Kimberly Chang, associate professor of cultural psychology, holds a B.A. in psychology from William Smith College, and an M.A. in international relations, M.S. in multicultural counseling, and Ph.D. in social and political psychology from Syracuse University.
Her teaching and research focuses on the psychology of globalization and dilemmas of identity, belonging, and citizenship for those whose lives span national borders and cultural worlds.
She takes a critical ethnographic and community-based approach to learning and is particularly interested in the intersections of social research and creative writing.
She 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 previously taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Chinese food is more American than apple pie, suggests writer Jennifer Lee in The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. In this course, we will take Chinese food as our starting point for exploring food as a system that connects individuals and communities, locally and globally. Students will carry out a multi-sited ethnographic research project that begins with a question about Chinese food, whether about production and consumption, identity and belonging, health and environment, memory and desire, community and activism. Students will "follow the Chinese food" wherever their questions take them-from restaurant to market to factory to farm-and be guided through the process of posing ethnographic questions, conducting fieldwork and interviews, writing fieldnotes and other forms of ethnographic documentation, and engaging throughout 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 and may apply for a more substantial summer research grant to further their project locally or take it to China.
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 interview, the archive, ethnography, memory-while working the borders of non/fiction for the kinds of knowledge to which different forms give us access. We will look at examples of hybrid non/fiction forms including ethnographic fiction, documentary theatre, experimental memoir, and the lyric essay along with the genre-bending work of Gloria Anzaldua, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, B.J. Hollars, Shailja Patel, Paisley Rekdal, and Art Spiegelman. We will also hold a weekly hybrid documentary film series. 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.
This course is designed for students transitioning into Division II to introduce them to the School of Critical Social Inquiry: the kinds of questions we ask, methodologies we use, and writing we produce. Each week CSI faculty will share a recent research project, taking students "behind the scenes" to examine the methodological dilemmas and choices that drove their research and forms of knowledge they produced. Students will learn to read and think critically about the epistemological assumptions behind method, what it means to take an interpretive approach to social research, and the ethics of community-engaged scholarship. We will ask why some methods are privileged as more valid ways of knowing? And when do methodological conventions work for/against other goals such as community empowerment? Each student will develop a research proposal, as they learn how to be more intentional, reflexive, and creative in their own research and writing choices.
This course is designed for students transitioning from Division I to II to introduce the diverse methodologies employed in the social sciences, while critically considering the implications of method for the production of knowledge. What philosophical assumptions underlie our methodological choices? How does choice of method shape what we can know? Why are some methodologies privileged as more legitimate ways of knowing than others? When do methodological conventions work for or against other goals, such as community empowerment and social change? How can we make more intentional and creative methodological choices that recognize both the limits and the possibilities of knowing through engagement with others? Each week, a faculty guest speaker will share a recent research project, focusing on the "behind the scenes" stories of the methodological assumptions, dilemmas, and decisions that drove his/her research. Subsequent discussions will relate this work to the larger questions and themes of the course.
This course explores two related concepts-hybridity and authenticity-that underlie contemporary conflicts over identity and representation. While the hybrid is often charged with being inauthentic or fake, claims to authenticity are frequently criticized for being reactionary or exclusive. Such conflicts are increasingly common in a globalizing world where people's lives and livelihoods straddle multiple and often contending communities, where cultural identities are aggressively marketed for consumption, and where paradoxically the desire for authenticity-for home-may be greater than ever. When do we feel the need to claim an authentic self? What purposes do such claims serve? And how might we embrace our hybridities as a source of both personal and political identity? We will take the "mixed race" experience as our primary lens while interrogating the ways that racial categories intersect with other axis of power and difference in the making of selves, identities, and communities.
Associate Professor of Cultural Psychology
Mail Code SS
Franklin Patterson Hall G11
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002