Chang Wins Junior Faculty Award

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

College of Arts and Sciences Dean J. Robert Barth, SJ, has announced Asst. Prof. Juliana Chang (English) as winner of the 1997 A&S Distinguished Junior Faculty Member Award.

Chang, who joined the Boston College faculty as an instructor in 1994, will receive the $4,000 stipend presented annually to support an independent research project by a non-tenured faculty member. The award recognizes the faculty member's overall achievement and promise in teaching, service and research activities.

"I feel very honored by this award, because I know there was strong competition," Chang said. "It means a lot to me, because I do feel I've devoted a lot of effort to developing proposals, writing manuscripts and working with students. Fortunately, I've had many supportive colleagues in the English Department and elsewhere in the University."

Asst. Prof. Juliana Chang (English)

"Juliana Chang is doing very interesting work that contributes to the diversification and richness of our curriculum," Fr. Barth said. "She is attuned to the possibilities that Asian-American studies present for broadening our students' intellectual, artistic and spiritual formation."

Chang will utilize the award to complete her forthcoming book, tentatively titled By Making You Dream: Desire and the Asian-American Poetic Subject , which she said will be the first book-length analysis of Asian-American poetry. The work-in-progress reflects Chang's interest in helping bring greater prominence to the Asian-American experience within the Boston College curriculum.

"I hope to help make Asian-American studies more of a visible, interdisciplinary field," Chang said. "One of the ways I hope to accomplish this is to focus on poetry, which has not drawn as much attention as Asian-American novels, memoirs and biographies."

While Asian-American poetry encompasses a variety of styles and techniques, Chang finds some common characteristics as well.

"There is a feeling of being American, but at the same time wanting to learn about this 'other' place from where your parents or other relatives have come," she explained. "Often, for one reason or another, the children aren't able to find out much about this aspect of their family. I'm fascinated at how the poetry expresses the incredible longing to discover one's history and background, yet also a sense that it is impossible to know it completely."

Chang's own family history is compelling itself: Her mother was a native of China, her father of Taiwan - two lands sharing a complex legacy. Fortunately, Chang said, she was able to explore some of her heritage when she served as an instructor during 1988-89 at Jinshan College in Shanghai, her mother's birthplace.

Chang is a 1988 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor's degree in women's studies, and master and doctoral degrees in ethnic studies. From 1989-91, she was an instructor in the UC-Berkeley English Department, and also has taught at Columbia University and Bryn Mawr College.

Among her publications, Chang was editor for the 1996 book Quiet Fire: A History of Asian American Poetry, 1892-1970 , and has written articles for Amerasia Journal , Critical Mass: A Journal of Asian American Literary and Cultural Studies, Asian America: An Arts and Literary Journal and other periodicals.

At Boston College, she has served as faculty advisor for the Asian Student Caucus and on the African-American Scholars Speakers Series Committee. In addition, she was chair of the Asian-American Literature Division of the Northeast Modern Language Association, and a member of the Association for Asian-American Studies' Literature Award Committee.

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