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
(Spring 2018) R 12:00-1:00pm; F 11:00am-12:00pm; 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.

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

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

0955 - 1135

Location:

JRC 246

Course Registration Number:

21723 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

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

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1525 - 1700

Location:

MHC 210

Course Registration Number:

22265 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

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

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1330 - 1510

Location:

MHC 210

Course Registration Number:

21702 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

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)

Summer 2018 Courses

Summer 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2018 Courses

Fall 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 203 - W21 Sci-Fi/Literary Worldbuilding - T - R - - - 0955 - 1135 OEC 209

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

0955 - 1135

Location:

OEC 209

Course Registration Number:

42532 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Christopher S. Santiago

We will explore stories that engage in explicit acts of worldbuilding, a term first used to describe science fiction and fantasy writers' invention of languages, geographies, cultures, histories, and mythologies. We will focus on worldbuilding as it applies to writers of multiple genres, including both "literary" fiction and "genre" fiction. Along the way, we will begin to address questions raised by authors who engage in worldbuilding, such as: why diverge from the "real world" in the first place? Is there an ethical price that must be paid in order to imagine a new society? Should worldbuilding be seen as a useful tool for social critique, or is it at heart a practice of escapist entertainment? 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 - W23 Sci-Fi/Literary Worldbuilding - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 OEC 206

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1330 - 1510

Location:

OEC 206

Course Registration Number:

42534 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Christopher S. Santiago

We will explore stories that engage in explicit acts of worldbuilding, a term first used to describe science fiction and fantasy writers' invention of languages, geographies, cultures, histories, and mythologies. We will focus on worldbuilding as it applies to writers of multiple genres, including both "literary" fiction and "genre" fiction. Along the way, we will begin to address questions raised by authors who engage in worldbuilding, such as: why diverge from the "real world" in the first place? Is there an ethical price that must be paid in order to imagine a new society? Should worldbuilding be seen as a useful tool for social critique, or is it at heart a practice of escapist entertainment? 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)
GENG 501 - 01 Intro Creative Writing & Publ - - - R - - - 1800 - 2100 JRC 481

Days of Week:

- - - R - - -

Time of Day:

1800 - 2100

Location:

JRC 481

Course Registration Number:

42460 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Christopher S. Santiago

Introduction to Creative Writing and Publishing provides a primer to the expectations and conventions of graduate study in the field of creative writing, including creative writing pedagogy and practice, the running of a literary reading series, innovative forms of creative writing such as podcasting and interactive writing, as well as the study of the publishing field of creative writing; its areas of specialization, key issues, and forms of writing. How do writers orient themselves and their work in 21sts century workshops? What are the tools that govern print design, interactive prose, or literary podcasts? What is the history of the publishing industry and how does that inform our present moment? This course is required for the Master of Arts in Creative Writing & Publishing and is an elective for the Master of Arts in English.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)