Berkeley English Faculty

Colleen Lye

Colleen Lye

Associate Professor

427 Wheeler Hall
Fri 3-4:30 (first week) sign up at:

Professional Statement

Colleen Lye (Ph.D, Columbia) is Associate Professor of English at UC Berkeley, where she teaches courses on 20th and 21st century literature, marxism and postcolonial theory, and Asian American Studies. She is a member of the editorial boards of RepresentationsInter-Asia Cultural Studies and Verge. Besides these venues, her essays and reviews have appeared in Modern Languages Quarterly, South Atlantic Quarterly, American Literature, American Literary History, Interventions, The Journal of Asian American Studies, Public Books and Commune. 

Her book America's Asia: Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945 (Princeton 2005) received the Cultural Studies Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies, and was named a finalist for the John Hope Franklin Prize from the American Studies Association and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Lye is the coeditor of five special journal issues: Forms of Asia (with Christopher Bush, Representations, 2007) 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.

Professor Lye's current book-in-progress is a reconstruction of Asian American literary and theoretical contributions to marxism in the United States since the 1960s, with an emphasis on Asian American perspectives into questions of racial capitalism, gendered intersectionality and social reproduction.

Financialization and the Culture Industry
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 d....(read more)

Peripheral Realisms
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 o....(read more)

America's Asia: Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945
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 aspe....(read more)

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

"Realism's Futures: An Afterword," Novel: A Forum on Fiction 49:2 (August 2016): 343-357.

"Liberal Arts for Asians: A Commentary on Yale-NUS," Interventions (2015): 1-15

"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.



Current Research

The long Asian American sixties and global Maoism; the political economy of the contemporary novel; marxist theory; critical finance studies; critical university studies.

English Department Classes