Yujane Chen

Fluid Futurities: Fish and Aquatic Creatures as Representations of Queer Migrancy in 21st Century US Poetry

My research is interested in how representations of queer migrancy through fish and aquatic imagery act as catalysts in the work of 21st century queer migrant poets of color. Drawing upon queer futurity, science fiction, postcolonial studies, and critical race theory, how can this aquatic imagery be read as queered, migrated embodiments of language? Through close readings of works by queer migrant poets of color, I will track instances of aquatic imagery and analyze how they occur in conversation with themes of fluidity, intimacy, and belonging. I will also produce a creative manuscript of poems on queer migrant daughterhood, diasporic shame, and gendered exile. As an English language learner and a queer migrant Asian American who has experienced the violent failure of language at both familial and state levels, I am interested in examining the ways contemporary queer migrant poetry mirrors this failure and breakage as a lineage of haunting, naming, and resistance.