Lye head shot

Colleen Lye

Associate Professor
433 Wheeler
On Sabbatical in Spring 2015

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 interactions of naturalist literature and U.S. policy in an era of U.S. expansion across the Pacific. Currently she is working on a new project on Asian American literary formation after the 1960s and its relationship to the globalization of knowledge economies.

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) by the Association of Asian American Studies, a finalist for the John Hope Franklin Prize by the American Studies Association, and selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic title.



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 ....

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

Edited Volumes

Special Issue: Financialization and the Culture Industry. Eds. and Intro with C.D. Blanton and Kent Puckett, Representations 126 (Spring 2014).

Special Issue: Peripheral Realisms. Eds. and Intro with Joe Cleary and Jed Esty, Modern Language Quarterly  73:3 (Fall 2012).

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).


"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

“U.S. Ethnic Studies and Third Worldism, 40 Years Later.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 11:2 (Spring 2010): 188-193.

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

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

“Form and History in Asian American Literary Studies.” American Literary History 20:3 (Summer 2008): 548-555. 

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

“The Sino-Japanese Conflict of Asian American Literature.” (Special Issue: Asian American Subgenres, 1853-1945. Part II. Ed. Hsuan Hsu). Genre 39:4. (Winter 2006): 43-64.
——Reprinted in China Abroad: Travels, Subjects, Spaces. Eds. Elaine Yee Lin Ho and Julia Kuehn. (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009): 155-172.

“American Naturalism and Asiatic Racial Form: Frank Norris’s The Octopus and Moran of the Lady Letty.” Representations 84 (2004): 73-99. 

“Introduction.” Section on “Western Imperialism, Japanese Colonialism. Part I: Internationalisms: Americanism, Globalism, Revolution.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 2:3 (Winter 2001): 395-298.

“M. Butterfly and the Rhetoric of Anti-Essentialism: Minority Discourse in an International Frame,” in The Ethnic Canon: Histories, Institutions, Interventions. Ed. David Palumbo-Liu. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995): 260-289.

“Toward an Asian (American) Cultural Studies: Postmodernism and the ‘Peril of Yellow Capital and Labor’” in Privileging Positions: The Sites of Asian American Studies. Eds. Gary Okihiro, Marilyn Alquizola, Dorothy Rony and Scott Wong. (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1995): 47-56. 

Recent English Courses Taught