Stephen Sohn
Senior Fellow, Center for Ideas and Society, 2017-2020
Mellon Term Professor 2019-2020

Stephen’s Stats:
Department: English
Rank: Professor
Years at UCR: 5 years
Favorite sport: Tennis
Current favorite television show: Killing Eve and The Good Place (tie)
Preferred desserts: Anything custard based!
The text I cannot do without: Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life

Stephen’s favorite local dessert, Vanilla Custard Bun from Uncle Chuang’s Bakery.

Q. Summarize your research in one sentence…

I am interested in thinking deeply about literature and culture in all of its myriad forms, so I read a lot.

Q. Does your work center on a main idea or theme?

Broadly speaking, the central issue I am concerned with necessarily involves how we simultaneously engage the political and aesthetic dimensions of literature and culture.

Q: What are you working on now?

My current project explores depictions of war and violence in Korean American literature.

Q: Any teaching tips or great resources to share?

The most valuable lesson that teaching has taught me is to emphasize that all students try get to know each other’s names before a quarter is finished (even despite a larger class size).

For resources, a podcast that I encourage students to listen to is the Minorities in Publishing Podcast, which always has interesting interviews. I also enjoy 88 Cups of Tea! Check them out here:

Q: Any new or exciting developments?

Recently, I received a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend Award, which allowed me to conduct research related to my developing book project concerning war and violence in Korean American literature. In 2018, I published my second book, Inscrutable Belongings: Queer Asian North American Fiction (Stanford University Press).

Learn more about Stephen’s books:

Inscrutable Belongings
Racial Asymmetries
Asian American Literature Fans

Or get in touch:

In Focus is a new interview series that features faculty associates of the Center for Ideas and Society.