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


Chinese literature; popular culture; Global Chinese language cinema; Asian Canadian Literature and Media

Current students

Elina Jin (MA, Humanities)


Future courses may be subject to change.



  • 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, 241pages
  • 故事照亮旅程(Stories along the Journey)北京:三联书店,Beijing: Joint Publishing, 2020


  • 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.