Biography

I am Associate Professor at the University of Washington, with a joint appointment in Anthropology and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies. I am also an affiliated faculty member of the China Studies program and graduate certificate programs in Cinema & Media Studies and Public Scholarship. I have participated in several projects sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities, including as a co-organizer of the 2007-2008 Visual Praxis Collective. My research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of cultural anthropology, gender studies, and visual studies. I also have a longstanding commitment to exploring creative writing within the social sciences, through experimental ethnography, poetry, and visual essays. What eventually became my first book, A Thousand Miles of Dreams: The Journeys of Two Chinese Sisters, began as an undergraduate project to record my grandmother’s oral history and learn more about my great-aunt’s career as a writer. I discovered that the two sisters told widely divergent stories about their family’s past. The mystery of that discrepancy lies at the heart of my account of these two Chinese “modern girls.” I have continued to conduct research in China and on questions of gender and cultural representation, most recently on Beijing’s contemporary art world. This work has included curating feminist art exhibits in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. I received my PhD in Anthropology, with a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Studies, from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2006. Being the parent of two young children constitutes my most challenging and hilarious adventure so far.