Cynthia Wu specializes in Asian American and comparative ethnic studies, U.S. literatures after 1865, disability studies, and queer of color analysis. Her articles have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as American Literature, LIT, MELUS, Meridians, and Signs. She is the author of Chang and Eng Reconnected: The Original Siamese Twins in American Culture (Temple University Press, 2012). She is completing a second book on the U.S. military in the Asian American imagination. It examines the links between war injury, citizenship, and civil rights from World War II to the present. Currently, Wu serves as book reviews editor for the Journal of Asian American Studies.
Prior to academia, Wu did HIV outreach in Asian American communities and cultural history museum work.
Ph.D. in American Culture, University of Michigan (2004)
M.A. in English, University of Michigan (1997)
A.B. in English, Bryn Mawr College (1995)
Chang and Eng Reconnected: The Original Siamese Twins in American Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2012.
"Revisiting Blu's Hanging: A Critique of Queer Transgression in the Lois-Ann Yamanaka Controversy." Meridians 10.1 (2010): 32-53.
"The Siamese Twins in Late-Nineteenth-Century Narratives of Conflict and Reconciliation.” American Literature 80.1 (March 2008): 29-55.
Jennifer C. James and Cynthia Wu, ed. and intro. “Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Literature: Intersections and Interventions.” MELUS 31.3 (Fall 2006).
To Love and Defend: The United States Military in the Asian American Imagination
In this work of literary and cultural analysis, I claim that the U.S. armed forces are a material and conceptual vehicle through which Asian Americans have historically processed their ambivalent relationship with the nation-state. Conversely, it is through the armed forces that the United States understands its place among racialized subjects—both domestically and abroad—as it manages its paradoxical image as harbinger of democracy and global-imperialist empire alike.
Frequently Taught Courses
Cross-Racial Encounters in Asian America
Introduction to American Studies
Biopolitics, Necropolitics, and the Management of the Body
Comparative Ethnic Critiques in Asian American Studies
Thinking Post-/Transnationally in Queer Theory