Leland Tabares is an Assistant Professor of Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies at Colorado College. His work centers on literature, labor, and racialization in twentieth- and twenty-first-century American culture. His book project, Professionalizing Asian America: Race and Labor in the Twenty-First Century, traces how Asian Americans’ increasing representation in a diverse range of contemporary industry professions enculturates new conceptions of race, ethnicity, and belonging. His research is published in Profession, Journal of Asian American Studies, Arizona QuarterlyVerge: Studies in Global AsiasHyphen, Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association, and The Recipes Project.


Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, University Park

M.A., Pennsylvania State University, University Park

B.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Refereed Articles

  • “Consider the Crawfish: The Messy Politics of Viet-Cajun Fusion in the Gulf Coast.” Forthcoming in Verge: Studies in Global Asias 9.2 (2023).

  • “A&Q: Recipes for Messiness.” Co-authored with Stephen Suh, Ruslan Yusupov, Jennifer Ruth Shutek, and Erica Maria Cheung. Forthcoming in Verge: Studies in Global Asias 9.2 (2023).

  • “Misfit Professionals: Asian American Chefs and Restaurateurs in the Twenty-First Century.” Arizona Quarterly 77.2 (Summer 2021): 103-132.

  • “Professional Amateurs: Asian American Content Creators in YouTube’s Digital Economy.” Journal of Asian American Studies 22.3 (October 2019): 387-417.

  • “Professionalization and the Precarious State of Academic Freedom for Graduate Student Instructors.” Profession (Winter 2019).

  • “The Contexts of Critique: Para-Institutions and the Multiple Lives of Institutionality in the Neoliberal University.” Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association 6.1 (Spring 2017).

Non-Refereed Articles

  • “Danny Bowien’s Post-Authentic Asian America.” The Recipes Project (November 2021).

Review Essays

  • “Gish Jen’s Resistant Possibilities: On Black Fugitivity, Coalitional Care, and Baseball.” Solicited review of The Resisters, by Gish Jen, Hyphen (October 2020).

  • Solicited review of Asian American Media Activism: Fighting for Cultural Citizenship, by Lori Kido Lopez, Journal of Asian American Studies 21.3 (October 2018): 488-491.

Media Appearances & Interviews

Blog Posts

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    • “Asian American Post-Professionals: Racial Precarity and the Future of Work in Science Fictional Worlds,” Modern Language Association, San Francisco (2023).

    • “Working Futures After Asians: Techno-Orientalism in the Twenty-First Century,” Karen Laborde Faculty Speaker Series, Sponsored by the Department of English at Loyola University New Orleans (2023).

    • “Asian America in the Social Media Economy: YouTube and TikTok, 2005-2022,” Sponsored by the Department of Sociology at San Diego State University (2022).


    American Literature Association

    American Studies Association

    Asian Studies Association

    Association for Asian American Studies

    Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

    Modern Language Association

    Northeast Modern Language Association

    Popular Culture Association

    Popular Culture/American Culture Association in the South

    Society for Cinema and Media Studies

    South Central Modern Language Association

    The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States

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