Cheryl Narumi Naruse (nah-roo-seh) is Assistant Professor of English and the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of the Humanities at Tulane University. Her research and teaching interests include contemporary Anglophone literatures and cultures (particularly those from Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands), diasporic Asian and Asian American literature, postcolonial theory, cultures of capitalism, and genre studies. Recent courses she has taught include “Literatures of Tourism,” “Race, Empires, and Asian America,” “Asian Diasporic Literature,” “Love and Capitalism,” “Postcolonial and Diasporic Southeast Asian Literature,” “Literary Investigations,” and “Postcolonial Theory.” In 2022, she was awarded a Faculty Appreciation Award by the Graduate Studies Student Association for excellence in mentoring and teaching.
Through readings of contemporary literature and state-sponsored cultural productions from Singapore, Naruse’s first book, Becoming Global Asia: Contemporary Genres of Postcolonial Capitalism in Singapore (UC Press, 2023), analyzes the dynamics of Global Asia—an alluring location ideal for economic flourishing—in the context of Singapore’s cultural history of “postcolonial capitalism.” In doing so, it offers new conceptual paradigms for understanding postcolonialism, neoliberalism, and empire. Other current projects include a co-edited volume with Joanne Leow and Alfian Sa'at, Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Singapore, a subversive travel guide that undoes the touristic fantasy of Singapore as a glossy, highly modernized playground for the rich. She is also at work on a second monograph, Cold Southeast Asia: Reading Postcolonial Singapore/Malaysia in Asian America, which explores the illegibility of Singapore/Malaysia—as the comparatively “cold” Southeast nations in the context of the Vietnam War—in Asian American and postcolonial studies.
Naruse’s publications include articles in biography, Genre, and Verge: Studies in Global Asias as well as chapters in The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Economics and Singapore Literature and Culture: Current Directions in Local and Global Contexts. She has also co-edited a number of special issues: "Literature and Postcolonial Capitalism" for ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature; a Periscope dossier “Global Asia: Critical Aesthetics and Alternative Globalities” for Social Text Online; and "Singapore at 50: At the Intersections of Neoliberal Globalization and Postcoloniality" for Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.
Naruse earned her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, with a certificate in International Cultural Studies from the East-West Center. Her research has been supported by a postdoctoral fellowship with the Global Asia research cluster at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (2015-16). For the MLA, Naruse served as the inaugural chair of the Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian Diasporic Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Forum (2018-19). As former chair of the MLA Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee (2018-19), she led the Delegate Assembly through a discussion on power differentials in graduate education. Naruse has also served as a consultant reader for ARIEL and as the Southeast Asia section editor for Oxford's Year's Work in English Studies.