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Malissa Phung

Malissa Phung


Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences


Malissa Phung is honoured and privileged to live and work as an uninvited guest on the territories of the Huron-Wendat, Mississauga, Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe peoples. She is a second-generation settler descendant of Sino-Vietnamese refugees who have resettled on the territories of the Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakado, and Tongva peoples.

Her PhD dissertation, Reaching Gold Mountain: Diasporic Labour Narratives in Chinese Canadian Literature and Film, was nominated by the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University for the Canadian Studies Network-Réseau D’études Canadiennes Prize for the Best PhD Dissertation in Canadian Studies (national). She is currently working on turning her PhD dissertation into a book manuscript on the settler colonial and racial politics of commemorating Chinese labour in Canada. Her next book project, Making Kinship, focuses on Indigenous and Asian relations in North American history and cultural production through the framework of kinship and indebtedness.

Malissa’s research has been shared at literary, cultural studies, and interdisciplinary conferences such as ACCUTE (Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English), CACLALS (Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies), CESA (Critical Ethnic Studies), NASIA (Native American and Indigenous Studies Association), and AAAS (Association for Asian American Studies). Some of her writing has been published in academic journals such as Postcolonial Text, Canadian Literature, Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, and Verge (“Indigenous and Asian Relation Making” is forthcoming), as well as the 2011 volume of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation series entitled, Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation through the Eyes of Cultural Diversity. An essay co-written with Jennifer Adese (Métis)— “Where Are We From?: Decolonizing Indigenous and Refugee Relations”—will also appear in a forthcoming essay collection, Critical States of Refuge, edited by Vinh Nguyen and Thy Phu.

Malissa is also a curriculum design junkie. She would love to develop a special course for Sheridan students based on her research interests and political/personal investments in understanding and maintaining the relations and responsibilities that people of colour, immigrants and refugees, white settlers, and Indigenous peoples share towards each other and the land they call home. She also plans to develop other courses like Critical Race Studies, Sick Lit, and Racy Romances.

Malissa currently teaches Communications, Composition & Rhetoric, popular literature and culture, and Cultural Studies in the School of Communication and Literary Studies in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. When she is not teaching and grading and laughing with her students, she crochets, indoor climbs, creates Excel worksheets for everything in life, fails at mastering classic Vietnamese dishes, and sings karaoke on the 401.

Teaching Interests

  • Indigenous and Asian relations
  • Asian diasporic culture
  • Decolonial advocacy
  • Anti-racism in an intersectional framework
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