Karen Tongson

Professor Karen Tongson joined the USC faculty in fall 2005 after receiving her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley in 2003. Before coming to USC, Tongson held a University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellowship in Literature at UC San Diego, and a UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Irvine. She is the author of Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (NYU Press, 2011). Her scholarship, criticism, and journalism have appeared in numerous national and international publications. She is co-editor of the Postmillennial Pop book series at NYU Press, and has a forthcoming book with ForEdge Press on Why Karen Carpenter Matters. (Carpenter is Tongson’s namesake). She also has two other books in progress: Normal Television: Critical Essays on Queer Spectatorship after the "New Normalcy," and Empty Orchestra: Karaoke in Our Time. Tongson teaches courses, and is invited to lecture nationally and internationally on race, gender and sexuality studies, popular culture (particularly on pop music and TV); on literature and critical theory; on karaoke scenes and technologies; on Los Angeles, the Southern California region and the Pacific Rim, and on contemporary food cultures.

Personal: Tongson is married to scholar and TV critic, Sarah Kessler. They have two cats and live in Los Angeles.