Jenny Heijun Wills


Jenny Heijun Wills Title: Associate Professor
Office: 2A33
Building: Ashdown
Phone: 204.789.1474


PhD-Wilfrid Laurier University 2012

Fulbright Alum-Harvard University 2008-2009

M.A.-Wilfrid Laurier University 2006

B.A. Hons-University of Waterloo 2005

B.A. Jour-Ryerson University 2003

Jenny Heijun Wills is associate professor of English. She is currently writing one monograph about anti-essentialism, liberalism, & race and is co-editing three volumes on topics ranging from teaching Asian/American literature to transnational adoption and discourses of multiculturalism. She is co-organizer of a research collaboration studying cross-border ethnic studies that includes twenty scholars from across disciplines and institutions in the U.S. and Canada.

Teaching Areas:

Asian/American literature, African American literature, critical and comparative race studies, transnational and transracial adoption, biologism and identity.


(W) ENGL-2922.3-002 Topics in Woman Writers

(FW) ENGL-3724.6-001 Topics in Race and Ethnicity: Asian/American

(F) GENG-7112.3-001 Topics in Cultural Theory


"Paradoxical Essentialism.” Canadian Review of American Studies, vol. 46, no. 2 (2016): 202-22 (Honourable Mention for the 2016 Ernest Redekop Essay Prize).

Wills, Jenny Heijun. “Asian Adoption in Crime Novels by Don Lee and Bharati Mukherjee: Country of Origin and Leave it to Me.” Adoption and Culture, vol. 5 (2017): 62-86. 

"Fictional and Fragmented Truths in Korean Adoptee Writing. Asian American Literature: Discourses & Pedagogies 6(2015): 45-59. Web.

“The Gift of the Good Life: “Anchor Babies” and Asian Adoptees.” The Good Life and the Greater Good in a Global Context. Ed. Laura Savu. Lanham: Lexington, 2015. 157-70. Print.

“Consuming Asian/Canadian Coming-Of-Age.” Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures 6.1 (2014): 163-77. Print.

"Transnational and Transracial Adoption: Multiculturalism and Selective Colour-blindness." American Multicultural Studies: Diversity of Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality. Ed. Sherrow Pindar. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2013. 101-14. Print.

“Narrating Multiculturalism in Asian Adoption Fiction.” Mothering and Adoption. Ed. Frances Latchford. Toronto: Demeter Press, 2013. 119-31. Print.

“Scripted Violence, Scripted Deferral: Pre- and Post-Civil Rights Racial Innocence.” Jeunesse: Young People, Text, Culture 5.1 (2013): 179-91. Print.

 “Claiming America by Claiming Others: Asian American Adoptive Parenthood in A Gesture Life and Digging to America.” Americana. 10.1 (Spring 2011). Web. 1 September 2012.


 “Picture of Motion: Modernism, Cinema and the Ch(i)asm(us) of Diasporic Identity in Chuang Hua’s Crossings.” World Literatures: An Anthology. Ed. Nilanshu Agarwal. Jaipur: Book Enclave, 2010. 64-73. Print.

“Paradoxical Essentialism and AfroAsian American Adoption in Country of Origin and A Gesture Life.  21 세기영어영문회회화술대 회  (2009) : 113-18. Print.

 “I’s Wide Shut: Visualizing Female Refugees’ Eyes and Hands in Stephen Frears’s Dirty PrettyThings.” Refuge 24.2 (2007): 115-24. Print.