Shu-mei Shih is a professor of comparative literature, Asian languages and cultures, and Asian American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Among other works, her book, Visuality and Identity: Sinophone Articulations Across the Pacific (2007), has been attributed as having inaugurated a new field of study called Sinophone Studies. Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader (2013) is a textbook that she co-edited for the field.
Besides Sinophone studies, her areas of research include comparative modernism, as in the book The Lure of the Modern: Writing Modernism in Semicolonial China, 1917-1937 (2001); theories of transnationalism, as in her co-edited Minor Transnationalism (2005); critical race studies, as in her guest-edited special issue of PMLA entitled “Comparative Racialization” (2008); critical theory, as in her co-edited Creolization of Theory (2011); Taiwan studies, as in her guest-edited special issue of Postcolonial Studies entitled “Globalization and Taiwan’s (In)significance” and the co-edited volume Comparatizing Taiwan (2015) and Knowledge Taiwan (2016).
She is currently working on two monographs entitled Empires of the Sinophone and Comparison as Relation, and two co-edited volumes: Keywords of Taiwan Theory and World Studies: Theories and Debates.
The Comparative Literature Department is grateful for the support provided by the Willson Center Distinguished Artist/Lecturer Program for making this lecture possible.