Lisa Lowe to join faculty as Samuel Knight Professor of American Studies

Professor Lisa Lowe
Lisa Lowe

Lisa Lowe, who will begin her appointment in January 2019 as the Samuel Knight Professor of American studies, focuses her research and teaching on literatures and cultures that emerge from histories of colonialism, migration, and globalization.

Lowe comes to Yale from Tufts University, where since 2016 she has been Distinguished Professor of English and Humanities and director of the Center for Humanities. She joined the Tufts faculty in 2012, after several decades at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD). While at UCSD, she served at many levels of university governance, from chairing the Department of Literature in 1998-2002, to serving on the editorial committee of the University of California Press in 1995-2000, and chairing the Board of Governors of the University of California Humanities Research Institute in 2002-2005. During the 2007-2008 academic year, she was a visiting professor of American studies at Yale.

Lowe is the author or co-author of four books whose topics range from the literatures of French and British colonialisms, Asian immigration to the United States, and international debates on the concept of culture. The most recent of her monographs, “The Intimacies of Four Continents” (2015) — a study of cultural, economic, and political links between Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas in the 18th and 19th centuries — was a finalist for the 2016 John Hope Franklin Award of the American Studies Association and received the 2018 Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association. Her other books are “The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital” (with David Lloyd); “Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics,” which won the 1997 Book Award in Cultural Studies from the Association for Asian American Studies; and “Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms.” She is currently at work on a book “Metaphors of Globalization,” which will be published by Duke University Press. Lowe has also written numerous essays, articles, and book reviews.

A graduate of Stanford University, where she studied European intellectual history, Lowe earned her Ph.D. in literature at the University of California-Santa Cruz. While on the faculty at UCSD, she received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, and was awarded the Chancellor’s Associates Excellence Award in Graduating Teaching. Her other honors include being selected as the Visiting Fellow at the School of Advanced Studies at the University of London, and the F. Ross Johnson-Connaught Distinguished Visitor at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs in 2012. As Director of the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University, she convened a Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Comparative Global Humanities in 2016-2017. Lowe has been an invited lecturer, guest scholar, or keynote speaker at universities throughout the United States and abroad.

Lowe was associate editor of American Quarterly in 2006-2010, and has served on the editorial boards of American Literature, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Journal of Asian American Studies, and other journals. She is co-editor of the Duke University Press book series “Perverse Modernities,” among other academic and professional involvements.