Karen Tei Yamashita

TitleProfessor
DivisionHumanities Division
DepartmentLiterature Department,
Creative Writing Program,
Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
AffiliationsLatin American & Latino Studies,
East Asian Studies,
Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
Phone831-459-2167 (Office),
831-459-1923 (Message)
Email
OfficeHumanities 1 231
Office HoursThursdays, 10-11:30 am, & by appt
Campus Mail StopHumanities Academic Services
MailHumanities 1, Rm 231/1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California
95064
picture of Karen Tei Yamashita

Research Interests

History and anthropology of Japanese immigration to Brazil; Asian American literature; modern fiction; playwriting

Biography, Education and Training

Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of Through the Arc of the Rain Forest, Brazil-Maru, Tropic of Orange, Circle K Cycles, and I Hotel, all published by Coffee House Press. I Hotel was selected as a finalist for the National Book Award and awarded the California Book Award, the American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award, and the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award. She recently received a US Artists Ford Foundation Fellowship, is Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and currently the co-holder with Bettina Aptheker of the UC Presidential Chair for Feminist Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.

Honors, Awards and Grants

2012 - 15 UC Presidential Chair, Feminist Critical Race & Ethnic Studies, co-holder with Professor Bettina Aptheker, Feminist Studies

2012 Association for Asian American Studies Prose Book Award for I Hotel

2011 - 12 United States Artists Ford Fellowship

2011 American Book Award for I Hotel, Before Columbus Foundation

2011 Asian American Literary Award, First Finalist in Fiction, I Hotel, Asian American Writers' Workshop, NY

2011 Asian American Members' Choice Award, I Hotel, Asian American Writers' Workshop, NY

2010 National Book Award Finalist in Fiction for I Hotel

2010 California Book Award, Gold Medal in Fiction for I Hotel, Commonwealth Club, San Francisco

2010 Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award in Fiction for I Hotel

2009 Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity, UCSC

2001 Excellence in Teaching Award, UCSC

2000 College Commendations for outstanding service to the Kresge College community, UCSC

1998 Finalist, Paterson Fiction Prize for Tropic of Orange, by the Poetry Center, Paterson, NJ

1998 Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement, Carleton College

1992 Janet Heidinger Kafka Award for Through the Arc of the Rain Forest

1991 American Book Award for Through the Arc of the Rain Forest

1979 First Place, James Clavell American-Japanese Short Story Contest, for "Asaka-no-Miya"

1975 First Place, Amerasia Journal Short Story Contest, for "The Bath"

1975 First Place, Rafu Shimpo Short Story Contest, for "Tucano"

1975 First Place, Gremio Literario: Colonia Short Story Contest, for Portuguese translation of "Tucano"

Selected Publications


  • Anime Wong: Fictions of Performance, Coffee House Press, 2014

  • I Hotel, Coffee House Press, 2010

  • Circle K Cycles, Coffee House Press, 2001

  • Tropic of Orange, Coffee House Press 1997

  • Brazil-Maru, Coffee House Press, 1992

  • Through the Arc of the Rain Forest, Coffee House Press, 1990


Teaching Interests

Creative Writing Fiction, Asian American Literature