Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Pearl McHaney

Second Advisor

Ian Almond

Third Advisor

Renee Schatteman


Even if their presence is only temporary, diasporic individuals are bound to disrupt the existing order of pre-structured communities they enter. Plenty of scholars have written on how identity is constructed; I investigate the power relations that form when components such as ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, class, and language intersect in diasporic and transnational movements. How does sexuality operate on ethnicity so as to cause an existential crisis? How does religion function both to reinforce and to hide one's ethnic identity? Diasporic subjects participate in the resignification of their identity not only because they encounter (semi)-alien, socio-economic and cultural environments but also because components of their identity mentioned above realign along different trajectories, and this realignment undoubtedly affects the way they interact in the new environment. To explore this territory, I analyze Monique Truong's The Book of Salt, Peter Bacho's Cebu, Linh Dinh's "Prisoner with a Dictionary" and "'!'," and Gish Jen's Mona in the Promised Land.