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


  • Ph.D., Stanford University 1986
  • M.A., Stanford University 1982
  • B.A., University of Hong Kong (China) 1979

Chow, R. Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary Chinese Cinema. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995. (Monograph)

Chow, R. Writing Diaspora: Tactics of Intervention in Contemporary Cultural Studies. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1993. (Monograph)

Chow, R. Woman and Chinese Modernity: The Politics of Reading Between West and East. Minnesota, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1991. (Monograph)


Chow, R. "When Reflexivity Becomes Porn: Mutations of a Modernist Theoretical Practice." Theory after Theory. Ed. J Elliott and D Attridge. Routledge, 2011. 135-48.

Chow, R, and Rohrhuber, J. "On Captivation: A Remainder from the ’Indistinction of Art and Nonart’." Reading Ranciere. Ed. P Bowman and R Stamp. Continuum, 2011. 44-72.

Chow, R. "Excerpts from WRITING DIASPORA, 116-19." Feminist Literary Theory: A Reader, 3d Edition. Ed. M Eagleton. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 407-10.

Chow, R. "Afterword: Liquidity of Being." The Chinese Cinema Book. Ed. SH Lim and J Ward. British Film Institute/Palgrave MacMillan, 2011. 194-99.

Chow, R. "Postcolonial Visibilities: Questions Inspired by Deleuze’s Method." Deleuze and the Postcolonial. Ed. S Bignall and P Patton. Edinburgh:University of Edinburgh Press, 2010. 62-77.

Chow, R. "The Elusive Material, What the Dog Doesn’t Understand." New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics. Ed. S Frost and D Coole. Duke University Press, 2010. 221-33.

Chow, R. "Thinking with Food, Writing off Center: Notes on Two Hong Kong Authors." Global Chinese Literature. Ed. J Tsu and D Wang. Leiden: Brill, 2010. 133-55.

Chow, R. "Afterword." Cosmopatriots: on Distant Belongings and Close Encounters. Ed. E Jurriëns and JD Kloet. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2008. 291-294.

Chow, R. "Poststructuralism: Theory as Critical Self-Consciousness." The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Literary Theory. Ed. E Rooney. Cambridge University Press, 2006. 195-210.

Chow, R. "Sexuality." A Concise Companion to Feminist Theory. Ed. M Eagleton. Blackwell, 2003. 93-110.


Chow, R. "Response: Fleeing Objects." Postcolonial Studies (Special Issue: Rey Chow, Postcoloniality and Interdisciplinarity) 13 (2010): 303-304. (Academic Article)

Chow, R. "The Provocation of ’Dim Sum’; or, Making Diaspora Visible on Film." Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese 9 (July 2009): 208-17. (Academic Article)

Chow, R. "American Studies in Japan; Japan in American Studies: Challenges of the Heterolingual Address." Nanzan Review of American Studies (Japan) 30 (2008): 47-61. (Academic Article)

Chow, R. "Woman,’ Fetish, Particularism: Articulating Chinese Cinema with a Cross-Cultural Problematic." Journal of Chinese Cinemas 1 (2007): 209-221. (Academic Article)

Chow, R. "Sacrifice, Mimesis, and the Theorizing of Victimhood." Representations 94 (2006): 131-149.

Chow, R. "An Addiction from Which We Never Get Free." New Literary History 36 (2005): 47-55.

Chow, R. ""Have You Eaten?" – Inspired by an Exhibit,” forum on E. Said." Amerasia Journal 31 (2005): 19-22.