Professor King-Kok Cheung of UCLA’s Department of Asian American Studies and English is the 2012-13 recipient of the C. Doris and Toshio Hoshide Distinguished Teaching Prize in Asian American Studies, announced David K. Yoo, director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.
Cheung is author of the critically acclaimed “Articulate Silences: Hisaye Yamamoto, Maxine Hong Kingston, Joy Kogawa,” and her research fields are comparative American ethnic literatures, Asian American literature, comparative literature, and Renaissance British literature.
She has published widely in leading journals such as American Literary History, MELUS, Milton Studies, PMLA, Positions: East Asia Critique, Shakespeare Quarterly, and Transnational Literature. Cheung has also edited key literary anthologies, including “An Interethnic Companion to Asian American Literature” and “Words Matter”; and served as a co-editor of “The Heath Anthology of American Literature.” She wrote the introduction to Hisaye Yamamoto Desoto’s “Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories.”
Her research has been honored by fellowships from the ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies), Mellon Foundation, Fulbright Program, and Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.
Cheung has been active in the Asian American Studies Center since joining the UCLA faculty in addition to her service to the departments of English and Asian American Studies. She launched the team-taught GE (general education) cluster entitled “Interracial Dynamics in American Law, History, and Culture” over a decade ago; the cluster is now a staple of UCLA’s GE offerings.
Moreover, she recently served as director of the University of California EAP Study Center in Beijing (2008-2010).
She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.
The level of support for Cheung’s nomination was exceptional, and one of the letters stated: “In the interdisciplinary field of Asian American studies, she is arguably a ‘titan,’ having earned an honorable reputation that any aspiring and established scholar would envy. Nevertheless she maintains humility, appreciating the value of student input as well as the importance of a dialogical, rather than directive, pedagogy.”
In addition, a student commented, “Not only invested in cultivating a sense of camaraderie among younger scholars, Professor Cheung also works hard to facilitate links among scholars, artists, and activists in the field. She consistently invites fellow academics and writers of interest into the classroom so that we may dialogue directly with those who have produced the texts we are currently studying.”
Another letter-writer said, “She is a great teacher in the deepest sense possible. Most undergraduates will not pursue graduate school. Many graduate students may pursue non-academic careers. Thus, a great teacher is someone who not only imparts lessons in the classroom, but also lessons in life.”
The late C. Doris Hoshide, Class of 1934, of Rockville, Md., established the teaching prize to recognize an outstanding professor in Asian American studies. She and her husband were longtime supporters of Asian American studies at UCLA. The prize includes a $1,000 award.