Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Thomas Dai

American Studies


Currently, Thomas Dai's dissertation research focuses on how different contemporary artists and writers of color represent animal-human relations, specifically in the context of contemporary discourses on queerness, race, environmental precarity / justice, and the many intersections of all the above. In particular, he's looking at how different artists represent and relate to the often disparaged figure of the insect, whether via their life histories, ecologies, or seemingly alien embodiments--what Thomas is thinking about in his dissertation as engagements with "entomological form." His research and writing seeks to highlight the stakes of insect-human intimacies for particular human communities, and to do so in a moment when many nonhuman animals, including the once ubiquitous insects, are disappearing.