Emma J. Teng is an associate professor of Chinese studies in the Foreign Languages and Literatures Section and an affiliate of women's studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include Chinese frontiers and contact zones and constructions of race, ethnicity, and gender in Chinese and Asian American literature. She is the author of Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683–1895 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2004).
At Radcliffe, Teng will work on a comparative study of Chinese and Chinese American representations of Chinese-Western interracialism—interracial marriage and biracial identity—at the turn of the twentieth century. Through an interdisciplinary analysis of racial theory, literature, and visual texts, she will examine divergent understandings of race, culture, nationality, and gender-informed constructions of the Eurasian as a biracial subject among Chinese and Chinese American authors. A central focus of the project will be literary works, including memoirs, written by Eurasian authors. Her work asks how we might reevaluate discourses of hybridity in contemporary cultural politics from historical and cross-cultural perspectives. Teng seeks to bridge the divide between Asian and Asian American studies by critically engaging the intersections and tensions between the two fields.
Teng earned her AB and PhD in East Asian languages and civilizations from Harvard University. She has received fellowships from the J. Paul Getty Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Her residence at Radcliffe is supported by a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars from the ACLS.