American Studies
American Studies

Lina Chhun


Core FacultyPh.D., University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Assistant Professor
Lina Chhun

Contact

Interests


Transnational, feminist and queer methodologies; women of color feminisms; Southeast Asian American Studies; critical refugee studies; memory and historical violence; war, militarism, and empire

Biography


Biography

Lina Chhun was born in Khao-I-Dang, a refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border and spent most of her life growing up in California’s Central Valley in the city of Stockton. She attended the University of California at Davis, where she earned a B.A.S. in Women’s and Gender Studies and Psychology and the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she earned an M.S. in Social Psychology. After completing her doctorate in Gender Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Professor Chhun was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford University. In fall 2020, Professor Chhun joins the American Studies Department at UT Austin. She is also a core faculty member in the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and the Center for Asian American Studies.

Research Interests

Professor Chhun studies historical violence, war, and militarism, with a focus on questions of racial disposability in the context of the U.S. Cold War in Southeast Asia; she is currently completing her first book manuscript. Walking with the Ghost queries the complex relationship between registers of memory regarding the U.S. Cold War in Southeast Asia and the Cambodian Holocaust of 1975-79, addressing questions of commemoration and mediation—how and why historical violence comes to be registered, understood, and written into the record via such mediums as archives, landscapes, and experiential narratives. The book challenges historical models of “tragedy” and liberal humanitarian discourses of trauma—as damage-centered, deviance-driven, and/or invested in abjection, vulnerability, and injury—approaches which disavow the complex humanity of Cambodian subjects and the continually intersubjective ways in which knowledge about violence in Cambodia is produced and reproduced, nationally and across the diaspora. Professor Chhun’s work has been published in Amerasia JournalThe Feminist Wire, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies.

Courses


AAS 325G • Hist Se Asian Diasp In Us

32830 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 2.128
CD HI

Which groups comprise the Southeast Asian diaspora in the United States? How has labor migration, war, and imperialism historically shaped the formation of various Southeast Asian communities in the U.S.? How does the history of a Southeast Asian diaspora in the U.S. complicate the idea of Asian America as a social project and a political critique?

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the history of Southeast Asians in the United States. Chronologically, the course will begin in 1898, with the history of U.S. empire in the Philippines, and the course will end with a discussion of the recent migration of refugees from Myanmar in Texas. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify important dates and events that have shaped Southeast Asian diasporas in the U.S. Students will also be able to define and discuss the following core concepts of the course: racial formation and racism; war and militarization; labor and class; gender; ethnicity; diaspora; and citizenship. 

This course carries the flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States. Cultural Diversity courses are designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.

AMS 310 • Intro To American Studies

31795 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 0.102
CD HI (also listed as HIS 315G)

Same as History 315G. An interdisciplinary introduction to the historical exploration of American culture. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. American Studies 310 and History 315G may not both be counted.

AMS F370 • On The Human-Wb

79125 • Summer 2021
Meets MTWTHF 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
IIWr

This course draws upon Alexander Weheliye’s (2014) challenge to move beyond the particular, querying how racialized, gendered experiences condition more expansive notions of the human. Following Patrick Wolfe's theory of settler colonialism as structure rather than event and Jodi Kim’s notion of the protracted afterlife of the Cold War as epistemological structure, this course traces the continuities and transformations in constructions of populations as more or less human, from settler colonial conquest to the post-Trump era. What logics marked racialized populations as disposable during the colonization of the Americas, and which logics continue to systematically condition racialized subjects to a state of enduring siege? How has racial and gendered violence functioned to determine not only which bodies matter, but which lives are legible and which subjects granted the full range of human complexity? Recognizing the “layered interconnectedness of political violence, racialization, and the human,” this course also engages “the existence of alternative modes of life alongside the violence, subjection, exploitation, and racialization that define the modern human” (Weheliye, 1-2). 

AMS 390 • Keywords: Racial Capitalism-Wb

31658-31660 • Spring 2021
Meets M 1:00PM-4:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
(also listed as WGS 393)

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

WGS 379S • Senior Seminar-Wb

46160 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

Intensive study of selected topics in women's and gender studies.

AAS 325G • Hist Se Asian Diasp In Us-Wb

31485 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
HI

Which groups comprise the Southeast Asian diaspora in the United States? How has labor migration, war, and imperialism historically shaped the formation of various Southeast Asian communities in the U.S.? How does the history of a Southeast Asian diaspora in the U.S. complicate the idea of Asian America as a social project and a political critique?

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the history of Southeast Asians in the United States. Chronologically, the course will begin in 1898, with the history of U.S. empire in the Philippines, and the course will end with a discussion of the recent migration of refugees from Myanmar in Texas. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify important dates and events that have shaped Southeast Asian diasporas in the U.S. Students will also be able to define and discuss the following core concepts of the course: racial formation and racism; war and militarization; labor and class; gender; ethnicity; diaspora; and citizenship. 

This course carries the flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States. Cultural Diversity courses are designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.

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