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.
The critic David Lodge describes defamiliarization as "Overcoming the deadening effects of habit by representing familiar things in unfamiliar ways." Our focus will be on re-perceiving the East, asking what it is, how we see it, how we don't see it, how we could see it, all in the hopes of more closely, critically, and compassionately developing different habits about where and how to look. Not deadening habits: living habits. Course requirements will include reading international fiction and non-fiction; in-class presentations; critical response papers; creative writing; and keeping a regular "sensory journal" in which individual, cultural, and/or universal habits are re-examined (e.g., on dress, foods, music, war.) and periodically shared with the class. Bringing supplementary materials to the class (e.g., an article that made you rethink a comfortable position on the 'other') is strongly encouraged. Note: Students MUST attend the first day of class in order to keep their seat.
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.