Ph.D., Stanford University, Comparative Literature
M.A., Peking University, English
B.A., Peking University, English; Sociology minor
Renren Yang’s research and teaching span twentieth-and twenty-first-century Chinese literature, cinema, and popular culture, with a focus on issues of authorship, mediation, and hybrid genres in Chinese literary and media scenes. His current book project, “A Media Genealogy of Literary Fame in Modern China: Paper, Stage, Screen, and Sphere,” traces the changing concepts, practices, and politics of celebrity authorship throughout twentieth-century Chinese history with the ongoing shift from the print to the digital regime of letters. He also published articles on Chinese web novels and surveillance cinema. Prior to moving to UBC, he taught first-year seminars at Stanford University.
Current research interests:
The intersection of literary and media studies
The apparatus of interface (printed page, book cover, screen, stage, program, skin, etc.)
The making of celebrity authorship in modern China
Chinese time-travel imagination
Chinese surveillance cinema
“Reconfiguring Flatness on Screen: A Short History of Cover Designs for Chinese Web Novels”, Electronic Book Review, March 7, 2021, https://doi.org/10.7273/gf8q-8d91.
“Discreet Camera-Eye, Spectacle, and Stranger Sociality: On the Shift to Prosumer Digital Surveillance in China.” In Surveillance in Asian Cinema: Under Eastern Eyes, edited by Karen Fang. London & New York: Routledge, 2017, 245-68.
“Buried Alive in History: Poetics, Politics, and Ethics of Time in Startling by Each Step (Bubu jingxin) and other Chinese Time-Travel Historical Romances.” Frontier of Literary Studies in China, 2016 10 (4): 699-742.
“Between Languages, Hither or Thither?—A Study of the Use of English and Academic Identities of Chinese Scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” second author. Linguistic Research (Issue 7), Institute of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics of Peking University, ed. Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2009: 181-90.
SSHRC Insight Grant: The deaths and rebirths of literary authorship in digital China
UBC Hampton Research Grant: Paratextual Extensions of Literary Celebrity in Modern China
For prospective graduate students:
I am looking forward to recruiting students who had a background in any one or more of the following fields: modern Chinese literary studies, comparative literature, film studies, cultural studies, critical theories, historical/interpretive media studies, or digital humanities. I am looking forward to working with students who are broadly interested in exploring Chinese popular culture of a particular historical era, be it the Republican, the socialist, or the post-socialist period, or in investigating the languages, genres, forms, technologies, and materialities of oral/print/audiovisual/digital communication and imagination.
ASIA 361 Modern Chinese Fictions in Translation II (theme: love and betrayal)
ASIA 355 History of Chinese Cinema (theme: 20th-century sociopolitical transformation)
ASIA 325 Hong Kong Cinema (theme: historical, social, and cultural identities)
ASIA 319 Contemporary Chinese Popular Cultures (theme: genres of pop culture in post-socialist China)
ASIA 321 Celebrity Culture in Chinese Societies (theme: histories and debates from ancient to digital China)
ASIA 443 National Narratives in Chinese Literature and Film (seminar)
ASIA 517 Chinese Media Studies: Theories and Histories (seminar)
ASIA 514B Author, Media, Fame (seminar)