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. Xie zai jia guo yi wai. Edited by Louis Dung, Oxford University Press, 1995.


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. “"I insist on the christian dimension": On forgiveness ... and the outside of the human.” Language, Ideology, and the Human: New Interventions, 2012, pp. 215–36.

Chow, R. ““I insist on the Christian dimension”: On forgiveness … and the outside of the human.” Language, Ideology, and the Human: New Interventions, 2012, pp. 234–55.

Chow, R. “The Dream of a Butterfly.” Asian American Literature, Vol IV, edited by David Liwei Li, Routledge, 2012, pp. 92–117.

Chow, R. “A Discipline of Tolerance.” A Companion to Comparative Literature, 2011, pp. 15–27. Scopus, doi:10.1002/9781444342789.ch1. Full Text

Chow, R. “When Reflexivity Becomes Porn: Mutations of a Modernist Theoretical Practice.” Theory after Theory, edited by J. Elliott and D. Attridge, Routledge, 2011, pp. 135–48.

Chow, R., and Julian Rohrhuber. “On Captivation: A Remainder from the ’Indistinction of Art and Nonart’.” Reading Ranciere, edited by P. Bowman and R. Stamp, Continuum, 2011, pp. 44–72.


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.

Chow, R. The Dream of a Butterfly. Edited by David Liwei Li, Routledge, 2012, pp. 92–117.

Chow, R. “Sacrifice, Mimesis, and the Theorizing of Victimhood..” Problemi, vol. 9, 2012, pp. 161–90.

Chow, Rey. “Guest Column—Framing the Original: Toward a New Visibility of the Orient.” Pmla, vol. 126, no. 3, Modern Language Association (MLA), May 2011, pp. 555–63. Crossref, doi:10.1632/pmla.2011.126.3.555. Full Text

Chow, R. “On the Graphic in Postmodern Theoretical Writing.” Twentieth Century Literature, vol. 57, no. 3–4, Twentieth Century Literature, 2011, pp. 372–79.

Chow, R., and J. A. Steintrager. “In Pursuit of the Object of Sound: An Introduction.” Differences, vol. 22, no. 2–3, Duke University Press, 2011, pp. 1–9. Manual, doi:10.1215/10407391-428816. Full Text

Searchinger, T. D., et al. “Response.” Science, vol. 327, no. 5970, Mar. 2010. Open Access Copy