Clara Iwasaki, PhD, Asian Languages and Cultures UCLA

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - Womens & Gender Studies
Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - East Asian Studies Dept


Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - Womens & Gender Studies

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - East Asian Studies Dept
3-36 Pembina Hall
8921 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H8


Area of Study / Keywords

Chinese literature Sinophone literature Cold War Transpacific


I received my degree in modern Chinese and Sinophone literature from UCLA. My work straddles a number of different fields, modern Chinese literature, Asian/North American literature, and transnational Asia more broadly.

Some of my former MA students are pursuing PhDs at University of Southern California and Harvard University. I also have former MA students using their degrees in other fields such as working for a Taiwanese media company and working as support staff in an Anglophone university in the PRC.

Here are some examples of projects I have supervised:

When Routes become Roots: Liu Na'ou, Jiang Wenye, and Their Transnational Cultural Productions, 1923-1945

Beyond Cantonese: Articulation, Narrative and Memory in Contemporary Sinophone Hong Kong, Singaporean and Malaysian Literature

High Tension: Reconceptualizing Interiority in the Works of Qiu Miaojin and Wu Ming-yi

From Daughter to Wife: The Trajectory of Married Women in Ling Shuhua and Feng Yuanjun’s May Fourth Period Works


Modern Chinese literature, Sinophone literature, Sinophone film, transpacific studies, world literature, translation, Taiwanese literature, Hong Kong literature, Cold War studies, race and ethnicity in East Asia

My first book, Rethinking the Modern Chinese Canon, looks at the global connections of canonical modern Chinese literature through translation and migration. See the New Books in East Asian studies podcast where I give an overview of the book. I also wrote about some of the research I did for the book in a short essay "Transpacific Search Party or How To (Not) Find Yu Dafu's Remains" for the Commentary board of Critical Asian Studies that will give you an idea of what the book is about.

In 2022, I received a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for my second book project on "Comparative Race and Racialization in East Asian Literature" for the period of 2022-24.


I teach classes in modern Chinese literature, Taiwanese literature, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong cinemas, queer Sinophone literature and film, colonial and postcolonial East Asia


I will be accepting graduate students in both Women's and Gender Studies and East Asian Studies for the 2024-25 academic year. While my main specialization is in work written in the Chinese language, although not necessarily limited to China, I have broader interests in and would be willing to advise graduate students working on cultural production within a comparative Asian or Asian/North American context. I am particularly interested in projects that engage with frameworks such as the Sinophone, the transpacific, postcolonial studies, or deal centrally with race and ethnicity and/or migration. Given the excellent coverage of many other topics and subfields within the department, I am only able to accept applications focusing on literature or cinema. You might be able to persuade me to advise you on a video game/new media sort of project, but it would have to be very compelling.


EASIA 236 - Modernity and Contemporary Chinese Civilization

The development of modernity in modern and contemporary China, Taiwan, and/or Hong Kong and its influence on literature, cinema, visual culture and/or popular culture.

EASIA 359 - Culture and Identity in Hong Kong

Culture and identity in Hong Kong through the study of literature and film in translation. Prerequisite: EASIA 101 and 3 units in EASIA at the senior level, or consent of Department.

WGS 298 - Critical Issues

This course offers an introduction to select issues in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. A variable content course, which may be repeated if topics vary.

WGS 360 - Race, Class, and Gender

Historical, contemporary and comparative perspectives on the interaction of race, class, and gender experiences. Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200 level WGS course, or consent of department.

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