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Alumni Spotlight

Anna Rosenwong
Anna Rosenwong

Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, 2012
September 2019

“La noche está estrellada, y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos.” UCI comparative literature Ph.D. alumna Anna Rosenwong was in high school when she read these words from Pablo Neruda’s poem “Tonight I Can Write,” translated as: “The night is shattered and the blue stars shiver in the distance.” Later editions of the collection translated “estrellada” into the more literal “starry,” which piqued Rosenwong’s curiosity in translation.

“It felt kind of like magic,” says Rosenwong, who remembers these translations as moments in which she recognized that reading and writing across languages raises questions about linguistics, literature, and performance. The experience motivated her to study comparative literature as an undergraduate at Brown University, an M.F.A. at the University of Iowa, and as a doctoral student at UCI. Today, Rosenwong is a freelance editor, translator and writer based in San Diego. She and her partner Tim Rosenwong, who also earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature at UCI, decided to pursue . . .

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All Academic Roads Lead to Serving the People
All Academic Roads Lead to Serving the People

Stefanie Lira, Ph.D. Candidate in History
September 2019

Stefanie Lira is a Ph.D. student in the History Department at UC Irvine. Her dissertation “Mercurial Masculinities: Chinese & Indigenous Laborers in the Early Colonial Philippines,” examines the ways in which the Spanish empire constructed race and gender hierarchies in the Philippines. She argues that the empire’s racial formations—executed through massacres, expulsion edicts, and labor policies--created the bedrock for systemic racism in the Philippines.

Her scholarship shapes and is shaped by her work as a community activist in Long Beach, CA. As an educator, she has lectured for the department of Gender & Sexuality Studies at UCI and she is currently teaching at Santa Ana Community College. She will graduate in the class of 2020. Here, Stefanie shares her perspectives on being an academic and activist, and why serving her community is at the core of her identity as a scholar.

How did you come to your academic research?
I come from a working-class . . .

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2019-20 Writer-in-Residence: Erica Maria Cheung, Ph.D. candidate, Culture & Theory