Amy Tang is Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Wesleyan University. Her research and teaching focus on the relationship between aesthetic form and politics in Asian American literature and theory, understood in comparative relation to mainstream and other minority literary and critical traditions. Using formal analysis as a way to reconsider impasses in Asian American theory and criticism, her work explores Asian American texts as self-reflexive investigations of the conditions and limits of minority writing in the United States.
Her book, Repetition and Race: Asian American Literature After Multiculturalism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2016), shows how Asian American writers use structures of repetition to register, and creatively inhabit, the impasses generated by multiculturalism’s politics of identity and recognition. It forwards a new, dialectical conception of repetition to reinterpret the politics of four key terms: trauma, parody, intertextuality, and self-reflexivity. Reading Asian American texts for the way they allegorize and negotiate the dilemmas of multiculturalism, rather than resolve them, the book carves out an expanded field of cultural politics for minority literature. Privileging formal analysis as a gateway to, rather than a retreat from, historical inquiry, Repetition and Race models fresh ways of linking race, politics, and literary form.
She holds a Ph.D from Stanford University (2009) and a B.A. from Harvard University (1994). She has been a fellow at Wesleyan’s Center for the Humanities, Stanford’s Center for the Humanities, and Stanford’s Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.