Rey Chow

Rey Chow

Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor in the Humanities

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. Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture. Duke University Press, 2012.

Steintrager, James A. The Sense of Sound. Vol. 22, 2011.

Chow, R. The Rey Chow Reader. Edited by P. Bowman, Columbia University Press, 2010.

Chow, R. Il sogno di Butterfly: costellazioni postcoloniali. Edited by Patrizia Calefato, Translated by Maria Rosaria Dagostino, Meltemi Editore, 2004.

Chow, Rey. The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Columbia University Press, 2002.


Chow, R. “The writing voice in cinema: A preliminary discussion.” Locating the Voice in Film: Critical Approaches and Global Practices, 2017, pp. 17–30. Scopus, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190261122.003.0002. Full Text

Maitra, A., and R. Chow. “What’s“in”? Disaggregating Asia through new media actants.” Routledge Handbook of New Media in Asia, 2016, pp. 17–27. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9781315774626. Full Text

Bales, C. W., et al. Handbook of clinical nutrition and aging, third edition. 2015, pp. 1–442. Scopus, doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-1929-1. Full Text

Chow, R. “On Chineseness as a Theoretical Problem.Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader, edited by S. Shih et al., Columbia UP, 2013, pp. 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, edited by J. Kuehn et al., University of British Columbia P, 2013, pp. 100–10.

Chow, R. “What Does It Mean to Enjoy Life? Yang Fudong’s _An Estranged Paradise_.” Yang Fudong, edited by P. Pirotte and B. Ruf, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Kunsthalle Zurich, 2013, pp. 129–30.

Chow, R., and Pooja Rangan. “Race, Racism, and Postcoloniality.” The Oxford Handbook of Postcolonial Studies, edited by Graham Huggan, Oxford UP, 2013, pp. 396–411.

Chow, R. “Ye Si yu shuqing.” Harvard History of Modern Chinese Literature, edited by David Der-wei Wang et al, Harvard UP, 2013.

Chow, R. “After the Passage of the Beast: ’False Documentary’ Aspirations, Acousmatic Complications.” Ranciere and Film, edited by Paul Bowman, Edinburgh UP, 2013, pp. 34–52.


Chow, R. “The message it is not: The work of the medium known as documentary.” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, vol. 7, no. 2, Apr. 2020, pp. 199–202. Scopus, doi:10.1017/pli.2019.38. Full Text

Chow, R., and M. Hadjioannou. “The hitchcockian nudge; or, an aesthetics of deception.” Representations, vol. 140, no. 1, Sept. 2017, pp. 159–74. Scopus, doi:10.1525/rep.2017.140.1.159. Full Text

Chow, R., and S. Hajdini. “The Subject of Chinglish.” Problemi, vol. 55, no. 11–12, Jan. 2017, pp. 117–27.

Chow, R. “Modernism's Unfinished Business?Arcade: Literature, the Humanities, and the World, vol. Spring, 2015.

Chow, R. “China as documentary: Some basic questions (inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni and Jia Zhangke).” European Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 17, no. 1, Feb. 2014, pp. 16–30. Scopus, doi:10.1177/1367549413501482. Full Text

Chow, R. Things, Commonplaces, Passages of a Port City: On Hong Kong and Hong Kong Author Leung Ping-kwan. Edited by S. Shih et al., Columbia UP, 2014, pp. 207–26.

Chow, R. “Remains’ Regime Change?World Picture, vol. 8, 2013.

Chow, R. “The Subject of Chinglish.” Testo a Fronte: Teoria E Practica Della Traduzione Letteraria 48 (1 Semestre), edited by Tim Parks and Eduardo Zuccato, 2013, pp. 155–62.

Chow, R. Fetish Power Unbound: A Small History of ’Woman’ in Chinese Cinema. Edited by C. Rojas and E. Chow, Oxford UP, 2013, pp. 490–506.

Chow, R. On Chineseness as a Theoretical Problem. Edited by S. Shih et al., Columbia UP, 2013, pp. 43–56.


Saussy, H. Comparative literature: The next ten years. 1 Jan. 2017, pp. 24–30. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9781315227405. Full Text

Chow, R. “Unacceptable Suffering: Rey Chow on Michael Haneke.” Asian American Writers’ Workshop, vol. January 24, 2013.

Chow, R. The Age of the World Target: Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work, chapter 3. Edited by Cesar Dominguez, Arcos Libros, S.L., 2013, pp. 147–75.

Chow, R. After the Passage of the Beast: ’False Documentary’ Aspirations, Acousmatic Complications. Edited by V. Kamensky and J. Rohrhuber, Verlag Vorwerk 8, 2013, pp. 194–211.