Christopher Santiago portrait

Christopher Santiago

Assistant Professor of English
Degree
Ph.D., University of Southern California
M.A., University of Southern California
B.A., Oberlin College
B.M., Oberlin College
At St. Thomas since 2015
Office
JRC 354
Hours
(Fall 2017) W 11:00am-12:00pm; R 8:45-9:45am; also by appointment
Phone
(651) 962-5609

“The universe is made of stories,
not of atoms.”

—    Muriel Rukeyser

I love words—on the page, on the screen, or in the ear. As a writer, teacher, and scholar, I never get tired of thinking about how words work, and I hope to get my students as excited about them as I am. This might mean listening to Beethoven’s late quartets to think about musical form in T. S. Eliot; it might also mean reading snarky blogs to consider the crafting of persona in T. S. 1989. In my research, I read the work of displaced writers and listen for echoes of the homes they’ve left behind. Sometimes these take the form of wordplay, as in the lyrics of the Sri Lankan/British rapper M.I.A.; at other times they take the form of soundscapes or invented languages. My dissertation, which I completed with generous support from The Mellon Foundation/ACLS, focused on writers of Asian diasporas, including Yoko Tawada and Jessica Hagedorn. I’ve found the “sonic” or “sound culture” approach, however, to be incredibly productive for reading the work of writers as diverse as Junot Diáz, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Harryette Mullens, Vladimir Nabokov, and William Shakespeare. My first novel, Arkipelagos, weaves together noir, speculative fiction, and postcolonial studies, and is set on a fictional island nation fraught with fake tribes, drunken expats, and fanatical proponents of artificial intelligence. You can find some of my poems, stories, and nonfiction in FIELD, Pleiades, Revolver, The Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere.

Fall 2017 Courses

Fall 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 121 - W30 Critical Thinking: Lit/Writing - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 MHC 204
CRN: 40963 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Christopher S. Santiago Students will read and write about literary texts critically and closely. The course emphasizes recursive reading and writing processes that encourage students to discover, explain, question and clarify ideas. To this end, students will study a variety of genres as well as terms and concepts helpful to close analysis of those genres. They will practice various forms of writing for specific audiences and purposes. Students will reflect on and develop critical awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses as readers and writers. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 12 pages of formal revised writing.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 121 - W32 Critical Thinking: Lit/Writing - T - R - - - 0955 - 1135 OSS LL18
CRN: 40986 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Christopher S. Santiago Students will read and write about literary texts critically and closely. The course emphasizes recursive reading and writing processes that encourage students to discover, explain, question and clarify ideas. To this end, students will study a variety of genres as well as terms and concepts helpful to close analysis of those genres. They will practice various forms of writing for specific audiences and purposes. Students will reflect on and develop critical awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses as readers and writers. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 12 pages of formal revised writing.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 322 - W01 Writing Fiction - T - R - - - 1525 - 1700 JRC 481
CRN: 40092 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Christopher S. Santiago This intermediate course explores traditional and innovative patterns of fiction writing. Emphasis on experimentation with a variety of techniques and development of individual voice. This course will include critique sessions, readings to broaden possibilities of form and subject, and individual instruction. This course fulfills the Genre Study requirement in the English major. Prerequisite: ENGL 255 or permission of instructor.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2018 Courses

J-Term 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2018 Courses

Spring 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 203 - W14 Gangsters, Geeks, and Spies - T - R - - - 0955 - 1135 JRC 246
CRN: 21723 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Christopher S. Santiago This course explores stories, poems, music, and other forms of media that explode myths about Asian & Asian This course explores fiction, music, poetry, video games, graphic novels, and other forms of media that explode myths about Asian & Asian American culture. We’ll meet Amadeus Cho, a teenaged genius who also happens to be the next Incredible Hulk, and Maika Halfwolf, the steampunk heroine of the Image comic MONSTRESS. We’ll read FRESH OFF THE BOAT, the memoir of a one-time thug who conquers the foodie world, and play BUTTERFLY SOUP, an interactive game about four queer girls in the Bay Area who to happen to love baseball and each other. We’ll unpack hip-hop lyrics by M.I.A., and crack the cultural codes in the standup comedy of Ali Wong and in Aziz Ansari’s Emmy Award-winning MASTER OF NONE. And we’ll decipher the testimony of the captain in the best-selling novel THE SYMPATHIZER, an ex-soldier who describes himself as “a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces.” The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 203 - W17 Gangsters, Geeks, and Spies - T - R - - - 1525 - 1700 MHC 210
CRN: 22265 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Christopher S. Santiago This course explores stories, poems, music, and other forms of media that explode myths about Asian & Asian This course explores fiction, music, poetry, video games, graphic novels, and other forms of media that explode myths about Asian & Asian American culture. We’ll meet Amadeus Cho, a teenaged genius who also happens to be the next Incredible Hulk, and Maika Halfwolf, the steampunk heroine of the Image comic MONSTRESS. We’ll read FRESH OFF THE BOAT, the memoir of a one-time thug who conquers the foodie world, and play BUTTERFLY SOUP, an interactive game about four queer girls in the Bay Area who to happen to love baseball and each other. We’ll unpack hip-hop lyrics by M.I.A., and crack the cultural codes in the standup comedy of Ali Wong and in Aziz Ansari’s Emmy Award-winning MASTER OF NONE. And we’ll decipher the testimony of the captain in the best-selling novel THE SYMPATHIZER, an ex-soldier who describes himself as “a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces.” The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 337 - L01 Voyages: Trans-Pacific Lit - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 MHC 210
CRN: 21702 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Christopher S. Santiago The Polynesian exploration of the Pacific, popularized in such films as MOANA and WHALE RIDER, has been called “the greatest human adventure story of all time.” Guided by the night sky, Polynesian voyagers navigated thousands of miles in Hōkūleʻa canoes, finding small islands in the middle of the largest ocean on Earth. Our voyage begins with poet Craig Santos Perez, who blends ecological, ethnographic, and epic modes in linking these Polynesian ancestors to the people of his native Guam and to his current home, Hawai’i. We will read the work of Kao Kalia Yang and Viet Nguyen, as we explore the stories of immigrants, refugees, picture brides, soldiers, and indigenous people who cross and re-cross the Pacific, many of them displaced by American intervention in Korea, the Philippines, Laos, and Vietnam. We will read these stories in terms of the transnational movement of people and ideas between Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the United States, stories of creation, birth, migration, environmental catastrophe, and the hope for a sustainable future. This course satisfies the core Human Diversity requirement and the English major diversity distribution requirement; it also counts as a Contexts and Convergences course for English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)