Chen, Thomas

Assistant Professor of Chinese
Williams Hall, Room 494
Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, UCLA


modern Chinese literature and cinema


Thomas Chen graduated with a B.A. in Comparative Literature and English from Cornell University and with a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA. With a focus on modern Chinese literature and cinema, his research interests include world literature/cinema, translation studies, and historiography. His current book project, Making the Censored Public: The 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests in Chinese Fiction and Film, examines texts from mainland China and Hong Kong that, in enacting the contestation between the state censorship of Tiananmen and its alternative imagination, open up a discursive space, however fragile, for a Chinese audience to reconfigure a historical memory whose physical space is off limits. A second research project, Two Chinas and the World: Chinese Cinemas in the Global Fifties, will delineate a map of world film culture through an investigation of the early importation and exportation of films to and from twin regimes, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan, paying particular attention to the role of neglected processes and people such as dubbing and voice actors, respectively. In Spring 2017 he is teaching CHIN 297: "China Pop" and MLL/ASIA 97: "Protest Narratives in Modern China."

Recent Publications:

"The Workshop of the World: Censorship and the Internet Novel Such Is This World." In China's Contested Internet, ed. Guobin Yang (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2015), 19-43.

"Blanks to be Filled: Public-Making and the Censorship of Jia Pingwa's Decadent Capital," China Perspectives 2015/1, 15-22.

      "Remplir les blancs : «Publicité» et censure dans La Capitale déchue de Jia Pingwa," Perspectives chinoises 2015/1, 15-23 (trans. Florent Chevallier).

      "有待填充的空格," 《当代作家评论》2016/6, 52-61 (汪宝荣 译).

"An Italian Bicycle in the People's Republic: Minor Transnationalism and the Chinese Translation of Ladri di biciclette/Bicycle Thieves," Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies 1.2 (2014), 91-107.

      "Une bicyclette italienne en République populaire de Chine : À propos de la version chinoise du Voleur de bicyclette," L’Écran traduit: revue sur la traduction et l'adaptation audiovisuelles no. 4 (automne 2015), 21-41 (trans. Jean-François Cornu).

“The Censorship of Mo Yan's The Garlic Ballads,” in Mo Yan in Context: Nobel Laureate and Global Storyteller, eds. Angelica Duran and Yuhan Huang (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2014), 37-49.

“Ridiculing the Golden Age: Subversive Undertones in Yan Lianke’s Happy,” Chinese Literature Today (Winter-Spring 2011), 66-72.