PhD, Department of English, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada, 1995
MA, Department of English, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, 1989
BA, Department of English Language and Literature, College of Foreign Languages and Literature, Shandong University, China, 1974
I believe in student-centered learning. As an instructor, I consider my role similar to that of a dance instructor. While inspiring students to continually extend and deepen their understanding of the subject being studied, and enabling them to develop their abilities, discover their potentials, and master essential skills are basic to the dance instructor's work, it is equally important to model the kind of performance expected, and demonstrate how to achieve it.
In my classroom as in a dance studio, individual learning is inseparable from cultivating an awareness and responsiveness to others' talents and strengths through interactive learning. Basic to this collaborative approach is a reliance on shared inquiry that emerges from students' own interests and motivations. For me in teaching there is no experience more rewarding than witnessing students taking delight in working together on how to excel as learners.
But teaching entails much more than coaching methods or modeling performance. Its content and pedagogy must adapt to the changing world and new scholarship and scientific discoveries. Thus teaching must be constantly renewed, invigorated through the instructor's active research so that learning will be relevant, exciting, inspiring, and empowering to students.
My scholarly interests grow out of my study of what is new in literature, history, and critical theories, which expand my horizon and compel me to confront the silenced, the marginalized, the overlooked, and the blind spots in existing scholarship in my field. Hence my scholarly interests develop with my discoveries through readings and research projects, which often lead to unexpected new areas of critical investigation and creativity.
Currently, one of my research project focuses on writings by Japanese Americans about their mass incarceration during World War II, as counter-narratives of the frontier myth which was reinvented by the War Relocation Authority in the ten incarceration camps, several of which were located on Native American reservations and the federal reclamation land. Another current research project examines the agency of literature by women and ethnic minorities for addressing ecological crises and environmental in(justice) issues.