Primed for a Tenure-Track Position at U Albany
In September, Wen Liu (Ph.D. ’17, Critical Social Personality Psychology) will start a tenure-track faculty position in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Albany – SUNY. It’s a coveted opportunity for her to pursue her research on LGBTQ issues and to teach at another public institution that values diversity.
“Because I was able to teach at different CUNY campuses, I interacted with students from various backgrounds,” says Liu, who, as a Graduate Teaching Fellow, taught at Hunter and John Jay colleges, and later at Sarah Lawrence College. “Most of those students are really interested in theory, but they’re also thinking about their future practical work and how to use their knowledge in their communities,” she says.
Liu’s own experience as an LGBTQ community member and activist shaped her research interests. As a teenager, she moved with her family from Taiwan to Seattle, where she identified with the queer people of color communities, particularly the queer Asian and Asian-American communities.
“The LGBTQ communities were really my home in the first few years after I immigrated, though in a way it’s harder to find a home in the LGBTQ circles here as an immigrant of color,” she says. “As I became more involved, I started to notice the drastic racial divisions in the social scenes and also in terms of how political issues were addressed.”
As an undergraduate, she worked at the Q Center, an LGBTQ student center at the University of Washington, where she created spaces and programs for and relating to minority LGBTQ students. Later, she joined several citywide Asian Pacific Islander queer activist groups.
In her research at the GC, she explored the intersections between queer and Asian/Asian-American experiences in the United States and the transnational circuit of its diaspora.
“My interests in feminism and queer theory pushed me to challenge the assumptions about individuality and private personhood in the mainstream North American psychology,” Liu says. She has found that “our conception of race is always already sexualized and vice versa.”
She is working on a book on racial assemblage and queer Asian America, based on her dissertation — which her advisor, Distinguished Professor Michelle Fine (Psychology/Urban Education), calls “stunning.”
“Wen is a brilliant scholar and educator whose research sits at the rich theoretical intersections of critical psychology, cultural studies, affect theory, and queer theory,” Fine says. “She brought many gifts to the GC and also took full advantage of all the GC has to offer.”
Submitted on: JUN 20, 2017
Category: Alumni News | Diversity | General GC News