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Sunny Yang

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Assistant Professor

Honors Awards, and Grants 
Current Book Project
Research Interests
Selected Publications
Classes Taught

Dr. Sunny Yang specializes in multiethnic American literature of the long nineteenth century, with an emphasis on Asian American and African American writing. She received her Ph.D. in English with a certificate in Africana Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently completing her first book manuscript, "Fictions of Territoriality: Legal and Literary Narratives of Race, Geography, and U.S. Empire." Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and American Council of Learned Societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association of University Women, among others


  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, English with a certificate in Africana Studies 
  • B.A., Swarthmore College, Sociology & Anthropology  

Honors, Awards, and Grants

  • American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Faculty Fellowship (2019)
  • Center for Mark Twain Studies Quarry Farm Fellowship (2019)
  • American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship (2018)
  • British Academy UK-US Early Career Collaboration Seed Funding Award (2018)
  • Penn State University Center for American Literary Studies First Book Institute Fellowship (2017)
  • Louisiana State University Manship Summer Research Fellowship (2017)
  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences Visiting Scholar Fellowship (2015)
  • Andrew W. Mellon and American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2014)

Current Book Project

Fictions of Territoriality: Narratives of Race, Geography, and U.S. Empire, 1844-1914” 

Selected Publications

  • “Expanding the Southscape to the Global South: Remapping History and Afro-Vietnamese Intimacy in Yusef Komunyakaa’s Dien Cai Dau.” African American Review, 53.2 (2020).  
  • “Fictions and Frictions of the Panama Roughneck: Literary Depictions of White, U.S. Labor in the Canal Zone.” Journal of Transnational American Studies, 8.1 (2017). 

Research Interests

  • American and Ethnic American Literature 
  • Critical Race Theory 
  • US Empire 
  • Transnational American Studies 
  • Comparative Race Studies 
  • Law and Literature 

Classes Taught

  • ENGL 2330: Writing in the Discipline 
  • ENGL 3301: Introduction to Literary Studies 
  • ENGL 3396: Asian American Literature 
  • ENGL 4396: African American Literature and the Law 

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