Congratulations to Xu Peng, a graduate student in Chinese Studies, who has been named the Richard Brown Dissertation Fellow at the UConn Humanities Institute! Xu will continue work on his Ph.D. thesis “From History to the Future: Chineseness in Contemporary Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican Literatures and Cultures.” The dissertation studies the literary and cultural representation of Sino-Caribbean experiences. By analyzing contemporary articulations of Chineseness in Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican literatures and cultures, Xu hopes to demonstrate how these articulations recode Chineseness within the mestizo nation and how such recodings provoke reconsiderations of national identity and cultural politics in the Spanish Caribbean.
Departing from the prevailing tendency to (re)discover the Chinese presence in Caribbean histories, Xu takes a future-oriented approach to Sino-Caribbean experiences that, instead of pivoting on a marginalized positionality, is more attuned to each nation’s political, economic, racialized, gendered, and sexualized realties in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Xu hopes that this project will serve as a critical point of entry into the globalized processes of (re)creating Asian subjects and into the continuing interrogation of Chinese futurity in the Caribbean and beyond.