I’m Mika. I’m a graduate student and instructor in the Department of English Language & Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
I got my BA in the ambiguous “Literatures of the World” in 2013 at UC San Diego; minored somewhat less ambiguously in Russian and Soviet Studies, Science Writing, and Evolutionary & Conservation Biology; and very unambiguously championed the glories of giant kelp, as seen in the image adjacent. My current research interests include: Asian/Pacific Islander American literatures, American indigenous literatures, conservation biology, climate change, fisheries management, land use, resource sovereignty, water governance, and salmon.
Originally, I’m from Northern California, and though my stint in San Diego has tempered my fanatical bias toward the north versus the south, “the City” still means san Francisco, “the industry” refers to the Silicon Valley, and “the 101” is just called “101” when it’s north of SLO–I like my coastline frigid, rocky, foggy, and empty. I love the Midwest, too, but the hardest thing about being away from California will forever be the absence of the Pacific (and the empty promises made by Michigan’s sushi).
And I love backpacking, camping, and roadtripping more than anything else. Except perhaps the people who accompany me:
As an English grad student, though, I guess I also kinda like to read: Sherman Alexie, longform journalism, and experimental fiction. My favorite movies are The Fast & Furious movie franchise, Pixar’s Cars, and Silence of the Lambs; and I’ve been in a loving, committed relationship with the TV show Supernatural since 2009. I’m not kidding: I discuss it emphatically online and write fan fiction and customize 1:18 model cars. Some people follow sports teams; others hoard cats. I do fandom. It’s a lifestyle.
I also collect rubber ducks.
Header image is my personal photograph, taken at Leo Carillo State Beach in Southern California (December 2011). Profile images were taken, respectively, in Mission Bay, San Diego, CA (March 2013) and on Mt. Spokane in Washington (August 2013).