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Ernest   Tjia

Ernest Tjia

Edwin Erle Sparks Graduate Fellow

003 Burrowes Building, Cubicle L

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building


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

Professional Bio

Ernest Tjia [IPA: tʃɪə] is a graduate student and a 2019-2020 Edwin Erle Sparks Graduate Fellow at the Pennsylvania State University’s Department of English. 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 think through the ontology of the human subject by reading black feminist theory as metaphysical philosophy. Theorizing through and from notions of the flesh, this project's goal is to disrupt what we currently consider "human" such that we might have a grammar for a more just world. Among his primary objects of consideration are autobiography and the epistle form, photography, visual art, and film.