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Selina Lai-Henderson

Associate Professor of American Literature and History at Duke Kunshan University
DKU Faculty

Research Interests


My second monograph in progress, “You Are No Darker Than I Am:” Afro-Asian Crossings and Imaginaries 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 fresh insights.

Fellowships, Gifts, and Supported Research


Fulbright · October 1, 2011 - May 31, 2012 Stanford University
Research Seed Fund · 2015 - 2016 The University of Hong Kong · $15,000.00
Landesbank Baden W├╝rttemberg (LB BW) · 2005 - 2006 University of Heidelberg · $7,000.00
Learning Innovation Fellowship · January 1, 2018 - June 30, 2018 Duke University
W.E.B Du Bois Institute Fellow · January 2025 - May 2025 Harvard University