Erin O'Malley

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20202021 Forum on Choice

Erin O'Malley

Comparative Literature and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Erin O'Malley is a senior majoring in Comparative Literature and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and minoring in Asian American Studies and Creative Writing. They are a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, Wolf Humanities Center Fellow, and an Asian American Studies Fellow. Their research puts the depiction of Asians as aliens in early 20th-century science fiction comics in conversation with the immigration term "alien." Their writing appears or is forthcoming in lighght journal, wildness, Redivider, and others.

The Asian/Alien in American Legal Policy and Science Fiction

This project aims to draw attention to the relationship between Asian identity and American immigration policy by putting the legal term “alien” in conversation with depictions of Asian immigrants as aliens in science fiction. Drawing from historical, literary, and archival research, this project will identify the ways in which Chinese and Japanese immigrants were constructed as aliens in both the eyes of the law in science fiction. By returning to the origins of American immigration exclusion of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, I will trace how the legal and science fiction alien came to be othered and racialized.