Dorinne Kondo

Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity and Anthropology
Dorinne Kondo
Pronouns She / Her / Hers Email Office KAP 348E Office Phone (213) 740-1910

Research & Practice Areas

(Ph.D., Harvard University, 1982) Professor of Anthropology and ASE. Specialties include: race and power, performance studies, theories of the subject, cultural theory.



Dorinne Kondo is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern California. For many years she served as Director of Asian American Studies.  Kondo holds both a Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology from Harvard University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Stanford University. She was Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Harvard and MacArthur Associate Professor/ Professor of Women’s Studies at Pomona College.

Kondo works at the intersections of the arts, scholarship, and activism in projects that aim to undiscipline and decolonize knowledge production. Her research crosses the boundaries of Anthropology, Performance Studies, Drama, and critical race studies. Kondo’s scholarly interests spotlight the subject and power; cross-racial relationality; Asian/ America; ethnography as “corporeal epistemology”; affect theory and psychoanalysis; experiments in genre.  She is a playwright and has served as a dramaturg for three world premieres of renowned theatre artist Anna Deavere Smith’s plays. She co-founded, with colleague Adrian DeLeon, the Creativity, Theory, Politics research cluster in ASE, to foster and showcase work occurring at these generative intersections.

Kondo is the author of the award-winning books Crafting Selves: Power, Gender, and Discourses of Identity in a Japanese Workplace (J.I. Staley Prize from the School for Advanced Research, for a book impacting the field of Anthropology, 1990); About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater (Cultural and Literary Studies Prize, Association for Asian American Studies, 1997).  Worldmaking: Race, Performance and the Work of Creativity (2018) is her most recent work.

Kondo has written three full-length plays, including the award-winning (Dis)graceful(l) Conduct, that won Mixed Blood Theater’s “We Don’t Need No Stinking Dramas” National Playwriting Award. Her relationship comedy But Can He Dance? was produced at Asian American Repertory Theater in San Diego. Kondo’s comic drama Seamless has been short-listed for several awards, received readings at the prestigious Lark Play Development Center, and is published in Worldmaking. Kondo served as a dramaturg for three world premieres of theater artist Anna Deavere Smith’s plays: Twilight: Los Angeles, House Arrest, and Let Me Down Easy.

Kondo’s latest book Worldmaking theorizes the racialized structures of inequality that pervade theater and the arts. Grounded in twenty years of fieldwork as dramaturg and playwright, the book mobilizes critical race studies, affect theory, psychoanalysis, and dramatic writing to trenchantly analyze theater’s work of creativity as theory: acting, writing, dramaturgy. Race-making occurs backstage in the creative process and through economic forces, institutional hierarchies, hiring practices, ideologies of artistic transcendence, and aesthetic form. Upending genre through scholarly interpretation, vivid vignettes, and Kondo’s original play, Worldmaking theorizes what Kondo calls reparative creativity in the work of minoritarian artists Anna Deavere Smith, David Henry Hwang, and the author herself. Worldmaking performs the potential for the arts to remake worlds, from theater worlds to psychic worlds to worldmaking visions for social transformation.

The book is intervening in the reproductions of race and power in the performing arts industries. One of Worldmaking’s key concepts—reparative creativity–has been recognized among theatre scholars and artists as the theme of 2022’s national conference of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater is an early work of transnationalism. It theorizes the global circulation of Orientalisms and counter-Orientalisms in the fashion industry and in Asian American theater, showcasing both as arenas of performance. The final chapter parses the imbrications of art and activism through the protests of the performance of the Orientalist musical The Mikado at the Claremont Colleges. That activism helped to establish the 5-college Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies.                        .  

Crafting Selves: Power, Gender, and Discourses of Identity in a Japanese Workplace foregrounds the aesthetics and politics of work, analyzing the performance of gendered work identities on the shop floor of a Japanese factory. It is well-known in Anthropology for its genre-bending, lively narrative style, and its analysis of culturally and contextually shaped “concepts of self”, theorized through a transition from interpretivism to poststructuralist theory of the subject. Crafting Selves won a major award in Anthropology (the J.I. Staley Prize) and was, over a ten-year period, the best-selling Anthropological monograph for the University of Chicago Press, according to editor David Brent.  

Kondo is the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including residential fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Stanford Humanities Center (Martha Sutton Weeks Fellowship), Getty Research Institute, Rockefeller Fellowship at Rice University Center for Cultural Studies, Institute of American Culture Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA, University of California Irvine Humanities Research Institute. She has won grants from Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council, American Philosophical Society, among many others, and has been invited to speak across the U.S. and in Europe (Denmark, Wales) and Asia (Hong Kong). Her work with the Creativity, Theory, Politics research cluster is slated to contribute to a Mellon Grant on intersectionality.

Kondo’s current projects (2021-2022) include two new, untitled plays—a full-length and a one-act. She is conducting research for a book on vulnerability as openness to connection (including cross-racial alliances) and vulnerability as openness to harm—disability and illness, sexual/ racial harassment. Our historical moment of COVID-19 and continuing life-diminishing exclusion, including the resurgence of anti-Asian violence, heightens the urgency of this project.


  • Ph.D. Anthropology, Harvard University, 6/1982
  • M.A. Anthropology, Harvard University, 6/1978
  • B.A. Anthropology, Stanford University, 6/1975
    • Fellow, University of California, Irvine Humanities Research Institute
    • Research Fellow, Getty Research Institute, 2000-2001
    • Institute of American Cultures Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA, 1993-1994
    • Fellow, University of California, Irvine Humanities Research Institute, Fall Fall
    • Rockefeller Fellow, Rice University, 1989-1990
    • Rockefeller Fellow, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, 1987-1988
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Professor of Anthropology and American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California, 1997 –
    • MacArthur Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Anthropology; appointed to Full Professor in 1997, Pomona College, 1989 – 1997

    Research, Teaching, Practice, and Clinical Appointments

    • Assistant Professor of Anthropology , Harvard University, 1982-1989

    PostDoctoral Appointments

    • Martha Sutton Weeks Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center, 2013-2014
    • Rockefeller Fellow at the Center for Cultural Studies, Rice University, 1988-1989
    • Member, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ, 1987-1988
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    cultural theory, performance, aesthetics and politics, the question of the subject, cross-racial identification/ multiracial collaboration, modes of embodiment, ethnography and genre, the integration of “creative” and “critical” writing.

    Research Keywords

    Cultural Theory, Contemporary Performance in the U.S., Aesthetics and Politics, Race, Bodies/Subjects, Genre and Narrative

    Detailed Statement of Research Interests




                In its ambitious theoretical reach and innovative form, Worldmaking enacts connections and creative juxtapositions across domains conventionally labeled the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences, integrating creative and scholarly work. Grounded in the corporeal epistemologies of participatory observation in theater, Kondo as scholar-artist—ethnographer, dramaturg and playwright—theorizes racialized structures of inequality, racialized labor, the racialized aesthetics of genre, and racial affect in theater as an art world. At one level Worldmaking is an ethnography of backstage creative labor within historical political economies, where artists make and unmake race. Kondo argues for the theoretical and political significance of “the creative process,” analyzing the comfortable spaces of high culture as key sites where racialized, gendered hegemonies are reproduced. Theater, for example, elicits “racial affect:” the structurally overdetermined ways affect can enliven or diminish life. Integrating the aesthetic structure of the well-made play with canonical scholarly form, Worldmaking deploys Melanie Klein’s theories of reparation as narrative scaffolding. It unfolds in a Kleinian journey from fusion to shattering to “reparative creativity” in the work of African American playwright/ actress Anna Deavere Smith, a pioneer of documentary theater, and David Henry Hwang, the premier Asian American dramatist. The book culminates with its boldest move: Kondo’s own effort at reparative creativity through her play Seamless, that stages the haunting afterlives of Japanese American incarceration. The book performs the potential for artistic interventions to remake worlds, reverberating from the world of the theater to psychic “inner worlds” to world-making visions for social transformation.

  • Contracts and Grants Awarded

    • Creative Differences; The Cultural Politics of Race in American Theater, (Stanford Humanities Center), Dorinne Kondo $60,000, 2013-2014
    • Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences Mentorship, (University of Southern California), Dorinne Kondo $1,000, 2011-2013

    Gifts and Endowments

    • Toward an Anthropology of Creativity: Making Art, Producing Difference in Contemporary American Thea, (American Council of Learned Societies) $60,000, 2010-2011
  • Conference Presentations

    • “Choking on History” , RACE Conference – The theme draws from “Reparative creativity,” a concept from my book Worldmaking.Keynote Lecture, Invited, Johns Hopkins University, Fall 2023
    • “Rise in Anti-Asian Hate Incidents Sparks Grief” , Burbank LeaderInterview, Invited, Outlook Newspapers, Spring 2021
    • Culturally Conscious Casting , University of Michigan, Department of Theatre and DramaRoundtable/Panel, Invited, Spring 2021
    • KTLA segment on Anti-Asian Racism Interview, Invited, Spring 2021
    • USA Today Feature, Invited, Spring 2021
    • When Comfort Television Gets Uncomfortable Feature, KCRW’s “Good Food”, Invited, Spring 2021
    • Casting, Race and the Work of Creativity , Association for Theatre in Higher Education Talk/Oral Presentation, Invited, Orlando FL, Fall 2019
    • Worldmaking and the Work of Creativity , American Studies AssociationTalk/Oral Presentation, Invited, Honolulu, HI, Fall 2019
    • Worldmaking and Visions of Possibility , American Anthropological AssociationTalk/Oral Presentation, Invited, Vancouver, BC, CAN, Fall 2019
    • Toward Theories of Casting , University of California, Riverside PanelRoundtable/Panel, Invited, Riverside, CA, 2018-2019
    • Race, Genre and the Afterlife of Historical Trauma , Bodies in Difference Conference: Race and the Performance in and Beyond North America, McGill UniverKeynote Lecture, Invited, 2017
    • Genre-Bending: Drama in/ as Ethnography , MEGA seminar, Denmark Keynote Lecture, Aarhus and Copenhagen Universities, Invited, Denmark, Spring 2015
    • (En)acting Theory: The Subject and Performance in the Work of Anna Deavere Smith Talk/Oral Presentation, Stanford Humanities Center, Invited, Stanford Humanities Center, Spring 2014
    • Kondo’s work has been mentioned over 602 times, and has been used to support research in environmental ethics, sociology, feminist studies, anthropology, urban studies, reproductive discourse, gerontology, psychopharmacology, qualitative research, comparative literature, communication and mediator studies, sociocultural theory, social and cultural anthropology, anthropology of education, gender studies, psychology, political theater, cultural studies, musicology, deaf studies, indigenous studies, history, literature, curriculum, marketing/business and management, ethnography, and sociology of sport. It has also been translated into Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, Turkish, French, Danish, Romanian, and Norwegian.
  • Book

    • Kondo, D. K. (2018). Worldmaking: Race, Performance and the Work of Creativity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
    • Kondo, D. K. (2018). Casting, Race and the Work of Creativity. (Daniel Banks and Claire Syler, Ed.). New York: Routledge.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1997). About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater, 1997.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1990). Crafting Selves: Power, Gender and Discourses of Identity in a Japanese Workplace, 1990.

    Book Chapters

    • Kondo, D. K. (2005). “The Tea Ceremony: A Symbolic Analysis. (Vol. NA) No Journal Defined.
    • Kondo, D. K. (2005). “Polishing Your Heart: Artisans and Machines in Japan. Oxford: Empire of the Senses: The Sensual Culture Reader/ Berg Publishers.

    Book Review

    • Kondo, D. K. (1988). Marriage in Changing Japan, by Walter Edwards. Contemporary Sociology.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1987). Becoming Japanese by Joy Hendry. The Journal of Asian Studies.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1986). Haruko’s World by Gail Bernstein. Comparative Studies in Society and History. pp. 794-5.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1985). Gender, Self and Work in Japan: Some Issues in the Study of Self and Other. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. pp. 319-328.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1985). Gender, Self and Work in Japan: Some Issues in the Study of Self and Other. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. pp. 319-328.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1984). “Against the State by David Apter and Nagayo Sawa.” “Behind the Mask by Ian Buruma.” “The Japanese by Jean-Claude Courdy.”. The New York Times Book Review..
    • Kondo, D. K. (1984). Work and Lifecourse in Japan by David Plath. Journal of Asian Studies,.


    • Kondo, D. K. (2019). Soft Power: (Auto)ethography, Racial Affect, and Dramaturgical Critique. American Quarterly.

    Journal Article

    • Kondo, D. K. (2022). Dancing in the Rain: BIPOC Artists and Reparative Creativity. Cultural Dynamics.
    • Kondo, D. K. (2022). No Escape from Racism. Public Books.
    • Kondo, D. K. (2020). Symposium response to Julietta Singh’s “Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements.”. Syndicate.
    • Kondo, D. (2010). DRESSTUDY, journal of the Kyoto Costume Institute. DRESSTUDY. Vol. April 2010
    • Kondo, D. K. (2005). “The Tea Ceremony: A Symbolic Analysis.”. Empire of the Senses: The Sensual Culture Reader/ Oxford: Berg Publishers..
    • Kondo, D. K. (2004). “Dorinne Kondo, author of Crafting Selves and About Face, an interview with Nirmal Puwar.”. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture..
    • Kondo, D. K. (2001). How the Problem of ‘Crafting Selves’ Emerged. Contemporary Field Research: Perspectives and Formulations. Vol. 8, pp. 188-202.
    • Kondo, D. K. (2001). A Challenge from Without: A Conversation with Dorinne Kondo. Where the Id Was: Challenging Normalization in Psychoanalysis.. pp. 38-146.
    • Kondo, D. K. (2001). Visions of Possibility. Theater/special issue on Theater and Social Change,. Vol. 31 (3)
    • Kondo, D. K. (2001). Asian/Asian American Studies:(Un)Disciplined Subjects: (De) Colonizing the Academy?. Orientations: Mapping Studies In The Asian Diaspora./ Durham: Duke University Press.
    • Kondo, D. K. (2001). Orientalizing: Japanese Fashion. Toikakeru Fasshon: Shintai/ Imeeji/ Nihon (Inquiry into Fashion: Body, Image, Japan)..
    • Kondo, D. K. (2001). Life Patterns. program notes for Mark Taper Forum/ Asian Theatre Workshop production of Sunil Kuruvilla’s Rice Boy..
    • Kondo, D. K. (2000). (Re)visions of Race: Critical Race Theory and the Cultural Politics of Racial Crossover in Contemporary Documentary Performance. Theatre Journal,special issue on Latino Performance..
    • Kondo, D. K. (2000). Program Notes, The Square, Production of Mark Taper Forum/ Asian Theatre Workshop.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1999). Empire and Masculinity. Between Women and Nation/Durham: Duke University Press.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1999). Introduction. The Color of Language: Asian American Plays in a Multicultural Landscape. Applause Theatrebooks.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1996). Shades of Twilight: Anna Deavere Smith and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992.”. Late Editions III: Media-tions. /Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1996). The Narrative Production of ‘Home’, Community and Identity in Asian American Theater. Dislocation, Diaspora and Geographies of Identity/ Durham: Duke University Press..
    • Kondo, D. K. (1995). Bad Girls: Theatre, Women of Color, and the Politics of Representation. Women Writing Culture./University of California Press.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1995). Poststructuralist Theory as Political Necessity. Amerasia Journal/Special issue on theory.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1993). Uchi no Kaisha: Company as Family?. Uchi/Soto: Shifting Linguistic and Social Boundaries./ Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1992). The Aesthetics and Politics of ‘Japanese’ Identity in the Fashion Industry. Remade in Japan: Everyday life and Consumer Tastes./ New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1992). The Aesthetics and Politics and Artisanal Identities. Japanese Selves: Creating and Receiving Culture./ Cambridge: Cambridge University Press..
    • Kondo, D. K. (1992). Turning Leaves: The Photograph Collections of Two Japanese American Families by Richard Chalfen. Visual Anthropology.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1991). Feminism and Orientalism. Committee on Women in Asian Studies Newsletter.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1991). Women of Color and the Cultural Politics of Identity. California Sociologist. Vol. 15, pp. 57-70.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1990). M. Butterfly: Orientalism, Gender, and a Critique of Essentialist Identity. Cultural Critique. Vol. 16, pp. 5-29.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1989). The Forbidden Stitch. Sojourner,.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1987). Creating an Ideal Self: Theories of Selfhood and Pedagogy at a Japanese Ethics Retreat. Ethos. Vol. 15 (3), pp. 241-272.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1986). Dissolution and Reconstitution of the Self: Implications for Anthropological Epistemology. Cultural Anthropology. Vol. 1 (1), pp. 74-88.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1986). Review. Haruko’s World by Gail Bernstein. Comparative Studies in Society and History.. Vol. 23, pp. 794-5.
    • Kondo, D. K. (1985). “The Way of Tea: A Symbolic Analysis,”. Man(N.S.). Vol. 20, pp. 287-306.
    • Play-Reading, Dis)graceful(l) Conduct, a high disco satire on sexual and racial harassment in the academy. Staged reading at East West Players., 04/1992
    • Play-Reading, (Dis)graceful(l) Conduct Staged Reading at Powerhouse Theater, Santa Monica., 12/1992
    • Play-Reading, (Dis)graceful(l) Conduct Staged reading at East West Players., 08/1993
    • Dramaturg, Dramaturg for the world premiere of Anna Deavere Smith’s play TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES 1992, at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, directed by Emily Mann. , 1993-1994
    • Play-Reading, (Dis)graceful(l) Conduct Staged reading at Women Artists’ Group, Sunday PlayDay Series., 04/1997
    • Dramaturg, Dramaturg for the workshop of the Arena Stage (Washington, DC)/ Goodman Theatre (Chicago)/ Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles) world premiere production of Anna Deavere Smith’s HOUSE ARREST, director Mark Rucker. , 1996-1997
    • Play-Reading, (Dis)graceful(l) Conduct Staged reading at Moving Arts Theater, 04/1998
    • Dramaturg, Workshop of Anna Deavere Smith’s HOUSE ARREST: AN INTROGRESSION, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles. , 1997-1998
    • Play-Reading, But Can He Dance? a multiracial relationship comedy. , 04/2001
    • Scholar/ Reflector, Institute for the Arts and Civic Dialogue, Director Anna Deavere Smith, Harvard University. , 2000-2001
    • Play-Reading, Seamless, 04/11/2002
    • Play-Reading, Seamless, 03/09/2003
    • Play-Reading, Seamless, 03/14/2003
    • Play-Reading, Seamless, 05/17/2003
    • Play-Reading, (Dis)graceful(l) Conduct Staged reading at the Playwrights’ Theatre of New Jersey, 10/2002
    • Play and Production, But Can He Dance? a multiracial relationship comedy, 10/25/2003-11/15/2003
    • Play-Reading, Seamless; this is a substantial revision of earlier versions of the play, and in 2008 I intend to finish the play and submit to theatres. , 08/2007
    • Play Reading, Reading of revised Act One of Seamless, Moving Arts Theatre, August 2008. , 2007-2008
    • Dramaturg, Dramaturg for the world premiere of Anna Deavere Smith’s LET ME DOWN EASY, play produced at the Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT, directed by Stephen Wadsworth. Play went on to American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Ma., and to Second Stage Theatre in New York. , 2007-2008
    • Reading of Revised Play, Seamless, in a new version, read at Moving Arts Theatre, November 2008. , 2008-2009
    • Finalist, Finalist in Lark Theatre/ Play Development Center’s New Play Festival. 25 finalists selected from over 600 plays. , 2009-2010
    • Play Reading, Lark Development Center, New York, Reading of SEAMLESS, at the Lark Development Center, directed by Victor Maog. Play was one of 25 out of 600 plays chosen for readings. , 2009-2010
    • Play Reading, Lark Development Center, New York, Reading of revision of SEAMLESS,directed by Eric Ting, Associate Artistic Director, the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, a major regional theatre. The Lark is a renowned venue among theatre professionals; noted Asian American dramatist David Henry Hwang developed two plays there. , 07/2010
    • Dramaturg, Dramaturgy for Marcos Najera’s performance piece, “Brown Oxygen/Oxigeno,” Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica, CA., June and September, 2011., 2011-2012
    • Expert , Interviewed as an expert on Japanese American internment for Antonia Glenn’s documentary on Japanese American history, “The Ito Sisters.” , 2011-2012
    • Play Reading, Lark Theatre Development Center, Reading of revised version of SEAMLESS, directed by Ralph Pena, founder of Ma-yi Theatre. The Lark is a major, nationally renowned center for play development, located in New York. , 2012-2013
    • Play Reading, Concert reading of SEAMLESS at the Odyssey Theater, Los Angeles. , 2012-2013
    • Completion of Play, Final Version of SEAMLESS ready for publication and submission to theaters. ,
    • Award, Runner-up (Second Place) for the Jane Chambers Award, from the ASsociation for Theatre in Higher Education, 2013-2014
    • Award, Semi-finalist, Boomerang Theatre Company First Flight Play Festival, 2014-2015
    • Award, Semi-Finalist, Boomerang Theatre Company (NY) First Flight Festival, for SEAMLESS,
    • Seamless, Staged Reading, USC Visions and Voices, directed by Tim Dang. starring Jully Lee. Standing room only, waiting list of over 100 people, 02/2020
    • Playwriting Workshop Moving Arts Theater, , 2020-2021
    • Play writing workshop South Coast Repertory Theate, , 2020-2021
    • Podcast, “The Arts of Racial Reckoning: Anna Deavere Smith.” Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race and Public Culture. USC Dornsife Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies., 05/2022
    • Podcast, “The Arts of Racial Reckoning: Héctor Tobar and Oskar Eustis.” Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race and Public Culture. USC Dornsife Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Forthcoming June 2022. , 06/2022
    • Podcast, “The Arts of Racial Reckoning: Elizabeth Alexander.” Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race and Public Culture. USC Dornsife Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Forthcoming June 2022. , 06/2022
    • All-Conference Plenary Event: Staged reading of Su, Association for Theater in Higher Education national conference, dir. by Nicole Hodges-Persley, former head of the Black Theater Association & founder of the Melting Pot Theater in Kansas City, featuring professional actors, with Reiko Aylesworth in the leading role (TV credits include 24; theater credits include Anna Deavere Smith’s House Arrest), 2022-2023
    • Play in Progress, Phaedra: The Remix, full-length play about older Asian American women, upending Phaedra, and Der Rosenkavalier. , 2023
    • Untitled, Untitled Full Length play, in progress. , 2023-2024
    • Surviving the Sh*tshow?, One Act play. It writes an Asian American woman’s way through the pandemic and anti-Asian violence. Stylistically evocative of Beckett’s Happy Days, Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, and von Trier’s Dogville. , 2023-2024
    • Workshop Production of Seamless, 2023 New Works Festival, Morgan-Wixson Theatre, Santa Monica. One of four featured plays selected from 400+ submissions. Seamless will receive four stagings over four weeks. ,
    • Dramaturg, Dramaturg, Mark Taper Forum, Twilight: Los Angeles 1992, Anna Deavere Smith’s play based on the Los Angeles uprisings. Directed by Gregg T. Daniel. March, 2023. ,
    • USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, Raubenheimer Award, USC, for research, teaching and service, 2022/11
    • Mary L. Cornille Distinguished Visiting Professor at Wellesley College Newhouse Center of the Humanities. Invited, not accepted., 2022-2023
    • Invited participant, Mellon-funded Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race and Popular Culture , 2022
    • Worldmaking’s concept of “Reparative Creativity” inspired theme for Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s 2022 conference. , 2021-2022
    • Distinguished Keynote Speaker on “Music as Metaphor”, PEERS Conference, University of California, Los Angeles, Spring 2022
    • Keynote Speaker, PEERS Conference, University of California, Los Angeles, Spring 2022
    • Spotlight on New Books, Black Theatre Association, 2019-2020
    • Distinguished Keynote Speaker, MEGA Seminar on “Genre in Anthropology”, Departments of Anthropology, Copenhagen and Aarhus Universities. , 2015
    • Jane Chambers Award, runner-up, given by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education; Judges commended the work as a “moving, complex meditation on Japanese American identities, refracted through gender, work, generation, and family” and noted the playwright’s “sophisticated work with language [that] made it stand out as a distinctive, excellent feminist play.” , 2014-2015
    • Distinguished Keynote Speaker, 11th International Conference on Organizational Behavior, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK., 2014
    • Honorable Mention, See Change Festival, East West Players. , 2014
    • Semi-finalist, First Flight Play Reading Series, Boomerang Theatre Company, New York. , 2014
    • Stanford Humanities Center, Martha Sutton Weeks Fellow, 2013-2014
    • Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Gender Studies; I gave a week-long series of lectures, seminars and play readings for faculty, students, and members of the general public in Hong Kong, Fall 2010
    • Lark Play Development Center, finalist for New Play Festival, revised version of SEAMLESS, 2009-2010
    • USC Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty Research Award, 2007-2008
    • Alpha Lambda Delta, USC, Professor Appreciation Certificate., 2006
    • University of California at Irvine, Humanities Research Institute, Residential Research Fellowship, on Transnationalism in Asian/ Asian American Theatre., 2002
    • Residency at the Getty Center for Humanities and Arts, Getty Scholar, Getty Research Institute, 2000-2001
    • “We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Dramas” National Comedy Playwriting Award, Mixed Blood Theatre, for (DIS)GRACEFUL(L) CONDUCT, 2000-2001
    • School of American Research Fellowship, awarded—not accepted, 2000-2001
    • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship Recipient, , 2000
    • “We Don’t Need No Stinking Dramas” National Comedy Playwriting Award, Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis, MN., 1999
    • J.I. Staley Prize, School of American Research, Santa Fe, NM, given to book Craftiing Selves and its impact on the field of Anthropology. “The School for Advanced Research (SAR) presents the J. I. Staley Prize to a living author for a book that exemplifies outstanding scholarship and writing in anthropology. The award recognizes innovative works that go beyond traditional frontiers in anthropology and add new dimensions to our understanding of the human species. It honors books that cross subdisciplinary boundaries within anthropology and reach out in new and expanded interdisciplinary directions.” Nominator Dr. Steven Feld says this ethnography made him feel “that new kinds of theory, ethnography and writing have a future [he] hadn’t considered.”, 1999
    • Association for Asian American Studies Book Prize in Cultural Studies, for About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater, Routledge 1997, 1998
    • Fellow, University of California at Irvine Humanities Research Institute, Minority Discourse Initiative, 1993
    • Institute of American Culture Postdoctoral Fellowship, Asian American Studies Center, UCLA, 1993
    • Rockefeller Fellowship, University of California at Santa Cruz, the Center for Cultural studies, awarded—not accepted, 1993
    • Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing, Society for Humanistic Anthropology, Honorable Mention, for Crafting Selves, 1991
    • Rockefeller Fellowship Recipient, Center for Cultural Studies, Rice University, 1989-1990
    • Rockefeller Fellowship Recipient, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1987-1988
    • Social Science Research Council Dissertation Fellowship (write-up)., 1981
    • Fulbright Award, Fulbright-Hays/ IIE Dissertation Fellowship., 1978-1979
    • Social Science Research Council Dissertation Fellowship., 1978
    • National Defense Foreign Language Fellowship., 1975-1977
  • Administrative Appointments

    • Expert Advisor, Humanities Personnel Committee for Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences., 2020-2021
    • Director of Asian American Studies. This involves sponsoring and hosting events. This year we are undertaking a major overhaul of the recruitment process for undergraduates, involving the revision of copy and recruitment activities., 2012-2013
    • Director of Asian American Studies, 2010-2011
    • Director of Asian American Studies, 2008-2009
    • Official Faculty Advisor to Undergradutes, Department of Anthropology, Fall 2007
    • Director of Asian American Studies, 09/1997-07/2002

    Other Service to the University

    • Co-organizer, with Dr. Adrian De Leon, research cluster on “Creativity, Theory, Politics,” Department of American Studies and Ethnicity., 2019-2020
  • Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Editorial Board, Cultural Dynamics”, 2008 –
    • Editorial Board, Visual Anthropology”, 2011 – 2018
    • Editorial Advisory Board, positions: east asia/ cultures/ critique”, 2001-2002
    • Inaugural Editorial Board, Cultural Anthropology”, 1984 – 1991