Challenge. Change. Podcast
English Professor Spencer Tricker enjoys the study of divided loyalties. When a person explores the dynamic between their conflicting allegiances, it often leads to an inner tug-of-war. Tricker experienced this while growing into his identity as a mixed-race person raised in the United States and Hong Kong. It’s also a research subject. Tricker is working on a book project about transpacific migration from Asia to the U.S., studying the impact of cosmopolitan rhetoric in an area historically connected to military conflicts such as World War II and the Philippine-American, Korean, and Vietnam wars.
In the classroom, coming-of-age narratives are a vehicle for studying divided loyalties.
“Most of us have this complex and continuous movement within ourselves, oscillating between different positions. I think that’s especially true for students transitioning from childhood to adulthood,” says Tricker. “When we look at these narratives, I encourage students to decide which competing allegiances are worth pursuing.”