Nozomi (Nakaganeku) Saito, Ph.D. 2023, Accepts Tenure-Track Position at Amherst College

Nozomi (Nakaganeku) Saito headshot

This July Nozomi (Nakaganeku) Saito, Ph.D. in Critical and Cultural Studies, will join the faculty of the English Department at Amherst College as a Postdoctoral Fellow/Visiting Assistant Professor. In July 2024, she will become an Assistant Professor of Asian and Pacific American Literature.

In May Nozomi defended her dissertation “Aftermaths of Empires: Cold War Narratives of the Black Pacific.” Her project examines the racial logics of US militarism and Japanese and European settler colonialisms in the making of Cold War security. Reading works by Pacific Islander poets Teresia Teaiwa and Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, Black feminist writers Audre Lorde, June Jordan, and Toni Cade Bambara, Asian American fiction by Nora Okja Keller and Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Okinawan author Kishaba Jun, the project shows how narratives of the Black Pacific track the protracted aftermaths of securitization while also articulating alternative visions of futurity, cross-racial solidarities, and relations to land. The dissertation also incorporates research from Nozomi’s fieldwork in Okinawa funded at different stages by a Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship in 2022-23, a Japan Studies Research Grant from the Asian Studies Center, and a Mitsubishi Foundation fellowship in 2021-2022.

Nozomi’s scholarship has appeared in American Quarterly and is under consideration with Journal of Asian American Studies and Amerasia Journal. While at the University of Pittsburgh, she taught several undergraduate courses, from Words and Images and The Short Story to Seminar in Composition and Imagining Social Justice.

Nozomi comments on her time in our graduate program and her upcoming move to Amherst College: “The openness of the curriculum in Pitt’s Critical and Cultural Studies program allowed me to write an interdisciplinary dissertation that not only is meaningful to my experiences as a woman of color and Okinawan-Japanese scholar but also positions my scholarship as a unique contribution to Asian American, Okinawan, and military studies. I’m excited to bring these experiences to Amherst College and help develop their Asian and Pacific American studies program.” 

Congratulations, Nozomi!