My main area of research is modern and contemporary Chinese literature
and film and comparative literature, with special focus on the
relationship among literature, culture and politics. This includes
literature and culture across mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and
overseas, as well as transnational cultural interactions. I am also
interested in gender and sexuality in Chinese literature and film;
popular culture in modern China; film and visual studies, with an
emphasis on the relationship between literature, visuality and
historiography; and critical theory and cultural studies in the Chinese
My first book, Modernity with a Cold War Face (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2013), examines the competing, converging, and conflicting modes of envisioning a modern nation in mid-twentieth century Chinese literature. Bridging the 1949 divide in both literary historical periodization and political demarcation, it proposes a new framework to consider Chinese literature beyond national boundaries, as something arising out of the larger global geopolitical and cultural conflict of the Cold War.
EALC 125/525: 20th Century Chinese Literature and Film
EALC 231/631: Enlightenment and Decadence in Chinese Literature
EALC 225/625: Topics in Modern Chinese Cinema
EALC 232/632: Cultural Memory in Contemporary China
EALC 245/645: Popular Culture in Modern China
EALC 234/634: Urban Culture in Chinese Literature and Film
Prizes, Awards and Fellowships:
An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, 2012-2013.
Chiang Ching-kuo (CCK) Foundation Junior Scholar Grant, 2009-2010.
Faculty Research Travel Grant, Center for East Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2008.
Wu Foundation Fellowship, 2005.
DAAD Fellowship at Free University of Berlin, 2003.
Faculty Fellowship, Columbia University, 2001-2006.
Harvard-Yenching Fellowship, Harvard University, 1998-2001.
Modernity with a Cold War Face: Reimagining the Nation in Chinese Literature across the 1949 Divide. Harvard University Asia Center, 2013.
“Picturing the Specter of History: Zhang Ailing’s Visual Practice,” in On Writing with Photography, eds. Karen Beckman and Liliane Weissberg (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013), 231-253.
“Stone in Modern China: Literature, Politics, and Culture,” in Approaches to Teaching The Story of the Stone (Dream of the Red Chamber), eds. Andrew Schonebaum and Tina Lu (Modern Language Association, 2012), 413-426.
“Eileen Chang, Dream of the Red Chamber, and the Cold War,” in Eileen Chang: Romancing Languages, Cultures, and Genres, ed. Kam Louie (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2012), 113-129.
“From Asylum to Museum: The Discourse of Insanity and Schizophrenia in Shen Congwen’s 1949 Transition,” MCLC Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Spring 2011): 133-168.
"Memory, Photographic Seduction, and Allegorical Correspondence: Eileen Chang’s Mutual Reflections, " in Rethinking Modern Chinese Popular Culture: Cannibalizations of the Canon, eds. Carlos Rojas and Eileen Chow (London and New York: Routledge, 2009), 190-206.
Selected Publications in Chinese:
“道德魅惑、殖民身份與現代性焦慮：1949年中國大分裂前後” [Rethinking the 1949 Divide: Beyond Ethical Sentimentalism and Colonial Anxiety], in 台灣及其脈絡 [Taiwan and Its Contexts], eds. Ping-hui Liao, Kang-I Sun Chang, and David Der-wei Wang (Taipei: National Taiwan University Press, 2012), 141-157.
“文學、文物、與博物館：論沈從文1949年的轉折” [Literature, Antiques, and Museum: On Shen Congwen’s 1949 Conversion], in 中國現代小說的史與學：向夏志清先生致敬 [On History of Modern Chinese Fiction: Essays in Honor of C. T. Hsia], ed. David Der-wei Wang (Taipei: Linking Books, 2010), 363-381.
“沈从文与北京——现代性及其危机” [The Dislocation of Literature: The Case of Shen Congwen], in 北京: 都市想象与文化记忆 [Beijing: Urban Imagination and Cultural Memory], eds. Chen Pingyuan and David Der-wei Wang (Beijing: Peking University Press, 2005), 348-359.
“政治、艺术与艺术的政治化：阅读1930年代的本亚明” [Politics, Art, and Politicized Art: Reading Walter Benjamin of the 1930s],《视界》Horizon, no. 2 (2003): 30-52; also included in 跨文化语境中的比较文学 [Comparative Literature in the Cross-cultural Context], eds. Wang Jiezhi and Tang Jianqing (Nanjing: Yilin Press, 2004).
“沈从文与北京” [Shen Congwen in Beijing: Modernity and Crisis],《读书》Dushu Readings, no. 1 (2004): 31-40; excerpts reprinted in《当代作家评论》 Contemporary Writers Review, no. 2 (2004): 157-158.
“租界、青楼与“现代性”症候：阅读《海上花列传》” [Concession, Courtesan House and Contestation of the “Modern”: A Re-reading of Han Bangqing’s Haishanghua liezhuan], in 晚明与晚清：历史传承与文化创新 [From the Late Ming to the Late Qing: Historical Dynamics and Cultural Innovations], eds. Chen Pingyuan, David Der-wei Wang and Wei Shang (Wuhan: Hubei jiaoyu Press, 2002), 323-332.
“启蒙时期的德国国家小说” [Staatsroman in Enlightenment],《外国文学评论》Foreign Literature Review, no. 2 (1999): 38-44.
From English into Chinese:
After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism, by Andreas Huyssen (co-translate with Weijie Song) (Taipei: Rye Field, 2010).
Understanding Popular Culture, by John Fiske (co-translate with Weijie Song) (Beijing: Zhongyang bianyi Press, 2001; 2006, 2nd printing).
From German into Chinese:
Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit (The Structural Transformation of Public Spheres, co-translate), by Jürgen Habermas (Shanghai: Xuelin Press, 1998; 2000, 2nd printing; 2004, 3rd printing) (Taipei: Lianjing, 2000).