As a graduate student at Harvard and Stanford, I was lucky enough to study subjects that were both fun and fascinating. At Harvard, I earned my M.A. in Regional Studies—East Asia, and wrote my master’s thesis on the cultural meanings of Chinese cookbooks in America. Later, that research was turned into my first-year paper at Stanford, where I went through part of a Ph.D. program in Cultural and Social Anthropology. At Stanford, my research focused on popular culture and particularly the culture of online fandom. To that end, I researched The X-Files, one of the earliest television shows to develop a dedicated online fan base.
The following research projects are the results of this graduate work. Except for “Dana Scully Uncovered,” which was built as a website, these are written in an academic (i.e., sometimes hard to understand) style, although I tried to be as clear as possible.
Television Production, Authorship, and Discourse
In the summer of 2001, funded by a Mellon Foundation grant, I spent two months in Los Angeles conducting fieldwork on the entertainment industry. In addition to interviewing numerous screenwriters and producers, I spent one week at the offices of 1013 Productions, the production company behind The X-Files. I observed the filming of an episode, sat in on production meetings, and interviewed the executive producers. This paper is the result of that research. Read here.
Chinese American Cookbooks and the Regulation of Ethnic Identity
This paper is a revised version of my Harvard University master’s thesis in Regional Studies-East Asia (2000), and was written while I was a Ph.D. student in Stanford University’s Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology. It was delivered as a paper at the Association for Asian American Studies conference in March 2001. Read here.
X-Files Fan Fiction and the Posthuman Body
This project, which explores the world of X-Files fan fiction (fiction written by fans of the television show using the characters and situations of the show), was originally built as a website for the Stanford University course “Bodyworks” during the winter quarter of 2000-01. The site was later revised into a paper format and delivered as a paper presentation at the Society for Literature and Science in October 2001. Access the site here.