Selina Lai-Henderson
Assistant Professor of American Literature and History at Duke Kunshan University

My research and teaching are at the heart of transnational American Studies and literary history. My major intellectual theme revolves around locating works of American literature in twentieth-century China and in translation. I am the author of Mark Twain in China (Stanford UP, 2015), and have published in PMLA (forthcoming, 2023) and MELUS, among other places. I am currently Chair of the International Committee at the American Studies Association, and I co-direct Freedom Lab at DKU. I am on the Editorial Board of Global Nineteenth Century Studies, and I am a Senior Associate Managing Editor of the Journal of Transnational American Studies.

Current Research Interests

My second monograph in progress, “You Are No Darker Than I Am:” Afro-Asian Encounters and the Afro-Asian Imaginary stems from the desire to contribute to the burgeoning field of Afro-Asian Studies that illuminates the crossings of pan-Africanism, transnational American Studies, and East Asian Studies. The monograph fills a critical lacuna by probing the complex shifts of Afro-Asian discourses from late Qing through the early Maoist era, and the ways in which “blackness” travels across the literary and cultural landscape in these conflicting historical junctures. Delving into different articulations of an internationalist vision, the monograph activates concepts of race and the nation-state as vehicles of inter-cultural dialogue in the hope of transnational solidarity despite its challenges. It allows for the complex landscape of Afro-Asian engagements to unfold with unexpected insight.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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