The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Caroline H. Yang

Associate Professor

picture of Caroline Yang

W341 South College

Caroline H. Yang received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, Boston College, and the University of Washington, Seattle, respectively. 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 the author of The Peculiar Afterlife of Slavery: The Minstrel Form and the Chinese Worker in American Literature, which focuses on blackface minstrelsy as a US cultural institution that played a crucial role in literary representations of the Chinese during and after Reconstruction. Her next project centers on figures and spaces of work and war in late twentieth century and contemporary Asian American and African American literatures in the context of global racial capitalism and US militarism.


The Peculiar Afterlife of Slavery: The Chinese Worker and the Minstrel Form. Stanford University Press, 2020.

Peer Reviewed Articles/Essays:
•  “Bret Harte’s ‘Heathen Chinee’ in US Literature after Slavery.” Asian American Literature in Transition Volume I (1850-1930), edited by Julia H. Lee and Josephine Park, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2020.
•  “Slavery in Sui Sin Far’s Early Fictions.” Journal of Asian American Studies, 22.2 (June 2019): 207-234.
•  “The Asian-Owned Store and the Incommensurable Histories of War in Narratives of the City.” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, 43.2 (June 2018): 172-195. Winner of the 2018 Katharine Newman Best Essay Award
•  “Indispensable Labor: The Chinese Worker as a Category of Analysis in China Men.” Modern Fiction Studies 56.1 (2010): 63-89.

Research Interests:
•  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