| Language




PhD (Stanford)

Assistant Professor

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Tel : (852) 3400 8952

Fax : (852) 2334 3747

Office :

Room HJ603, Stanley Ho Building,

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,

Hung Hom, Hong Kong


Biographical Sketch

Dr. Yu Zhang received her Ph.D. from the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University. Her research interests include modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture, Sinophone cultural studies, Chinese revolutionary and socialist culture as well as the intersection of technology and modern Chinese culture. Her forthcoming book, Going to the Countryside: The Rural in Modern Chinese Cultural Imagination (1915-1965), examines the cultural practices and representations of “going to the countryside” in modern China. This modern experience of spatial crossing was intertwined with the larger discourses of enlightenment, revolution and socialist industrialization. It demonstrates how cultural representations of the countryside in modern China have constructed the rural as a distinct modern experiential and aesthetic realm characterized by revolutionary changes in conceptions, experiences, sensibilities and sentiments. Her current research focuses on the flow of literature and popular culture from Hong Kong and Taiwan into mainland China from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. This project explores how this body of cultural products contributed to the shaping of new subjectivity in post-Mao China and what new meanings and significance they generated when they were embedded in the social context of post-Mao imaginaries of modernization.


Academic Qualifications

  • Ph.D. (2014) in East Asian Languages and Cultures, Stanford University
  • M.A. (2006) in East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, The University of California, Santa Barbara
  • M.A. (2004) in Comparative Literature, Jilin University
  • B.A. (2001) in Journalism, Jilin University


Present Position

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Chinese Culture, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. (November 2018 –)


Positions Held

  • September 2017 – August 2018 Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Humanities, The University of Hong Kong
  • September 2014 – May 2017 Assistant Professor, Randolph-Macon College, USA


Specialization and Research Interests

  • Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature and Cultural Studies
  • The Rural and the Chinese Cultural Imaginary
  • Sinophone Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Revolutionary and Socialist Culture
  • Technology, Media and Modern Chinese Culture


Fellowships and Grants

  • 2016—2017 Chiang Ching Kuo Foundation Junior Scholar Grant
  • 2013—2014 Chiang Ching Kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2012—2013 Mabelle McLeod Lewis Memorial Fund for Grants in Aid of Scholarly Work



  1. Going to the Countryside: The Rural in Modern Chinese Cultural Imagination, 1915-1965 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, forthcoming January 2020).
  2. “Enchanting a World of Crafts: Handmade and Homemade Things, Affective Labor, and Orality in The Road Home (1999),” Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2018 (on-line first, September 2016), 1-19
  3. “Socialist Builders on the Rails and Road: Industrialization, Mobility, and National Imagination in Chinese Socialist Films, 1949-1965,” Twentieth-Century China 42, No. 3, October 2017, 255–273.
  4. “Visual and Theatrical Constructs of a Modern Life in the Countryside: James Yen, Xiong Foxi, and the Rural Reconstruction Movement in Ding County (1920s-1930s).” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, 2013, 25, 1 (spring): 47-95
  5. “Garden: Remembrance and Revolutionary Gesture in Ba Jin’s Family” (花園:往事追憶與革命姿態—重讀巴金的《家》), Modern Chinese Literary Studies (中國現代文學研究叢刊). 2010, 3, 119-131 (in Chinese)