Academia. Arts. Activism.
Wen Liu｜劉文 is a Taiwanese scholar and writer currently based in New York City. She is Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY Albany). Wen recently received her Ph.D. from Critical Social Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). In her dissertation titled, "Cruising Borders, Unsettling Identities: Toward A Queer Diasporic Asian America" she draws from queer theory, transnational feminism, and diasporic postcolonial studies to examine how psychology as a scientific discipline has created Asian Americanness as a measurable, bio-cultural population through a Eurocentric gaze. Instead of treating Asian Americanness as a racially and nationally bounded category, the dissertation project illustrates the historical and contemporary articulations of Asian Americanness in the intertwined geopolitical relations between the US and Asia Pacific with the use of ethnography, narrative, archive, and discourse analysis.
As an interdisciplinary scholar based in Critical Social Psychology, Wen has focused her research on the engagement between global social movements and psychological theories on racial, gender, and sexual subjectivities, particularly at the intersection of LGBTQ and diasporic Asian American experiences. Informed by feminist psychology, queer theory, critical race theory, and postcolonial studies, Wen investigates how psychological discourses have shaped global politics—from issues of LGBTQ identities and marriage equality to US police violence and militarism, from cultural imperialism to Orientalism—but also, in turn, how activist subjectivities that emerged from these sociopolitical events have transformed psychological knowledge around migration, culture, and identity.
These scholarly endeavors are a result of not only Wen's theoretical engagement but also her activist involvement as co-director of the Institute for Tongzhi Studies, which is a grassroots organization that facilitates queer diasporic dialogue through art and scholarship between New York, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In addition, She has taught gender, sexuality, and social psychology seminars at Sarah Lawrence College and Hunter College, and the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at John Jay College. She has also held various public lectures on topics of LGBTQ movements and queer theory from NYC, Taipei, Shanghai, to Beijing. (You may check out a podcast I did recently on the history of LGBTQ movements in Taiwan). Having participated in social movements globally and especially in East Asia, she is a co-founder and editor of an online magazine, New Bloom, dedicated to the intellectual dialogues, political activism, and youth culture in the Sinosphere since 2014.
Beyond her academic and activist engagements, Wen is a published novelist and poet in Taiwan. Her first book 《一則必要的告解｜A Necessary Confession 》, a collection of short stories and poems, was published in 2006 by Unitas. Her full-length novel《集體心碎日記｜Diary of Collective Heartbreak 》was published in 2012 by Fembooks. Her writings address diasporic queer Asian subject's struggles of racialization, queer violence, and loneliness, but also the possibility for pleasure, solidarity, and new ways of belonging in the transnational urban queer space.
Additionally, Wen is a columnist for various gender and sexuality magazines. She writes for a multimedia gender equality and lifestyle website《womany.net》and Taiwanese lesbian lifestyle magazine 《LEZS》.
See more information about Wen's creative writings in the creative work section.