Claire Gullander-Drolet writes and researches on translation, transpacific cultural production, and the environment. She earned her PhD in English from Brown University in 2019 and was a visiting assistant professor at Clark University during the 2019-2020 academic year. Her writings have appeared in The Journal of Transnational American Studies, Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, Another Gaze: A Feminist Film Journal, and The Asia Literary Review.
At HKU, Claire will complete work on her first monograph, The Politics of Impurity: Asian/American Environmental Fiction and the Transpacific Turn. This project examines a body of contemporary Asian/American literature and film that mobilizes interlingual translation as a heuristic for the temporality of environmental crisis. Reconsidering such crucial events as the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, and the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” The Politics of Impurity argues that the histories of the transpacific are not limited to human conflict, but encompass violent encounters among nonhuman animals, material objects, and ecosystems as well. Through close readings of work by Ruth Ozeki, Karen Tei Yamashita, Han Kang, and Bong Joon-ho, this project considers how transpacific authors and filmmakers approach the representational problem of environmental slow violence through moments of translational failure, mistranslation, or deferral. Situating the erasure of transpacific slow violence within the context of discourses of US national purity, The Politics of Impurity argues that these cultural producers reclaim impurity as a generative category, one that can recuperate marginalized histories and dilate space for imagining alternative political and environmental futures.