Chad Shomura Picture
Assistant Professor
Political Science

Expertise Areas: Affect; Ordinary Life; Biopolitics; New Materialisms and Vitalisms; The Human; Ecology; Intimacy; Queer Theory and Queer of Color Critique; Asian American Studies; Settler Colonialism; Hawaiʻi

PhD, Johns Hopkins University
BA, MA, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

I received my BA and MA from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and my PhD from the Johns Hopkins University. My research and teaching in political theory have examined affect, ordinary life, and uneven conditions of living and dying through fields such as gender, sexuality, and American studies.

I am working on two major research projects. My book-in-progress, The Bad Good Life, elaborates how the good life propagated by dominant formations of race, sexuality, and nation inhibits social change in the United States. The book confronts this predicament by developing forms of political action that unsettle the affective and social infrastructure of the good life and pursue alternative modes of living and being. The second project explores how the Anthropocene disturbs prevalent notions of the human, life, and time. It imagines forms of care that cross boundaries of race, gender, sexuality, nation, and species.

Recently, I have developed my research into two interactive art concepts. The Corner of Heart-to-Hearts fosters raw conversation between strangers about deeply personal matters. Message in a Plastic Bottle connects people across space and time in an age of wasteful consumption and ecological crises. Both concepts were commissioned by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center for its culture labs on imagined futures and convergence.

Based on my research, I have designed courses on the poetics and politics of intimacy, political depression, and impasses. Students undertake an interdisciplinary, multi-genre study of political life by engaging scholarship alongside literature and the arts. I hope that, through analytical and creative projects, they will produce knowledge that makes a difference to their lives.

"Exploring the Promise of New Materialisms." Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association Vol. 5, No. 1 (2017)

"New Humanisms." Review essay of Rachel C. Lee, The Exquisite Corpse of Asian America: Biopolitics, Biosociality, and Posthuman Ecologies and Alexander G. Weheliye, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human in Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences Vol. 25, No. 1-2 (2016)

"Chadcat's Corner of Heart-to-Hearts: A Public Feelings Project." The Asian American Literary Review Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)

American Political Thought
Modern Political Thought
Gender and Politics