Jayson Gonzales Sae-Saue

Associate Professor


Office: DH G11
Phone: 214-768-4369
Email: jsaesaue[@]smu.edu

Educational Background

Ph.D., Stanford University


Professor Sae-Saue specializes in Chicana/o and ethnic American literature. He is the author of “Southwest Asia”: The Transpacific Geographies of Chicana/o Literature (Latinidad Series, Rutgers University Press, 2016). As the first book-length study to examine the significance of Asians and Asia across six decades of Chicana/o literary production, Southwest Asia reveals Asian spaces and bodies to be important components of how Chicana/o culture articulates its political ideas. It exposes the peripheral, yet consistent, presence of Asia and Asians in classic Chicana/o texts, arguing that their marginalization symbolizes the tensions of a culture that commits itself to local concerns, despite it drawing inspiration from interracial and global political issues. In doing so, this work coins the term “Southwest Asia” to conceptualize how Chicana/o literature often levels differences between distinct racial populations and political spaces in order to articulate oppositional ideals, including those coded in “Aztlán,” the community’s spiritual homeland and future nation-state. As such, this book uncovers how Chicana/o literature’s transnational constructions of Aztlán decouple this space away from the local to represent more than a utopian nation-state, or the Mexican lands taken by the United States in the 19th century. Instead, it shows Aztlán to be a multi-racial territory that extends across the Pacific, revealing that this key word of the Chicana/o cultural lexicon symbolizes not only a particular history of Anglo-American expansion, but also a larger and more general history of U.S. aggressions in Asia.

Professor Sae-Saue has also published on transnational minority labor matters at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as their classed and gendered ideologies in ethnic literary production. He is currently at work on a second book that explores the significance of interracial romances in key minority literature.

Areas of Interest

  • Chicana/o literature and culture
  • The ethnic novel
  • The U.S.-Mexico border
  • Asian American literature
  • Ethnic and immigration history

Selected Publications


  • “Southwest Asia”: The Transpacific Geographies of Chicana/o Literature. Rutgers University Press (2016). Latinidad: Transnational Cultures in the United States book series.


  • “The Promise and Problem of Interracial Politics for Chicana/o Culture.” Forthcoming in The Journal of Transnational American Studies.
  • “Daniel Cano: In Life and Text.” Forthcoming in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Latina/o Literature.
  • “Model or Menace? Racial Discourses of Chinese and Mexican Labor at the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1900-1940.” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, vol. 40:2, 2015: 7-34. Selected for reprint in The Aztlán Mexican Studies Reader. UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press (forthcoming).
  • “Aztlán’s Asians: Forging and Forgetting Crossracial Relations in the Chicana/o Literary Imagination.” American Literature, vol. 85:3, 2013: 562-589. Winner of Western Literature Association’s Don D. Walker Award for best essay published in western American literary studies in 2013.
  • “The Inter-ethnic Return: Racial and Cultural Multiplicity in Foundational Asian American and Chicano/a Literatures.” Comparative American Studies, vol. 8:4, 2010: 267-282.
  • “Gendered Nationalism in Xicoténcatl.” MELUS, vol. 30, 2005: 189-204.


Southwest Asia: The Transpacific Geographies of Chicana/o Literature, Rutgers University Press

Courses Taught

  • English 2312: Introduction to Fiction (Latina/o and Asian American Literary Imaginations)
  • English 3310: Contemporary Approaches to Literature, Language, and Culture (An Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism)
  • English 3363: Chicana/o Literature
  • English 3373: Literatures of the US Southwest: Imagining a Transnational Geography
  • English 4360: The “Transnational and Interethnic Turns” in American Literature
  • English 7370: An Advanced Seminar in Minority Literature: The Interethnic Form of Borderlands Culture