UCL English


Dr Christine (Xine) Yao


Email: christine.yao@ucl.ac.uk
External phone: 020 7679 3121
Internal phone: 33121
Office: Foster Court 249


Dr. Christine 'Xine' Yao

Education and Experience 

Christine “Xine” Yao hails from Toronto, Canada. She joined UCL in 2018 as Lecturer in American Literature in English to 1900. She held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of British Columbia (2016-2018). In 2016 Xine acted as PhD Marshal for her graduation from Cornell University where she completed her PhD in English with minors in American Studies and Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her MA is from Dalhousie University and her BA Honours is from the University of Toronto, Trinity College where she earned the Chancellor’s Gold Medal in the Arts. Her PhD and MA research received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

She is the co-host of PhDivas, a podcast about academia, culture, and social justice across the STEM/humanities divide. Xine is the founding chair of the podcast initiative for C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. You can find these podcasts on iTunes.


Recent Awards 

  • 2019 UCL Student Choice Teaching Award for Diverse and Inclusive Education
  • 2019 UCL Grand Challenges Grant, Theme: Embedded InequalitiesCollaborative Project: “Trans Studies, Trans Lives: Past, Present, and Future” symposium bringing together interdisciplinary trans studies research and the lived experiences along with creative work from the UCL trans community. Co-organizers: Dr. Ella Metcalfe (Maths and Physical Sciences), Dr. Ezra Horbury (English)
  • 2019-2020 Targeted Research Panel Grant, British Association of American Studies“Definitions Toward Solidarity: BAME Americanists in the UK and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies,” 2 year collaboration co-organized with Dr. Christine Okoth (Warwick)
  • 2018 Yasuo Sakakibara Essay Prize from the American Studies Association for best paper by an international scholar at the annual conference. "(Un)Sympathetic Babo: Blackness, Science, and the Sympathetic Politics of Recognition." 

Research Interests

Xine’s primary research focuses on early and nineteenth-century American literature through affect theory, critical race and ethnic studies, and feminist and queer of colour theory. Her first book Disaffected: The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling in Nineteenth-Century America is under contract with Duke University Press in the Perverse Modernities series.

Her interests include histories of science and law, literatures in English from the Black and Asian diasporas, science fiction, the Gothic, comics/graphic novels, and digital humanities. Xine’s recent publications explore solidarity and comparative racialization between Black, Asian, and Indigenous peoples.



“#staywoke: Digital Engagement and Literacies in Anti-Racist Pedagogy.” American Quarterly. Special issue: Toward a Critically Engaged Digital Practice. 70.3 (2018). 439-454. Finalist for the American Studies Association's 2019 Constance M. Rourke Prize for best article in American Quarterly.

“Black-Asian Counterintimacies: Reading Sui Sin Far in Jamaica.” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. 6.1 (2018). 197-202.

“Black, Red, and Yellow: Cross-Racial Coalitions and Conflicts in the Early African American Scientific Imagination.” Occasion: Interdisciplinary Humanities Journal, ARCADE @ Stanford. Special Issue: “Biologism and Identity.” Eds. David Palumbo-Liu and Jenny Wills. 11 (2018): 1-11.

 “Visualizing Race Science in Benito Cereno.” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. 3.1 (2015): 130-137.


Chapters in Books

“Gothic Monstrosity: Charles Brockden Brown’s Edgar Huntly and the Trope of the Bestial Indian.” American Gothic Culture: An Edinburgh Companion. Eds. Joel Faflak and Jason Haslam. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2015. 25-43.

Babo’s Skull, Aranda’s Skeleton: Visualizing the Sentimentality of Race Science in Benito Cereno.” The Geometry of Race and Vision in the Nineteenth-Century United States. Ed. Shirley Samuels. Lexington Books, under advance contract.

“Fem(me) Science: Queer Erasure and the Politics of Dress in Nineteenth Century America.” Gender in American Literature and Culture. Eds. Jennifer Harris and Jean Lutes. Cambridge University Press, under contract.

Reviews and Introductions

“From Necessity to Nuance: How Edith Maude Eaton Became Sui Sin Far, a Case Study.” Review of Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism, and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton, edited by Mary Chapman, in Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life 18.2 (2018): ~1500 words.

“Life as a Feminist Academic.” Review of Erin Wunker, Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life, Canadian Literature 232 (Spring 2017): 177-178.

“Sodomy and Settler Colonialism: Early American Original Sins.” Introduction to Samuel Danforth’s The Cry of Sodom Enquired Into; Upon Occasion of the Arraignment and Commendation of Benjamin Goad, for His Prodigious Villany (1674), Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life 17.3 (2017): ~500 words.

Review of Mel Y. Chen, Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect. College Literature. 41.3 (2014): 149-151.