IMG_1718_edited.jpg

ABOUT ME

DIRECTOR, WHITTIER SCHOLARS PROGRAM

Whittier College

I teach media studies, contemporary American literature, Asian American and ChicanX lit, and creative writing.

I'm currently both Associate Professor of English and Associate Dean & Director of Whittier Scholars, the program where students design individualized courses of study. 

I edit the Economics & Finance section of The Los Angeles Review of Books.

In a former life, I was a reporter. Before I got my doctorate, I got an MFA in creative writing. I have published fiction,  nonfiction, essays, and articles in a wide variety of outlets.

Once, I sold everything I owned and moved to Rio de Janeiro to train capoeira for a year. 

BEHAVE!

American popular culture and behavioral science
(Working title, book project)

This project looks at the rise of behavioral economics as cultural common sense, as it shifted the boundaries around what counts as economic storytelling. Each chapter addresses a specific political economic issue that was displaced, muffled, or made invisible by the behavioral economic approach. The financial crisis of 2008, in meaningful ways, never ended. But behavioral science, as it was put forward by a specific group of public intellectuals, made rising inequality and hyper-exploitation harder to bring into focus. The popularization of behavioral science can itself be traced back to dark money and deviant globalization. My book looks at the narrative technologies that encouraged us to look inward, at the structure of the human brain, at the precise moments when we needed to look outward, at what's really happening in our economies.

ON JOAN DIDION

Malibu & French TV

The picture on the left is from my appearance on a French and German television program called Arte, in an episode on Joan Didion and Malibu. You can try the link here, but it's not easy to see outside of Europe. I wrote about Didion's conflicted relationship to land in California in an essay called Where I Am From  -- a version of California haunted by Didion, for better and for worse. 

Slouching Towards Los Angeles: Living and writing in Joan Didion's light. Rare Bird Press 2020 + LitHub.com