Bookshelf / Interviews

Anne Levitsky in conversation with Denise Cruz about Mandarin Brazil


New Books at the Heyman Center: a podcast featuring audio from events at Columbia University, and interviews with the speakers and authors. The Heyman Center is Columbia University's central site for the Humanities.

Professor Denise Cruz uses spatial and geographic formations (from the transpacific, to the regional, to the Global South) to examine previously unstudied archives (from the first works of English literature by Filipina and Filipino authors, to private papers that document connections between the Midwest and U. S. empire, to fashion shows in Manila). She contends that this combined analytical and archival approach extends our understanding of the importance of national, regional, transnational, and global dynamics in North America, the Philippines, and Asia. As a feminist scholar, she is especially interested in examining how these interactions have historically impacted and continue to influence constructions of gender and sexuality. Her first book, Transpacific Femininities: The Making of the Modern Filipina, received an honorable mention for the best book in Literary Studies (Association for Asian American Studies). Transpacific Femininities analyzed connections between the rise of Philippine print culture in English and the emergence of new classes of transpacific women from the early to the mid- twentieth century. The book argues that this period was dominated by a fascination with transpacific Asian women—figures who were connected to both nationalist movements in Asia and the global women’s suffrage movement. A Ford Foundation predoctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral fellow, she is the editor of Yay Panlilio’s The Crucible: The Autobiography of Colonel Yay, Filipina American Guerrilla and has published essays in American Literature, American Quarterly, American Literary History, PMLA, the Journal of Asian American Studies, Modern Fiction Studies, and several edited collections. Professor Cruz is currently working on two book projects: a study of Philippine fashion and its connections to the Global South (funded by a multi-year Insight Grant from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), and an analysis of the importance of regions and regionalism to Asian America. Before arriving at Columbia, she taught in the departments of English at the University of Toronto and English and American Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. Fueled by her research, her courses complicate the geographic, chronological, and disciplinary parameters that shape the study of gender, sexuality, and the global in twentieth and twenty-first century American, Asian North American, ethnic American, and Philippine literature and culture.

Anne Adele Levitsky is a scholar and musician living in New York City. She is a graduate of Stanford University and earned her PhD in Historical Musicology from Columbia University in May 2018. She is a Lecturer at Columbia for the 2018-2019 academic year, and has also taught at Stony Brook University. As an academic, she is interested in medieval vernacular song and Old French and Occitan poetry and narrative literature. Her dissertation investigates the relationship between song, the act of singing, and the making of personhood in the medieval vernacular lyric poetry of the troubadours, offering a thorough study of the genesis of the relationship between songs and bodies and suggesting a new interpretation of the ways in which a song’s body demonstrates the fluidity of bodily and gender boundaries during the 12th and 13th centuries. She supplements this academic interest in vernacular song with a love of performance, and has studied  and performed lyric poetry with the Narbonne-based Troubadours Art Ensemble, and recorded troubadour and trouvère songs both with the group and as a soloist.

Last Updated 6 months ago