Woman with medium length black hair wearing a black and red dress smiling

Position Title
Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

1219 Hart Hall

Ava L.J. Kim is an Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at the University of California, Davis. She previously held the 2022-2023 Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Trans Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Ava completed her PhD in English at the University of Pennsylvania and her BA in Creative Writing at Macalester College. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Studies, TSQRadical History Review's "The Abusable Past," and the edited collection, About Face: Stonewall, Revolt, and New Queer Art

Ava is a scholar of trans studies, postcolonial studies, 20th century literature, and comparative race. Her book-in-progress, Still / Life: Trans Genre and the Politics of Anti-Developmentanalyzes two seemingly disparate uses of “transition": first, to describe a person’s shift from one gender to another, and second, to narrate a nation’s political change through key terms like “democratization” and “development.” Taking case studies from Argentina, Chile, the Philippines, and Vietnam, Still / Life argues that these invocations of transition form a unified history of state management from the 1970s to the present, masking neoliberal violence and promoting one “proper” path to prosperity for both individuals and nations.