Tara Fickle is an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at Northwestern University. Prior to joining Northwestern, she was at the University of Oregon. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her B.A. from Wesleyan University.
Professor Fickle’s research and teaching interests include Asian/Asian American literature and culture, Game Studies, the Digital Humanities, and Mixed Race Studies.
Her first book, “The Race Card: From Gaming Technologies to Model Minorities,” (NYU Press, 2019, winner of Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award), explores how games have been used to establish and combat Asian and Asian American racial stereotypes.
Her book with co-editor Chris Patterson, Made in Asia/America: Why video games were never (really) about Us (Duke University Press, 2024), explores the key role video games play within the race-makings of Asia/America. Each of its fourteen critical essays on games, ranging from Death Stranding to Animal Crossing, and five roundtables with twenty Asian/American game makers, examine the historical entanglements of games, Asia, and America, and reveal the ways games offer new modes of imagining imperial violence, racial difference, and coalition.
Fickle is currently working on a digital archive and analysis of the canonical Asian American anthology, Aiiieeeee! (Aiiieeeee.org.), with additional research projects on Chinese gold farming and the racialized dimensions of esports.
Fickle’s critical and creative work has appeared in Modern Fiction Studies, Comparative Literature Studies, Journal of Asian American Studies, MELUS, and various public humanities portals. She also runs You on the Market, a comprehensive website for academic job-seekers.