Dr. Laura Anh Williams
Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies/Gender & Sexuality Studies
Director of the Gender & Sexuality Studies
Office: Breland Hall, Room 257
Ph.D. English (Critical Theory and Cultural Studies), 2010 (Purdue University); M.A. English (Literary Studies), 2001 (Purdue University); B.A. English and Fine Art, 1999 (Pacific Union College)
Teaching and Research Interests
Vietnamese American Literature and Cultural Production; Asian American Literary and Cultural Production; Comparative Ethnic Studies; Critical Theory (feminist/queer/critical race/ecofeminism); Food Studies; Animal Studies; Cultural Studies (Popular Culture, Film Studies, Visual Culture, Graphic Narrative); 20th and 21st century American Literature; Ethnic American Literature
Sex, Gender, and the Body; Gender and Popular Culture; Food and Representation; Gender and Horror; Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies; Representing Women Across Cultures; Special Topics Courses: Feminist Ecocriticism, Gender and Sexuality in Asian American Literature, Studies in Gender and Ethnicity;
I am particularly interested in texts by Asian American cultural producers that relish problematic food practices as productive strategies for survival and sites of resistance. My work creates an intersection between feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory, ecocriticism, animal studies, and food studies. With histories marked by exclusion, internment, perpetual foreignness, and exoticism, my current book project explores how Asian American bodies and foods continually serve as the object of scrutiny, distrust, desire, and disgust.
- “Hunger Pains: Appetite and Racial Longing in Stealing Buddha’s Dinner” in Devouring Cultures: Perspectives on Food, Power, and Identity from the Zombie Apocalypse to Downton Abbey. Eds. Cammie Sublette and Jennifer Martin. University of Arkansas Press, 2015. 119-142.
- “Gender, Race, and an Epistemology of the Abattoir in My Year of Meats.” Feminist Studies special issue on “Food, Water, Ecology.” Volume 40.2 (2014): 244-272.
- “Queering Manga: Eating Queerly in 12 Days.” in Drawing New Color Lines: Transnational Asian American Graphic Narratives. Ed. Monica Chiu. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2015.
- “Reconfigurations of The L Word.” with M. Catherine Jonet. Televising Queer Women 2nd Edition. Edited by Rebecca Beirne. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012
- “Consuming Grief and Eating Pie in Pushing Daisies.” in The Television World of Pushing Daisies: Critical Essays on Bryan Fuller’s Pushing Daisies. Edited by Alissa Burger. McFarland & Co., 2011. 57-72.
- “Foodways and Subjectivity in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies.” Journal of Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States (MELUS) 32.4 (2007): 69-79.
- “‘[E]verything else is the same’: Configurations of The L Word” with M. Catherine Jonet in Televising Queer Women. Edited by Rebecca Beirne. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
Select Paper Presentations and Lectures
- “Culinary Ethnicity and Prosthetic Masculinity in Chef” Popular Culture/ American Culture Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 2015
- “Coming Home: Transnational Family in Contemporary Vietnam.” Global Connections Lecture Series, NMSU, February 2014.
- “The Abject as Sacred: Consuming Practices in Comfort Woman.” National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference, Cincinnati, OH, November 2013.
- “Queer Temporality, Queering Grief, and Eating Ashes in 12 Days.” Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/American Culture Association Conference, Albuquerque, NM, February 2012.
- “She is the Meat Made Manifest”: Rendering Race, Women and Animals in Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats.” Popular Culture/American Culture Association Conference, San Antonio, TX, April 2011.
- “The Queer Chronology of Grief in 12 Days.” Cultural Studies Association Conference, Columbia College, Chicago, IL, March 2011.
- “‘Now I knew what real people ate’: Negotiating Race in Stealing Buddha’s Dinner.” Joint conference on “Migration, Border, and the Nation-State,” United States Association for Commonwealth Literatures and Languages Studies and the Texas Tech Comparative Literature Program. Lubbock, TX, April 2009.
- “Memory, Trauma, and Visual Representation” Special Screening of Waltz with Bashir hosted by the NMSU Women’s Studies Program and Department of Criminal Justice, Fountain Theatre, Mesilla, NM, April 2009.
- Member: College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Committee
- Planning Committee: 2016 J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium
Write-up on Dr. Williams’s Gender and Horror course from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that quotes Dr. Williams alongside “the godfather of the American zombie genre,” George A. Romero.