Rey Chow

Rey Chow

Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

External address: 
101 Friedl Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90670, Durham, NC 27708-0670
(919) 660-3045


Chow's research comprises theoretical, interdisciplinary, and textual analyses. Since her years as a graduate student at Stanford University, she has specialized in the making of cultural forms such as literature and film (with particular attention to East Asia, Western Europe, and North America), and in the discursive encounters among modernity, sexuality, postcoloniality, and ethnicity. Her book PRIMITIVE PASSIONS was awarded the James Russell Lowell Prize by the Modern Language Association. Before coming to Duke, she was Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Brown University, where she held appointments in the Departments of Comparative Literature, English, and Modern Culture and Media. In her current work, Chow is concerned with the legacies of poststructuralist theory (in particular the work of Michel Foucault), the politics of language as a postcolonial phenomenon, and the shifting paradigms for knowledge and lived experience in the age of visual technologies and digitial media.

Please contact Professor Chow for most recent CV at

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Stanford University 1986

  • M.A., Stanford University 1982

  • B.A., University of Hong Kong (China) 1979

Chow, R. Not Like a Native Speaker: On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014. (Monograph)

Chow, R. Ethics after Idealism: Theory–Culture–Ethnicity–Reading (Chinese translation). Zhengzhou, People's Republic of China,: Henan University Press, 2013.

Chow, R. Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012. (Monograph)

Steintrager, JA. The Sense of Sound. December 2011. (Collection)

Chow, R. The Rey Chow Reader. Ed. P Bowman. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010. (Edited Book)

Chow, R. Sentimental Fabulations, Contemporary Chinese Films: Attachment in the Age of Global Visibility. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007. (Monograph)

Chow, R. The Age of the World Target: Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006. (Monograph)

Chow, R. Il sogno di Butterfly: costellazioni postcoloniali. Ed. P Calefato. Trans. MR Dagostino. Rome: Meltemi Editore, 2004. (Collection)

Chow, R. The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. (Monograph)

Modern Chinese Literary and Cultural Studies in the Age of Theory: Reimagining a Field. Ed. R Chow. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000. (Edited Book)


Maitra, A, and Chow, R. "What’s“in”? Disaggregating Asia through new media actants." Routledge Handbook of New Media in Asia. January 1, 2016. 17-27. Full Text

Bales, CW, Locher, JL, and Saltzman, E. "Handbook of clinical nutrition and aging, third edition." January 1, 2015. 1-442. Full Text

Chow, R. "Fetish Power Unbound: A Small History of 'Woman' in Chinese Cinema." The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas. Ed. C Rojas and E Chow. Oxford UP, 2013. 490-506.

Chow, R. "On Chineseness as a Theoretical Problem." Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader. Ed. Shih, S, Tsai, C and Bernards, B.: Columbia UP. 2013. 43-56.

Chow, R. "The Provocation of _Dim Sum_; or, Making Diaspora Visible on Film." Diasporic Chineseness after the Rise of China: Communities and Cultural Production. Ed. Kuehn, J, Louie, K and Pomfret, DM.: University of British Columbia P. 2013. 100-110.

Chow, R. "What Does It Mean to Enjoy Life? Yang Fudong’s _An Estranged Paradise_." Yang Fudong. Ed. P Pirotte and B Ruf. UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Kunsthalle Zurich, 2013. 129-130.

Chow, R, and Rangan, P. "Race, Racism, and Postcoloniality." The Oxford Handbook of Postcolonial Studies. Ed. G Huggan. Oxford UP, 2013. 396-411.

Chow, R. "Ye Si yu shuqing." Harvard History of Modern Chinese Literature. Ed. DD-WWE al. Harvard UP, 2013.

Chow, R. "After the Passage of the Beast: ’False Documentary’ Aspirations, Acousmatic Complications." Ranciere and Film. Ed. Bowman, P.: Edinburgh UP. 2013. 34-52.


Chow, R, and Hadjioannou, M. "The hitchcockian nudge; or, an aesthetics of deception." Representations 140.1 (September 1, 2017): 159-174. (Review) Full Text

Hadjioannou, M, and Chow, R. "The Hitchcockian Nudge; or, An Aesthetics of Deception." Representations 140.1 (2017): 159-174. Full Text

Chow, R. "Modernism's Unfinished Business?." Arcade: Literature, the Humanities, and the World Spring (2015).

Chow, R. "China as documentary: Some basic questions (inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni and Jia Zhangke)." European Journal of Cultural Studies 17.1 (February 1, 2014): 16-30. Full Text

Chow, R. "Things, Commonplaces, Passages of a Port City: On Hong Kong and Hong Kong Author Leung Ping-kwan." Ed. S Shih, C Tsai, and B Bernards. (2014): 207-226. (Academic Article)

Chow, R. "The provocation of Dim Sum, or, making diaspora visible on film." (January 1, 2013): 100-110. (Chapter)

Chow, R. "Remains’ Regime Change?." World Picture 8 (2013). (Academic Article)

Chow, R. "The Subject of Chinglish." Ed. T Parks and E Zuccato. Testo a Fronte: teoria e practica della traduzione letteraria 48 (1 semestre) (2013): 155-62. (Academic Article)

Chow, R. "Fetish Power Unbound: A Small History of ’Woman’ in Chinese Cinema." Ed. Rojas, C and Chow, E. (2013): 490-506. (Academic Article)

Chow, R. "On Chineseness as a Theoretical Problem." Ed. Shih, S, Tsai, C and Bernards, B. (2013): 43-56. (Academic Article)


., . "The Sense of Sound." Ed. Chow, R and Steintrager, J. Differences 22.2-3 (2011). (Journal Issue,Special Issue)

., . "Between Languages." Ed. Chow, R and Bensmaïa, R. Comparative Literature Studies 42.4 (2005). (Journal Issue,Special Issue)

., . "Writing in the Realm of the Senses." Ed. Chow, R. Differences 11.2 (1999). (Journal Issue,Special Issue)