Michelle Chihara


Department of English Language and Literature
562.907.4200 ext. 4422

Academic History

B.A., Yale University
M.F.A., PhD., University of California, Irvine

Academic Focus

  • Contemporary American Literature and Culture
  • Literature and Late Capitalism
  • Critical Finance Studies
  • Literature and Television, Literature and Reality Television
  • Digital Media
  • Creative Writing


Assistant Professor Michelle Chihara has been teaching American literature and creative writing at the college level since 2003. Her academic research analyzes contemporary American cultural production in the thick economic and historic context of the most recent financial panic. Her current research analyzes Extreme Makeover Home Edition, the subprime mortgage crash, Joan Didion and California land. Her essay on the 19th century novel Ramona and the boom of the 1880s in Southern California was published last year in Studies in American Fiction. With Matthew Seybold at Elmira College, she is contracted to edit the Routledge Companion to Literature and Economics. She also writes about literature and culture for The Los Angeles Review of Books. At Whittier College she teaches Advanced Creative Writing, Nonfiction Writing, and Chicano/Chicana Literature. In the spring 2016, she received a DigLibArts grant to develop a new course in Digital Creative Writing. She has published fiction and nonfiction in a variety of publications, online and off, including Mother Jones, The Boston Phoenix, Bloomberg.com, N+1, Avidly.org, The Green Mountains Review, The Santa Monica Review, Tropmag.com, Flash Fiction. Her essay "Reading Katy Perry" was anthologized in the California Prose Directory 2014. She received both her M.F.A in Creative Writing and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine.

Professional Activity

"Being Theon Greyjoy, or Why This Dick In A Box Matters: Politics of the penis in government and Game of Thrones."
The Los Angeles Review of Books
October 12, 2013

"Reading Katy Perry"
June 20, 2013

"How Dutch Dollhouse Mania Explains the U.S. Housing Bust"
May 22, 2012