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Caroline H. Yang

Assistant Professor

picture of Caroline Yang

E348 South College

Caroline H. Yang received her B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, M.A. in English from Boston College, and Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington, Seattle.  Before coming to UMass, she was an assistant professor in the Asian American Studies Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a visiting fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University.

She is currently completing a book manuscript titled Reconstruction’s Labor: The Chinese Worker in American Literature after Slavery, which examines the Chinese worker as a category of analysis in works by Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Sui Sin Far, and Charles Chesnutt.  Yang reads the figure of the Chinese worker in those texts as dialectically making visible and veiling struggles over the meaning of slavery and Black freedom during and after Reconstruction.  Her next project centers on figures and spaces of work in late twentieth century and contemporary Asian American and African American literatures in the context of global racial capitalism and military multiculturalism. 

In addition to Asian American and African American literary studies, her teaching and research interests include comparative race and ethnic studies, gender and sexuality studies, and transnational media and cultural studies.

Research Areas

  • African, African American, & African Diaspora Studies

  • Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies

  • Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies

  • American Literature

  • Gender and Sexuality Studies

  • Theory and Cultural Studies

  • Colonial, Postcolonial, & Transnational Studies

  • 20th Century and Contemporary Literature



“Indispensable Labor: The Chinese Worker as a Category of Analysis in China Men.” MFS Modern Fiction Studies 56.1 (2010): 63-89.

Book Reviews

Interracial Encounters: Reciprocal Representations in African and Asian American Literatures, 1896-1937 by Julia H. Lee (New York: New York University Press, 2011), Journal of Asian American Studies 16.3 (2013): 340-342. 

Subverting Exclusion: Transpacific Encounters with Race, Caste, and Borders, 1885-1928 by Andrea Geiger (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011), Montana The Magazine of Western History 62.3 (2012): 73-74.

Model-Minority Imperialism by Victor Bascara (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), Journal of Asian American Studies 11.2 (2008): 235-239.