Fiona Ngô is an Associate Professor in Asian American Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in 20th-century transnational U.S. cultural and intellectual history with particular attention to music and aesthetic cultures. Her first book, Imperial Blues published in February 2014 by Duke University Press, focuses on the role of imperialism in shaping the gendered, racial, and sexual logics of Jazz Age New York. With Elizabeth Stinson, she is has co-edited a special issue of Women & Performance called “Punk Anteriors” (October 2012), to which she has contributed an article titled “Punk in the Shadow of War,” which takes on Los Angeles’s early punk scene through the lenses of space, violence, political economy, imperialism, and racial formation in the critical years following the official end of war in Viet Nam. She has also co-edited a special issue of positions on “Southeast Asian Diaspora” (Summer 2012) with Mimi Thi Nguyen and Mariam Lam, and published an article called “Sense and Subjectivity” concerning the figure of the Cambodian refugee in camera obscura (May 2011). She is currently at work on a book tentatively titled Structures of Sense, which focuses on Southeast Asian American art practices, disability, welfare, and queer immigration. When not teaching or writing, Dr. Ngô writes songs and collaborates in an as-of-yet-unnamed music project with Alice Bag, Osa Atoe, and Robert Martinez.
How It Feels to Be Free traces both the idea of “the Black Revolutionary” and the lived experiences of actual revolutionaries — particularly the revolutionary performances of Black women entertainers....