Colleen Lye

Associate Professor
433 Wheeler
On Sabbatical in 2015-2016

Professional Statement

Colleen Lye is Associate Professor of English at UC Berkeley. She received her B.A. from UC Berkeley in 1988, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1990 and 1999. She is the author of America's Asia: Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945 (Princeton University Press, 2005), a study of the making of "Asiatic racial form" through the mutual influence of literary naturalism and U.S. immigration and foreign policy in an era of U.S. expansion across the Pacific. Currently she is working on a literary history of the Asian American novel after the 1960s.

Professor Lye is a member of the editorial boards of RepresentationsInter-Asia Cultural Studies and Verge. Her book America's Asia was the recipient of the Cultural Studies Book Award (first prize) from the Association of Asian American Studies, a finalist for the John Hope Franklin Prize from the American Studies Association, and selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. She is the coeditor of several special journal issues, most recently, "Financialization and the Culture Industry" (with C.D. Blanton and Kent Puckett, Representations 2014), "Peripheral Realisms" (with Joseph Cleary and Jed Esty, MLQ 2012), "The Humanities and the Crisis of the Public University" (with Christopher Newfield and James Vernon, Representations 2011), and "The Struggle for Public Education in California" (with Christopher Newfield, SAQ 2011), which won the MLA's Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) Award for Best Special Issue of 2011.



Title Fields
Colleenlye America's Asia: Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945
America's Asia explores a discursive tradition that affiliates the East with modern efficiency, in contrast to primitivist forms of Orientalism. Colleen Lye traces the American stereotype of Asians as a "model minority" or a "yellow peril"--two aspects of what she calls "Asiatic racial form"-- to emergent responses to globalization beginning in California ....
Rep Financialization and the Culture Industry
Financialization and the culture industry. The essays that make up this special issue of Representations turn on the relation between those two terms. How, they ask, should we understand the formal and cultural effects of a world economy ever more dependent on finance’s increasingly abstract calculations of value? In one respect, the metaphor of a “culture indust....
Mlq_73_3_pr Peripheral Realisms
Peripheral Realisms sets out to challenge the widespread habit among critics in several interlinked fields, especially US ethnic studies and postcolonial studies, to view realism as outmoded and likely to harbor old-fashioned investments in ethnic or national purity. Nine articles, covering writers such as Roberto Bolaño, Thomas Mofolo, V. S. Naipaul, and Jade Snow Wong and genres s....

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

Other Edited Volumes

Special Issue: The Humanities and the Crisis of the Public University. Eds. and Intro with Christopher Newfield and James Vernon. Representations 116 (Fall 2011).

Special Section: Against the Day: The Struggle for Public Education in California. Ed. and Intro with Christopher Newfield. South Atlantic Quarterly 110:2 (Spring 2011). 

Special Issue: Forms of Asia. Eds. Colleen Lye and Christopher Bush. Representations 99 (Summer 2007).

Recent Articles

"Unmarked Character and the 'Rise of Asia': Ed Park's Personal Days," Verge 1:1 (Spring 2015): 230-254.

"The Asian American 1960s." The Routledge Companion to Asian American and Pacific Islander Literature. Ed Rachel Lee (London and New York: Routledge, 2014)

"Peripheral Realisms Now." With Jed Esty. Modern Language Quarterly 73:3 (Fall 2012): 269-288.

“Reading for Asian American Literature.” A Companion to American Literary Studies. Eds. Caroline Levander and Robert Levine. (Oxford: Blackwell,  2011).

"The Literary Case of Wen Ho Lee," Journal of Asian American Studies 14.2 (June, 2011): 249-282

“The Afro-Asian Analogy.” PMLA 123:5 (October 2008): 1732-1736. 

“Racial Form,” Representations 104 (Fall 2008): 92-101.

“Introduction: In Dialogue with Asian American Studies.” (Special Issue: Forms of Asia. Eds. Colleen Lye and Christopher Bush) Representations 99 (Summer 2007): 1-12.



Recent English Courses Taught