I am Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language & Literature at Whittier College, a small liberal arts college at the eastern edge of Los Angeles county in California. I am also the Economics & Finance section editor for The Los Angeles Review of Books.

I teach contemporary American literature and popular culture, creative writing, creative nonfiction and multi-ethnic literature. My research right now is focused on economic explanation since 2008 and the influence of behavioral economics on popular narrative. I work primarily on 20th and 21st century American literature and popular culture, while my scholarship also draws on economic anthropology and economic history, critical race studies and media studies. 

I am the co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Literature & Economics, due out in 2018. My work has appeared in Studies in American Fiction, is under review at Postmodern Culture, and I have published articles about economics and popular culture in n+1, Mother Jones, The Boston Globe, The Boston Phoenix, The Houston Chronicle, and the Echoes blog at Bloomberg.com, among others.

My short story “The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors Even” was honored in The Best American NonRequired Reading 2014 “Notable” list, and my personal essay for Trop.mag “Reading Katy Perry” was anthologized in the California Prose Directory 2014.

I received my BA in English from Yale University and my Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Irvine in 2012, where I held both the Schaeffer Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction and the Dorothy and theDonald Strauss Dissertation Year Fellowship, 2012-2013.

Contact Info

Michelle Chihara

Department of English Language and Literature

Whittier College


562.907.4200 ext. 4422



Economics and Finance Section Editor, Los Angeles Review of Books

Office Hours

Fall 2017
Hoover 112

Monday: 10:00am – 12:00pm AND 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Tuesday: 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Please come by during these times. Bring your substantial questions, papers you would like to go over, or just come to say hello. If someone is with me in my office, please knock or pop your head in to let me know that you are waiting.

Other days are by appointment.

If I am with a student and you’re waiting outside, please poke your head in to let me know that you are waiting.

Advisees: when advising begins, I will post a Google doc here, where you should sign up for an advising slot.

If you have a tight schedule, sign up early.

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