Chen, Thomas

Associate 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 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 book Made in Censorship: The Tiananmen Movement in Chinese Literature and Film is available from Columbia University Press. 

Courses taught at Lehigh:

Auteurs of Chinese Cinema

Senses of Cinema

Chinese Literature in the World

Chinese Creative Writing

Introduction to Film

Chinese Film in the World

Letters from China

Chinese Film Art

Modern Chinese Civilization 

Chinese Translation Workshop

Scandal and Sensation in Contemporary Chinese Culture

Understanding Hong Kong

Electric Shadows

China Pop

Protest Narratives in Modern China

The Art of the Chinese Essay



Made in Censorship: The Tiananmen Movement in Chinese Literature and Film (Columbia University Press, 2022)







Articles, Book Chapters, and Essays

"Remade in China: Rule of Law, Democracy, and the Chinese 12 Angry Men." positions: asia critique 30.1 (2022), 137-158. 

"Idiom as Instrument: On Yan Lianke's Hard Like Water." The Los Angeles Review of Books, August 31, 2021.

"Ai Xiaoming and the Quarantine Counter-Diary." The Los Angeles Review of Books, March 12, 2021.

"Surrogate Infrastructure: The Noncommercial Circulation of Chinese Films in the Early Cold War," Comparative Literature Studies 57.3 (2020), 398-407. 

"Cuicui’s Blush, Tianbao’s Corpse: Rereading Shen Congwen’s Border Town, Again." In Культура в глобальном мире [Culture in the global world], ed. S.V. Ananyeva (Almaty: M. O. Auezov Institute of Literature and Art, 2020), 320-343.

"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.