Chris A  Eng

Chris A Eng

Assistant Professor of English

Chris A. Eng’s research examines how US ethnic literatures and performances chart imaginative visions that illuminate more capacious accounts of what constitutes national belonging, historical injury, and social justice. Eng’s work investigates the productive frictions and intimacies between Asian American literatures and queer of color critique. His first book project, “Extravagant Camps: Constraint and Queer Conviviality in Asian America,” reckons with the perhaps unexpected pairing between the camp—as in sites of confinement—and camp aesthetics—practices of queer performative excess—within Asian American cultural productions. In tracing a genealogy of camps that have regulated the abjection of Asian bodies from the parameters of US national belonging, “Extravagant Camps” simultaneously highlights a rich repertoire of Asian American camp that hyperbolizes rather than refutes tropes of foreign racialization (e.g. Oriental inscrutability, duplicity, artifice, and alienness) to improvise spaces for exuberance, luxury, and possibility under compromised circumstances of confinement. Collectively, his intellectual research elucidates how cultural works that revel in the ostensibly silly, irreverent, and frivolous can destabilize moralistic values of respectability and normativity.

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