Shuyu Kong

Professor, Humanities
Co-director, David Lam Centre for International Communication


Research interests

  • Chinese literary and cultural studies
  • Literature and Art in Socialist China
  • Chinese Artists in Europe in the early 20th Century
  • Chinese language media in Canada
  • Chinese Diaspora and Sinophone Literature


  • PhD, Asian Studies, University of British Columbia
  • MA, Comparative Literature, Peking University
  • BA, Chinese Language and Literature, Peking University


I was born and educated in China, and came to Canada in 1992 to pursue a Ph.D. in Asian Studies at UBC as well as seeking “a life elsewhere”.  After teaching at the University of Alberta and University of Sydney, Australia, I found my “home elsewhere” here in Vancouver.

Trained in literary and cultural studies, I have taught Asian content courses in the Department of Humanities and the Global Asia Program (formerly Asia-Canada Program) since 2008. I also keep myself busy with bilingual writing and travel-studies as a visiting scholar to universities in Asia, Europe and Australia. Living between cultures gives me inspiration, experiences and dual perspectives on the world and myself. 

Graduate supervision


Modern Chinese literature and culture; Asian Canadian Literature and Art; contemporary Chinese art (working with Shengtian Zheng)

Current students

Elina Jin (MA, Humanities)

Professor Kong is on leave from May 2021 to April 30, 2022. 


This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.



  • Popular Media, Social Emotion and Public Discourse in Contemporary China, London & New York: Routledge, 2014, 2017 (paperback), 154 pages
  • Consuming Literature: Best Sellers and the Commercialization of Literary Production in Contemporary China. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2005, 241 pages.
  • 故事照亮旅程(Stories Illuminating the Journey )北京:三联书店,Beijing: Joint Publishing, 2020, 345 pages. 


  • Beijing Women: Stories by Wang Yuan, translated by Colin S Hawes and Shuyu Kong, with an introduction by Shuyu Kong.  Portland: MerwinAsia Publishing, 2014, 166 pages.

Journal articles

  • Between Undercurrent and Mainstream: Hand-copied Literature and Unofficial Culture during and after the Cultural Revolution, Asian Studies Review Volume 44 Issue 2, 2020. 239-257
  • Portrait of An Artist as Historian: On Shen Jiawei and History Painting,YiShu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Volume 18, Number 5, 2019. 6-22
  • Ma Jian and Gao Xingjian: “Intellectual Nomadism and Exilic Consciousness in Sinophone Literature,” Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, Vol. 41.2 (2014), 126-146.
  • (Co-authored with Colin S. Hawes) “Primetime Dispute Resolution: Reality TV Mediation Shows in China’s ‘Harmonious Society,’” Law & Society Review, Vol. 47 issue 4 (2013), 739-770.
  • “可能性的空间:加拿大本土制作的华语电视节目中的公民对话与多元文化身份认同” (“Space of Possibilities”: Civic Discourse and Multicultural Citizenship in Locally Produced Chinese Television Programs in Metro Vancouver), trans. by Tang Yang, 全球传媒学刊 (Global Media Journal, Chinese edition), Vol. 14 (Summer 2013), 31-43.
  • “金山想象与世界文学版图中的汉语族裔写作” (Imagining Golden Mountain: Chinese Ethnic Writing in World Literature) in 《华文文学》(Sinophone Literature),2012 (5), 5-16.
  • “Le changement à travers le mélodrame” (Melodrama for Change), trans. by Isabelle Henrion-Dourcy, Revue Anthropologie et Sociétés, 36 (1-2), 2012, 115-138.
  • “The `Affective Alliance’: Undercover, Internet Media Fandom, and the Sociality of Cultural Consumption in Post-socialist China,” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Vol. 24 (1) (Spring, 2012), 1-47.
  • “下崗女工, 苦情戲, 及中國電視劇的情感空間” (“Laid-off Female Workers, Drama of Bitter Emotions, and the Affective Articulation of Chinese TV drama”), 《傳播與社會學刊》 (Communication and Society). Vol. 19 (2012), 31-58.
  • “Space of Possibilities: Civic Discourse and Multicultural Citizenship in Locally Produced Chinese Television Programs in Metro Vancouver,” Journal of International Migration and Integration, Vol. 14 issue 1 (2013), 119-138.
  • “Cultural propaganda in the age of economic reform: popular media and the social construction of Shanxi merchants in contemporary China.” The China Journal, No. 63 (Jan. 2010), 79-99.
  • “Genre Film, Media Corporations and the Commercialization of the Chinese Film Industry: The Case of New Year Comedies,” Asian Studies Review, Volume 31, Issue 3, (Sept. 2007), 227-242.
  • “重建帝国: 历史正剧和文化民族主义在大众文化中的新的表现形式” (“Rebuilding the Empire: Historical TV Drama and the New Expressive Form of Cultural Nationalism”), Portal: Electronic Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, University of Technology, Sydney Press, Vol. 4 No. 1 (2007).
  • “Big Shot from Beijing: Feng Xiaogang’s ‘He sui pian’ and Contemporary Chinese Commercial Film,” Asian Cinema, 14.1 (Spring/Summer, 2003), 175-87.
  • “For Reference Only: Restricted Publication and Circulation of Foreign Literature During the Cultural Revolution,” Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Vol. 2 (Summer, 2002) 76-85.
  • “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Chinese Literary Journals in the Market,” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Vol.14, No.1 (Spring, 2002), 93-144.
  • “Swan and Spider Eater in Problematic Memoirs of Cultural Revolution,” Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, Vol. 7.1 (Spring 1999), 239-52.
  • “Ge Fei ‘On the Margins,’” BC Asian Review, Vol.10: 1997. 70-120.
  • “Is There a Realism in ‘New Realism,’” BC Asian Review, Vol. 8: 1995, 117-27

Book chapters

  • "Mandarin Profile: Chinese-language Television and Geo-ethnic Storytelling," in Lloyd L. Wong., ed. Trans-pacific Mobilities: The Chinese and Canada. UBC Press, 2017. 84-101
  • "Diaspora in Modern Chinese Literature", in Kirk Denton, ed., The Columbia Companion for Modern Chinese Literature. Columbia University Press, 2016, 62-71.
  • “Geo-ethnic Storytelling: Chinese-Language Television in Canada” in Wanning Sun & John Sinclair, eds. Media and Communication in the Chinese Diaspora: Rethinking Transnationalism Routledge, 2016, 147-164.
  • (Co-authored with Colin S. Hawes) “The New Family Mediator: TV Mediation Programs in China’s "Harmonious Society"”, in Chinese Television in the Twenty-First Century: Entertaining the Nation, eds. by Ruoyun Bai and Geng Song. Routledge, 2014. 33-50.
  • Melodrama for Change: Gender, Kuqing xi and the Affective Articulation of Chinese TV drama in The Political Economy of Affect and Emotion in East Asia , ed. by Jie Yang. Routledge, 2014. 116-133
  • “金山想象与世界文学版图中的汉语族裔写作” (“Imagining Gold Mountain: Chinese Ethnic Writing in World Literature”)in Zhang Ning and Dong Waiping ed. 思想的时差: 海外学者论中国当代文学(Sinologists on Contemporary Chinese Literature) Peking University Press, 2013. 61-81.
  • “Are You the One: The Competing Public Voices of China’s Post 1980s Generation”, in Restless China, ed. by Perry Link, Richard P. Madsen and Paul G. Pickowicz, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2013, 127-48.
  • “Genre Film, Media Corporations and the Commercialization of the Chinese Film Industry: The Case of New Year Comedies,” in Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures, ed. by Olivia Khoo and Sean Metzger, Bristol: Intellect, 2009, 147-168.
  • “Literary Celebrity in China: From Reformers to Rebels” in Celebrity / China, ed. by Louise Edwards and Elaine Jeffreys, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009, 125-143.
  • “Family Matters: Re/Constructing the Family on the Chinese TV Screen,” in TV Drama in China: Unfolding Narratives of Tradition, Political Transformation and Cosmopolitan Identity, ed. by Ying Zhu, Michael Keane & Ruoyun Bai, Hong Kong University Press, 2008, 75-88.
  • “Diaspora Literature,” in The Columbia Companion of Modern East Asian Literature, ed. by Joshua Mostow. Columbia University Press, 2003. 546-53.

Book Reviews

  • Review of Contemporary Chinese Print Media: Cultivating Middle-Class Taste by Zheng Yi, China Journal, No. 74 (2015).
  • Review of Uneven Modernity: Literature, Film, and Intellectual Discourse in Postsocialist China, by Haomin Gong, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 86 No.1 (2013), 151-2.
  • Review of Media and Cultural Transformation in China by Haiqing Yu, International Journal of Press /Politics. 17 (3) (2012) 373-4.
  • Review of Mainstream Culture Refocused: Television Drama, Society, and the Production of Meaning in Reform-Era China by Zhong Xueping, The China Journal, No. 66 (July 2011) 228-230.
  • Review of Television in Post-reform China: Serial Drama, Confucian Leadership and the Global Television Market by Ying Zhu, The China Quarterly, Vol. 201 (March 2010), 214-16.
  • Review article on Beijing Coma: A Novel by Ma Jian, in MCLC BOOK REVIEWS, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture
  • Review of Post-Socialist Modernity: Chinese Cinema, Literature, and Criticism in the Market Age, by Jason McGrath, in Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 68 Issue 2 (May 2009), 606-07.
  • Review of Created in China: The Great New Leap Forward by Michael Keane, in Asian Studies Review, Vol. 33 Issue 2 (2009), 231-32.
  • Review of Corruption and Realism in Late Socialist China: The Return of the Political Novel, by Jeffrey Kinkley, in China Review International, Vol. 14 no. 2 (2007), 487-91.
  • Review of Women through the Lens: Gender and Nation in a Century of Chinese Cinema by Shuqin Cui, in Pacific Affairs, Vol. 78, No.1 (Spring 2005), 130-131.
  • Review article on Invisible Writing: Studies on Chinese Culture in the 1990s, by Dai Jinhua, in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Vol.12 No.2 (Fall 2000), 285-90.
  • Review of Shades of Mao by Geremie R. Barme, in Pacific Affairs, Vol. 71, No.3 (Fall 1998), 410-11.

Dictionary Entries

  • “Lin Bai,” and “Chen Ran” in Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women: The Twentieth Century, 1912-2000, ed. Lily X. Lee, M. E. Sharpe, 2003. 71-73, 327-329.