Heejoo Park

Research Areas:

20th & 21st Century American Literature, Asian American Literature, Latina/o Literature

Research Interests:

My research focus stands at the intersection of contemporary Asian American literature and Latinx literature. In my current project, I aim to decode patterns of speculative aesthetics that emerge from the Latina/o and Asian American cultural producers in the post-1965 era by invoking the differential possibilities of comparison. Although the racial formations of Asian Americans and Latina/os cannot be equated, I argue that it is important to closely examine how both groups have been cast as “aliens,” whose migration is understood as a single event, unidirectional and voluntary. I apply comparative analytics not only across but within these racial groups to acknowledge the difference in ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, and sexuality of individuals and communities grouped under racial umbrellas, “Asian American” and “Latinx.” Specifically, I am interested in how Asian American and Latina/o writers’ use of myths, legends, folktales, and religious tales from Asia and Latin America emerges as a political as well as an aesthetic choice that then allows them to revise the dominant migrant / refugee narrative based on a linear progression of departure and arrival.