Skip to main content

Viola Bao

Home Department: English

Viola Bao (she/they) is a PhD student in Comparative Literary Studies and a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship and the Mellon Fellowship in the Poetry and Poetics cluster. Her work focuses on the political and poetic histories of Asian and African diasporas, especially in networks of Pan-Africanism, transnational solidarity movements, and the New Left of the 60s and 70s. At the intersection of multiple sites, her research draws on Marxist frameworks of political economy and uneven development, aesthetic theory, and decolonial thought to explore ideas of cultural revolution and cultivation via the global circulation of Maoism. One of her side projects focuses on family abolition and the international division of social reproductive and sexual labour through the 20th century practice of transnational adoption, with particular attention to the politics and poetics of return, repair, and expansive forms of kinship in the work of Korean and Chinese adoptee writers and artists. Together with Anna Zalakostas and Professors Kalyan Nadiminti and Harris Feinsod, she co-organizes the Workshop in Transnational Cultural History at Northwestern. She has also translated Maggie Nelson's poetry collection Bluets into Swedish. Before coming to Northwestern, she worked as a journalist and writer and is still a regular contributor and literary critic at Scandinavia's largest morning daily, Dagens Nyheter. 
Back to top