Visiting Assistant Professor, African-American Studies
Hyunjoo Yu (she/her) is a settler of color born and raised in South Korea. As a literary scholar, she teaches literary representations of race through the lens of women-of-color feminism. Her research focuses on the intersection of race, physical intimacies, affect, and community care in the Gilded Age/Progressive Era. Her current project, "Infectious Feelings," provides a critique of sentimentalism as a modality of colonial liberalism by which racialized affects are pathologized and exploited for white racist pleasure. Her research mines for the responses of women writers of color toward such cultural tendencies, and underscores the political currency of those responses with the iconography of the "perilous Asiatics" as the cultural backdrop. Her works on Sui Sin Far/Edith Eaton and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper were presented at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) and the Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists (C19), and her work on Eudora Welty, blues aesthetics, and white supremacy appeared in Mississippi Quarterly.
Besides her current project, she also spoke at on-campus symposiums about anti-Asian violence and racist harassment in college classrooms. Her essay on racist harassment in college classrooms is forthcoming in the December 2023 issue Open Words.