Karen Shimakawa

Associate Professor


Karen Shimakawa is the author of National Abjection: The Asian American Body Onstage (2003) and co-editor of Orientations: Mapping Studies in the Asian Diaspora (2001) with Kandice Chuh.  Her research and teaching focus on critical race theory, law and performance, and Asian American performance.  She is currently researching a project on the political and ethical performativity of discomfort.


University of Washington

PhD 1995 - English Literature

Seattle, Washington


University of Virginia

Master of Arts 1991 - English Literature

Charlottesville, Virginia


University of California, Hastings College of the Law

JD 1989

San Francisco, California


University of California - Berkeley

Bachelor of Arts 1986 - English Literature

Berkeley, California


Specialized Areas of Research

• Critical race theory

• law and performance

• Asian American performance


Awards & Distinctions

• David Payne Carter Award for Teaching Excellence, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, 2007

• Fulbright Lecturer (Japan), 2006-2007

• University of California Humanities Research Institute, Convener/Fellow, 2002

• Rockefeller/Ford Writers Fellow, Asian Pacific Performance Exchange, 1999

• U.C. Davis Humanities Institute Fellow, 1999

• Robert Penn Warren Humanities Center Fellow, 1996-1997