Funie Hsu, Ph.D.
Funie Hsu (she/they) is a transdisciplinary scholar whose work melds American Studies, Asian American Studies, Education, Buddhist Studies, and other fields to examine US empire and knowledge construction. Hsu is currently Associate Professor of American Studies at San José State University and was a former University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Davis. She received a Ph.D. in Education with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality (UC Berkeley); an Ed.M. in Education (Harvard); and a B.A. in Asian American Studies (UC Davis). Prior to her academic career, she was an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles Unified.
Hsu's research interests reflect her experiences as a former public school teacher; her background as an immigrant from a low-income, multilingual (Taiwanese Hokkien, Hakka, Mandarin, English) family; and her Buddhist upbringing. Her first book, Instructions for (Erasing) Empire: English, Domestication, and the US Colonization of the Philippines (under contract), demonstrates how English language instruction served to erase the violent reality of US occupation. Drawing from American Studies, Asian American Studies, History, Education, Language Policy, and Animal Studies, this work details how notions of race and species difference undergirded the colonial policy of English instruction in the Philippines. Hsu's second book project examines the growth of secular mindfulness in schools in relation to race, religion and neoliberalism. This work is sponsored in part by a Spencer Foundation grant.
Her articles and essays have appeared in American Quarterly, Educational Studies, CATESOL, Journal of Global Buddhism, L2 Journal, Rondo, The Progressive, Lion's Roar, Buddhadharma, Turning Wheel, Huffpost.com, and elsewhere. She is a co-organizer of May We Gather, a national Buddhist memorial ceremony for Asian American ancestors.