new multimodal essay

I am in love with this map-obsessed journal, Territory, and honored to contribute with a multimodal essay, “Toward a Poetics of Phantom Limb, or All the Shadows that Carry Us.”

Leftover ghosts from my book? Or endnotes? In this essay I am mapping the body in order to elucidate how excavated immigrant histories are still felt or sensed: absence as presence.

Also, I like how the image becomes bisected/nested by all the angles and lines.

(Shout-out to Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee & Monica Ong’s Silent Anatomies, both works that incorporate body mapping and are part of my canon.)

I came across this little write-up about my essay (from wildness): “ ‘I map the ghosts; the ghosts map me.’ There aren’t a lot of available terms to describe the experience of Jennifer S. Cheng’s piece in the current issue of Territory. You click on the numbers that adorn an image of a body mapped out for acupuncture and up pop boxes of text that are in conversation with the image as well as with multiple of other narratives: the body, ancestry, home, memory. We frequently look to the body as a vessel of evidence, but Cheng is interested in absence, in what isn’t there anymore and the memory left behind.”

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