Pembroke Center

Ashley Dun

Ph.D. Candidate in English, differences proctor


Ashley Aye Aye Dun is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of English. She holds a bachelor’s in English and writing from Drury University, and a master’s in English from New York University. Her dissertation explores contemporary American literature authored by members of the Myanmar diaspora in the U.S.; within Asian American literary studies, some of this literature is also analyzed as “Burmese American Literature.” In the project, she deconstructs “Burmese American Literature” as a literary formation, as well as deconstructing the term “Burmese American” itself. She seeks to critically orient the chosen texts and questions of ethnicity specific to Myanmar and its diaspora within broader frameworks of Asian American literary study. Her dissertation argues that these texts interrogate certain corporeal terms of ethnic identity, or “Burmese-ness,” confronting essentialisms that are relevant in, and ultimately beyond, a Myanmar and Myanmar diasporic context. These texts highlight the dominating pressures of representation, which manifest themselves through scenes of the constricted body. Moreover, the project as a whole looks at how these texts interrogate, inhabit, and enflesh the “slash” between constructions of “Burma” and “Myanmar” within their brutal aesthetic worlds, along with a larger U.S. cultural and political imaginary.