Lilika Ioki Kukiela

PhD Candidate


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Comparative Racialization
  • Asian American Studies
  • Multiethnic American Literature


My dissertation examines how Japan comes to function as a not-quite-not-white neocolonial subject of the United States in the postwar period and a not-quite-not-brown Asian American racial category of political ambivalence in the archive of multiethnic American literature and culture. By engaging with theories of brownness and the study of comparative racialization, I argue that Japan is made an “honorary brown” figure for people of color instead of a utopic “brown” subject of interracial relation because of Japan’s legacies of imperialism and its postwar allyship with the U.S.

List of Publications

  • Book Review: Kyle Wanberg, Maps of Empire: A Topography of World Literature. University of Toronto Quarterly, vol. 91, no. 3, 2022, pp. 415-416.