Melissa Phruksachart (prook-sa-shart) arrived at NYU through the Postdoctoral and Transition Program for Academic Diversity and is an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow in the Department of Cinema Studies. Her intellectual interests combine Cold War U.S. media and literary cultures; histories and theories of U.S. racial formation; women and queer of color critique; and Asian American cultural studies.
Her current research focuses on economies of Asian racialized labor in American media industries. In particular, she is interested in rethinking common claims about Asian American absence in U.S. media by working with counter-archives that highlight the liminal, yet abundant, presence of Asian-raced bodies circulating in the context of the civil rights movement, Cold War geopolitics, and the liberalization of U.S. immigration policies. She is revising her dissertation, “Cherry Blossoms in Bryant Park: Mediating Asiatic Racialization on Cold War U.S. Television, 1957-1964,” into a book manuscript that uses television as an archive to apprehend how racial knowledges about Asians and Asian Americans were produced after World War II and prior to the 1965 Immigration Act, a period in which both the television industry and Asian American communities rapidly established themselves in California.
Her work is can be found or is forthcoming in Amerasia Journal, the Journal of Asian American Studies, the Journal of American Culture, Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture, and In Media Res.
B.A., Swarthmore College
Ph.D., CUNY Graduate Center