I specialize in modern Chinese literature and culture, film studies, and critical theory. Employing various discourses of modernity (e.g. Enlightenment, biopolitics) and the epistemic-comparative lenses of ontological and correlative thinking, my research seeks to situate modern Chinese culture both in the global context of shared modernity and along the axis of its complicated relationship with classical Chinese tradition.
My first book, Lu Xun's Affirmative Biopolitics: Nothingness and the Power of Self-Transcendence (Routledge, 2022), explores an extraordinary case of affirmative biopolitics through the study of Lu Xun (1881–1936), the most prominent cultural figure of 20th century China. Diverging from the Enlightenment-humanist framework in reference to which Lu Xun is commonly interpreted, it demonstrates how his thinking is defined by a naturalistic conception of culture that is best understood in the global context of what Foucault defines as the biological turn of modernity. In comparison to ontologically-grounded modern Western theories of life, it brings to light the deep connection between Lu Xun’s affirmative biopolitics and the epistemic ground of Chinese tradition - what is known as correlative thinking.
Currently I am working on my second book project, which explores the modern transformation of correlative thinking in a broad range of 20th and 21st century Chinese literature, film and art.
I have taught a wide variety of courses, including modern Chinese literature and film, introduction to Chinese culture, literary theory and biopolitical discourse, and Chinese language at different levels.