Aileen Cruz is a Ph.D candidate in Japanese literature. She received a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Wellesley College with an emphasis on Latin American and Japanese literature. Currently she is interested in representations of burakumin in modern Japanese literature as it relates to colonialism and the representation of the Other. She is also interested in issues of gender and sexuality in Japanese women's fiction. Outside of school, Aileen enjoys (attempting) cooking for her eternally hungry husband, Jorge.