Bio


Roberta Wolfson is a Lecturer in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, where she teaches courses on the role of language and narrative in movements for racial and social justice. Her research focuses on twentieth- and twenty-first century multiethnic U.S. literatures, risk and security studies, comparative ethnic studies, and critical mixed race studies.

She grew up in San Jose, California and earned her B.A in English with a Chinese minor from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she served as a peer tutor and tutor supervisor in the Undergraduate Writing Center (formerly the Covel Tutorials Composition/ESL Lab). She then headed back up the California coast to earn her M.A. and Ph.D. in English along with a Ph.D. Certificate in College and University Teaching from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she taught in both the Department of English and the Writing Program.

Prior to coming to Stanford, she held an appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she taught courses on Asian American, African American, Muslim American, and mixed race U.S. literatures. She is currently working on a book project that considers how writers of color use antiracist narrative to challenge the violence of the contemporary U.S. security state.

Academic Appointments


  • Lecturer, Writing and Rhetoric Studies

Honors & Awards


  • Modern Language Association International Bibliography Fellowship, Modern Language Association (2019-2020)
  • Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities Grant, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (2018-2020)
  • College of Liberal Arts Summer Research Grant, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (2019)
  • American Cultures and Global Contexts Center Graduate Fellowship, University of California, Santa Barbara (2014-2015)
  • Graduate Division Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant, University of California, Santa Barbara (2014)
  • Chicano Studies Institute Dissertation Research Grant, University of California, Santa Barbara (2014)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Board Member Volunteer, Asian Staff Forum, Stanford University (2021 - Present)
  • Co-Chair, Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Faculty and Staff Association, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (2019 - 2020)
  • Secretary, Critical Mixed Race Studies Caucus, Association for Asian American Studies (2019 - Present)
  • Advisory Board Member, Circle of Asian American Literary Studies (2018 - Present)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, English (2017)
  • Ph.D. Certificate, University of California, Santa Barbara, College and University Teaching (2017)
  • M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, English (2012)
  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, English with a creative writing emphasis and Chinese minor (2009)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


20th and 21st Century Multiethnic U.S. Literatures, Comparative Ethnic Studies, Critical Mixed Race Studies, Racial and Social Justice, Ethnofuturist Speculative Fiction, Popular U.S. Culture, Risk and Security Studies

All Publications