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Faculty Feature: Kimberly Chang

Submitted by on June 3, 2013 – 8:12 amNo Comment

chang-kimberlyKimberly Chang, associate professor of cultural psychology, holds a B.A. in psychology from William Smith College, and an M.A. in international relations, M.S. in multicultural counseling, and Ph.D. in social and political psychology from Syracuse University.

Her teaching and research focuses on the psychology of globalization and dilemmas of identity, belonging, and citizenship for those whose lives span national borders and cultural worlds.

She takes a critical ethnographic and community-based approach to learning and is particularly interested in the intersections of social research and creative writing.

She is a participating faculty member in Hampshire’s China Exchange Program and the Five College Asian Pacific American Studies Program. She has lived and worked extensively in Hong Kong and China, and previously taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Selected Courses

Critical Ethnography: Following the Food (Spring 2013)

In this course, we will use the method of critical ethnography to explore food as a system that connects individuals and communities, both locally and globally. Students will carry out a multi-sited ethnographic research project that begins with a question about food, whether about production and consumption, culture and identity, health and environment, memory and desire, community and activism. Students will “follow the food” wherever their questions take them-from table to market to factory to farm-and be guided through the process of posing ethnographic questions, conducting fieldwork and interviews, writing fieldnotes and other forms of ethnographic documentation, and engaging throughout in the critical, reflexive act of interpretation and writing. As part of the Luce Grant on Asian Studies and the Environment, this course will focus on global food chains across the Pacific and students are encouraged to explore connections between U.S. and Asia in their own projects.

Dreaming East, Dreaming West: Narrating Self and Other between China and the U.S. (Fall 2012)

Since the latter half of the 19th century, when the first delegation of Chinese students came to the U.S. and American missionaries began to descend on China, Chinese and Americans have been dreaming of each other and crossing the Pacific in ever increasing numbers—albeit with very different desires and goals.  These dreamers and travelers—from missionaries and diplomats to students and scholars to journalists and businesspersons—have shaped the changing images and perceptions of “China” and “America” in their own countries through their critical position as a kind of culture broker between these two powerful nations.  In this course, we trace the changing ways Chinese and Americans have perceived and portrayed each other over the last century through the first person accounts—memoir, essay, journal, letters, blog—of these culture brokers, asking:

  • What is the place of “China” in the American dream and “America” in the Chinese imaginary?
  • How do Chinese images of America compare with American images of China, and how have these images changed over time?
  • What can we learn from these shifting representations of the Other about the construction of Self, the formation of both individual and national identity, and the liminal positions and choices of these culture brokers?
  • What kinds of mirrors do these writers hold up for us as students and scholars of China and/or Asian American Studies, and how might we use them as sources of self-examination of our own assumptions and claims about what it means to be “Chinese” and/or “American”?

As part of Hampshire’s new Mellon initiative to integrate language learning with academic study, this course will draw on both Chinese and English language primary source materials.  Each week we will pair one Chinese writer and one American writer of a given time period, reading and interpreting their accounts of travel to the “other” country.  We will supplement these narratives with secondary sources, films, and guest speakers that will provide some historical and/or theoretical context for interpreting these first person accounts.