Rey Chow

Rey Chow

Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature

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. “Foreword: An Ethics of Consumption.” Leung Ping Kwan, Travelling with a Bitter Melon (Selected Poems 1973-1998), edited by Martha P. Y. Cheung, Asia 2000 Publishing, 2002, pp. 9–17.

Chow, R. “Gender and Representation.” Feminist Consequences: Theory for a New Century, edited by M. Kavka and E. Bronfen, Columbia University Press, 2000, pp. 38–57.

Chow, R. “Jiqiao, meixue shikong, nüxing zuojia — cong Zhang Ailing de ‘Fengsuo’ tan qi.” Yuedu Zhang Ailing Guoji Yantaohui Lunwenji, edited by Yang Ze, Taipei: Ryefield Publishing, 1999, pp. 161–76.

Chow, R. “Film and Cultural Identity.” The Oxford Guide to Film Studies, edited by J. Hill and P. C. Gibson, Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 169–75.

Chow, R. “Bulunbulei de youhuo — mantan Chen Kaige dianying Feng yue zhong de aimeixing.” Identity, Difference and Subjectivity, Comparative Literature Institute, Fujen University / Lixu Publishing, 1997, pp. 217–36.

Chow, R. “The Age of the World Target: On the 50th Anniversary of the Dropping of the Atomic Bomb.” Mass Culture and Everyday Life: A Tabloid Reader, edited by Peter Gibian, Routledge, 1997, pp. 91–107.

Chow, R. “Theory, Area Studies, Cultural Studies: Issues of Pedagogy in Multiculturalism.” A Question of Discipline: Pedagogy, Power, and the Teaching of Cultural Studies, edited by J. Canaan and D. Epstein, Westview Press, 1997, pp. 11–26.

Chow, R. “The Dream of a Butterfly.” Human, All Too Human (Papers from the English Institute), edited by Diana Fuss, Routledge, 1996, pp. 61–92.

Chow, R. “Women in the Holocene: Ethnicity, Fantasy, and the Film ’The Joy Luck Club’.” Feminisms and Pedagogies of Everyday Life, edited by Carmen Luke, Albany NY: SUNY Press, 1996, pp. 204–21.

Chow, R. “Cavando un Viejo Pozo: El Trabajo de la Fantasia Social.” Feminismo y Teoría Fílmica, edited by Giulia Colaizzi, Madrid: Colección EUTOPÍAS/MAIOR, 1995, pp. 135–61.


Chow, R. “An Addiction from Which We Never Get Free.” New Literary History, vol. 36, 2005, pp. 47–55.

Chow, R. “"Have You Eaten?" – Inspired by an Exhibit,” forum on E. Said.” Amerasia Journal, vol. 31, 2005, pp. 19–22.

Chow, R. “The Old/New Question of Comparison in Literary Studies.” Elh (English Literary History), vol. 71, 2004, pp. 289–311.

Chow, R. “Toward an Ethics of Postvisuality: Some Thoughts on the Recent Work of Zhang Yimou.” Poetics Today, vol. 25, 2004, pp. 673–88.

Chow, R. “The Interruption of Referentiality: Poststructuralism and the Conundrum of Critical Multiculturalism.” Saq: The South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 101, no. 1, Duke University Press, 2002, pp. 171–86.

Chow, R. “Sentimental Returns: On the Uses of the Everyday in the Recent Films of Zhang Yimou and Wong Kar-wai.” New Literary History, vol. 33, 2002, pp. 639–54.

Chow, R. “A Phantom Discipline.” Pmla, vol. 116, Oct. 2001, pp. 1386–95.

Chow, R. “How (the) Inscrutable Chinese Led to Globalized Theory.” Pmla, vol. 116, Feb. 2001, pp. 69–74.

Chow, R. “Fateful Attachments: On Collecting, Fidelity, and Lao She.” Critical Inquiry, vol. 28, 2001, pp. 286–304.