Thaomi Michelle Dinh

Thaomi Michelle Dinh
American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellow
Ph.D., University of Washington, 2021


My research examines everyday acts of care as methods for communication and historical retrieval. I am currently working on two articles: one on care and Asian American abolition work and another on storytelling and motherhood in post-war Vietnamese American literature. More broadly, my research interests include Asian American cultural studies, feminist refugee epistemologies, and gender and sexual violence. 

In my classes, I encourage students to make connections between lived experiences, contemporary events, and structures of power. In Winter 2022, I will teach a course on food and storytelling in American ethnic literature. In Spring 2022, I will teach a class on gender and sexual violence in Asian America. Both courses will be cross-listed in English, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and Gender Studies.

I am excited about my public humanities work and engaging with different communities outside of academic spaces. I review children’s picture books for the International Examiner, and I have published creative work in the Journal of Asian American Studies and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop The Margins. This upcoming year, I look forward to collaborating with Axis Lab, a community arts organization based in Uptown Chicago that uses multidisciplinary and creative approaches to advocate for immigrants and refugees. 

Teaching Experience

ENGL 16730 The Politics of Eating: Food, Storytelling, and Power in America

In the US, what does it mean to love all kinds of food but not the people who come with it? Reading the work of ethnic American writers, our course will consider how food has been used to celebrate a multicultural America while disavowing violent histories and maintaining oppressive structures of power. We will explore a range of literary genres, including fiction, memoir, poetry, and cookbooks, to think about food and its relationship to intersections of power, such as race, gender, sexuality, migration, and citizenship. Demonstrating the importance of art and literature in forming community in an uncertain world, the course will return to the following guiding questions: how is consumption inherently political? How is food a significant site of organizing and community building? And what is the role of storytelling in all of this? (Fiction, Theory)

2021-2022 Winter