About the members of the Executive Committee of ASAC:

Cynthia Callahan is a domestic adoptee and Associate Professor of English at the Ohio State University at Mansfield. She published Kin of Another Kind: Transracial Adoption in American Literature (Michigan, 2010) and co-edited an all-bibliography edition of Adoption & Culture with Emily Hipchen in 2013. Her current research focuses on African American adoption narratives after World War II. She is co-chair of the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture.


Lucy Curzon is received her PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester and is Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Alabama.  She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in modern and contemporary art history, as well as community engagement through the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art.  She recently published a monograph called Mass-Observation and Visual Culture: Depicting Everyday Lives in Britain (Routledge, 2017), which explores intersections between art, anthropology, and national identity.  One of her current research focuses is contemporary representations of LGBTQ+ families.

Marina Fedosik is a Lecturer at the Princeton University Writing Program. Her interdisciplinary scholarship on representations of kinship and subjectivity in American literature, film, and culture reveals the potential for new knowledge offered by the infusion of an adoption studies perspective in other established fields of inquiry. Her most recent article on embodiment and identity in African-American adoption autobiography, “Grafted Belongings: Identification in Autobiographical Narratives of African American Transracial Adoptees,” appears in Reading African American Autobiography: Twenty-First-Century Contexts and Criticism (Wisconsin, 2016). Currently, she is writing on adoption and other forms of kinship in the posthuman context. She has served as ASAC liaison with the Modern Language Association for four years.

Emily Hipchen is a Fulbright scholar and edits Adoption & Culture and a/b: Autobiography Studies. She wrote Coming Apart Together: Fragments from an Adoption (2005), a memoir, and edited Inhabiting La Patria: Identity, Agency, and Antojo in the Works of Julia Alvarez (SUNY 2013) and The Routledge Auto/Biography Studies Reader (2015) as well as four special issues focused on adoption and/or life writing. Her essays, short stories, and poems have appeared in Fourth GenreNorthwest Review, Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere.  She is co-editor (with John McLeod) of Ohio State University Press’s Critical Adoption Studies book series. She teaches creative nonfiction as a professor at The University of West Georgia.

Margaret Homans is professor of English and of Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University.  She has published widely on feminist and queer theory and on British and U.S. women writers.  Her most recent book is The Imprint of Another Life: Adoption Narratives and Human Possibility (2013).  She teaches courses on feminist and queer fiction from Wollstonecraft to the present, on the intellectual history of feminist, queer, and transgender theory, on race and gender, and on adoption narratives.  She is co-chair of the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture.

Kimberly McKee is the director of the Kutsche Office of Local History and an assistant professor in the Liberal Studies Department at Grand Valley State University. Her research interrogates the institutional practice of international adoption in its examination of American adoptions of South Korean children. Her book manuscript is under contract with the University of Illinois Press. McKee also serves as the Assistant Director of KAAN (the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network).

John McLeod is Professor of Postcolonial and Diaspora Literatures in the School of English, University of Leeds, UK.  His research explores the intersections of adoption, postcolonialism and transculturalism, with particular reference to migrant and minority writing in the UK, Ireland and the US.  He is the author of Life Lines: Writing Transcultural Adoption (Bloomsbury, 2015) and is co-editor (with Emily Hipchen) of Ohio State University Press’s Critical Adoption Studies book series.


Marianne Novy (ex officio, founding co-chair) is, since 2016, Professor Emerita of English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. The editor of Imagining Adoption: Essays on Literature and Culture (Michigan, 2001) and author of Reading Adoption: Family and Difference in Fiction and Drama (Michigan, 2005), and several books on Shakespeare, most relevantly Shakespeare and Outsiders (Oxford, 2013), she is an adoptee.  She co-founded the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture and founded and directed the Pittsburgh Consortium for Adoption Studies. Recently she has been writing about 21st century representations of adoption in literature, including memoirs. See http://www.english.pitt.edu/people/emeritus-faculty/marianne-novy

Kim Park Nelson is an educator and researcher whose work uses adoption as a lens to understand race and culture. Her work has contributed to building of the field of Adoption Studies and Korean Adoption Studies in the U.S. and internationally. She was the three-time lead organizer for the International Symposia on Korean Adoption Studies, which took place in Seoul in 2007, 2010, and 2013. Professor Park Nelson’s book, Invisible Asians: Korean American Adoptees, Asian American Experiences and Racial Exceptionalism was published by Rutgers University Press in Spring 2016.  The book is based on her ethnographic research exploring the many identities of adult Korean adoptees, as well as the cultural, social, historical, and political significance of sixty years of Korean adoption to the United States. She is an associate professor of American Multicultural Studies at the Minnesota State University at Moorhead. She has a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Minnesota.

Rosemarie Pena is a dual-heritage adoptee from Germany to the United States. She is recognized internationally for her longstanding leadership role in the in the Black German community that culminated in her founding of the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA). She has published chapter essays in both German and English on the post WWII transnational adoptions of Black Germans and recently submitted invited entries on International and Transracial Adoption for The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies Project. A PhD candidate in Childhood Studies at Rutgers University – Camden, Rosemarie’s research explores the intersections of adoption and migration in the Black German context and the representations of these adoptions in documentary films and visual culture.

Carol J. Singley (ex officio, founding co-chair) (Ph.D. Brown) is professor of English at Rutgers University-Camden, where she helped design the nation’s first Ph.D. program in Childhood Studies. An adoptive mother in a family formed through open adoption, she is co-founder of the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture. She is author or editor of ten books, including on Edith Wharton, on feminist theory, on childhood studies, and on American literature about adoption.  Adopting America: Childhood, Kinship, and National Identity in Literature was published in 2011 by Oxford.

Dr. Jenny Heijun Wills is associate professor in the Department of English and director of the Critical Race Network at the University of Winnipeg. Her research focuses on Critical Race Studies, Ethnic American literatures, transnational adoption, and francophone Asian/America. Her creative non-fiction book, Unni, is forthcoming (Fall 2018) from Mawenzi Press (Toronto). She is the editor of three forthcoming collections and is completing a monograph on adoption, biologism, and essentialism entitled Paradoxical Essentialism. Currently, she is Reviews editor for Adoption & Culture. Born in Seoul, she was adopted by a white family from Southern Ontario, Canada but has also reunited with her first family in Korea.

Previous Executive Committee Members

Margot Gayle Backus, University of Houston, English

Karen Balcom, History, McMaster University

Jill Roberts Deans, former co-chair and newsletter editor, Kansas State University,/ Haverford College [now University of Connecticut Honors College], English

Deborah Cadman, English, Skidmore College

Joy Castro, English, former newsletter editor, Wabash College [now University of Nebraska]

Paris De Soto, English, Rutgers University, New Brunswick [now Los Gatos High School, California]

Sally Haslanger, Philosophy, MIT

Ellen Herman, History, University of Oregon

Mark Jerng, English, University of California, Davis

Barbara Melosh, English and History, George Mason University [now pastor of Salem Lutheran Church, Baltimore, MD]

Marianne Novy, English, University of Pittsburgh, co-chair emerita

Lisa Marie Rollins, African Diaspora Studies, University of California at Berkeley

Martha Satz, English, Southern Methodist University

Maria Zuritski, English, College of New Rochelle