Sensing Different Worlds: Christine Kim’s “On Disposability and a ‘Desire for Life’”

Christine Kim is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literatures at UBC and the editor of Canadian Literature. Previously, she was an Associate Professor of English at Simon Fraser University, and a founding co-Director of SFU’s Institute for Transpacific Cultural Research. Her research focuses on diasporic literatures and cultures in Canada, and considers how they are embedded in global structures of settler colonialism, imperialism, and nationalism. Christine is the author of The Minor Intimacies of Race: Asian Publics in North America (University of Illinois Press, 2016) and co-editor of special issues of Inter-Asia Journal of Cultural Studies, Canadian Literature, a section of West Coast Line, and Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada (WLUP, 2012). Her current SSHRC-funded project, Brutalist Imaginary: North Korea in a Post-Cold War Order, examines representations of North Korea, cultural fantasies, and Cold War legacies.



In the aftermath of the March 16, 2021 shootings in Atlanta, Kim reflects on the media coverage of the events that glossed over the women’s identities while humanizing the assailant. She centres the women, considering the importance of stories and story telling in these instances of racialized violence: “Our own stories are the specific entry points into how we begin to make meaning from this moment, and grow connections with others that are increasingly expansive and caring.” Kim calls for an intersectional approach to social justice, “one that takes into account the complexities of race, gender, sexuality, class, age, relationship to the English language, and migration.”


Canadian Literature issue 244, Sensing Different Worlds, is available at