of truths? We will consider the possibilities and limits of our research tools-the archive, the interview, ethnography-while working the borders of creative non/fiction for the kinds of knowledge to which different forms give us access. We will read examples of hybrid literary forms including literary journalism, ethnographic fiction, docu-poetry, documentary theatre, lyric essay, and experimental memoir. Students will consider questions of craft as they research, imagine, and workshop pieces of their own writing and explore their choices as researchers and writers in search of form.
Chinese food is more American than apple pie, writes Jennifer Lee in The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, noting that there are more Chinese restaurants than McDonald's in the U.S. In this course, we take Chinese food as a ubiquitous American foodway that is at once both "familiar" and "foreign" and thus offers a potent entry point into the study of the cultural politics of food, identity, and belonging in the U.S. Students will carry out an ethnographic research project that begins with questions about Chinese food as it intersects with their own lives. Students will "follow the Chinese food" wherever their questions take them-from homes to restaurants to markets to farms-and will be guided through the process of conducting fieldwork and interviews, grappling with the ethics of participatory research, writing fieldnotes and other forms of ethnographic documentation, and engaging in the critical reflexive act of interpretation and writing. As part of the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment, students in this course will receive a small research stipend to use during the semester
This course is designed for students transitioning into Division II to introduce them to faculty in the School of Critical Social Inquiry: the kinds of questions we ask, research methodologies we use, and writing we produce. Each week, a faculty guest speaker will share a recent research project, focusing on the "behind the scenes" stories of the intentions, dilemmas, and choices that informed their research. Together we will read and think critically about the epistemological assumptions behind methodology, the power of method to enable or limit particular kinds of knowledge, and the ethics of socially engaged scholarship. Each student will develop a viable research proposal on a subject of their own choosing, while learning how to be more intentional, creative, and ethical in their own research and writing choices.
Critical ethnography is a way of knowing about the cultural worlds we live in through our reflexive participation in and writing about those worlds. Like going to college, doing critical ethnography requires disorientation in order to begin to question what we take for granted and learn through our engagements with others. In this tutorial, first-year students will learn the disorienting methods of critical ethnography as a way of knowing about the intersecting cultural worlds that make up Hampshire College. Each student will carry out a semester-long ethnographic project and will be guided through the process of posing ethnographic questions, conducting fieldwork and interviews, grappling with the ethics of participatory research, writing field notes and other forms of ethnographic documentation, and engaging in the critical reflexive act of interpretation and writing. Through this ethnographic exploration of Hampshire, students will gain an understanding of the method, the college, and themselves.