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Ernest   Tjia

Ernest Tjia

Edwin Erle Sparks Graduate Fellow

003 Burrowes Building, Cubicle L

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

Office Hours:

  • Fall 2019: By appointment.


  1. B.A. American Studies, New York University (2019)

Professional Bio

Ernest Tjia [IPA: tʃɪə] is a first-year M.A. candidate at the Pennsylvania State University. His research interests lie at the intersections of black studies, (post)colonial studies, affect studies, and gender studies. He is currently attempting to think through two distinct but related projects regarding the self, subjectivity and subjectivization, and the human. The first project is interested in the ways that Atlantic slavery and Euro-American colonialism inform and structure the contemporary self, with particular regard for and toward the questions of how knowledge about the self is produced, circulated, and made (il)legible to both the self and others. The second project, heavily indebted to the field of black studies, is an attempt to trouble notions and genres of the human. It questions the proposition that the grammar of hummanness and humanity might be recovered to capacitate and create the conditions for justice in a fundamentally unjust world. Put differently, this project's focus is of an ontological nature rather than an epistemological one vis-a-vis the first. In his spare time, he enjoys creative non-fiction in the form of memoir, the personal essay, and documentary film, often with a(n) (auto)biographical bent.