Department of English

Kiran Lam-Saili

M.A. Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto, 2016., B.A. (H) English and Philosophy, York University, 2015.
Research Interests Asian American Studies, African American Studies and the Black Atlantic, Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Literary and Cultural Theory, Race and Ethnicity, Transatlantic Studies, 20th-Century and Contemporary, Psychoanalysis, Queer of Color Critique, Poetry and Poetics, Queer Theory/Gay and Lesbian Studies, Psychoanalysis, Affect Theory, Film


Kiran Lam-Saili is a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English. She holds a B.A. in philosophy from York University, an M.A. in women and gender studies from the University of Toronto, and is currently a graduate fellow at the Cogut Institute for the Humanities for the 2022-2023 academic year. Her dissertation aims at a study of diaspora that is attentive to the disparate afterlives of U.S. empire at the same time that it focuses on the more ephemeral, non-cathartic feelings and affectual registers that shape such subjects’ shared apprehension of “diasporic life” in the first instance. Studying predominately late 20th– 21st-century feminist/queer Asian American and black/queer feminist theory and expressive cultures, her project examines the affective range of contemporary diasporic life that goes unaccounted for under conventional large-scale models such as resistance vs. assimilation and redemption vs. loss. Given how hastily outwardly “non-political” feelings and their oft-female/queer owners find themselves marshaled under such latter terms, this dissertation studies the relationship between affect, aesthetics, and politics to argue for a more careful study of the “weak” forms of feeling considered too passive to do political work.