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., 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. “Excerpts from WRITING DIASPORA, 116-19.” Feminist Literary Theory: A Reader, 3d Edition, edited by Mary Eagleton, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, pp. 407–10.

Chow, R. “Afterword: Liquidity of Being.” The Chinese Cinema Book, edited by S. H. Lim and J. Ward, British Film Institute/Palgrave MacMillan, 2011, pp. 194–99.

Chow, R. “Thinking with Food, Writing off Center: Notes on Two Hong Kong Authors.” Global Chinese Literature, edited by J. Tsu and D. Wang, Leiden: Brill, 2010, pp. 133–55.

Chow, R. “Postcolonial Visibilities: Questions Inspired by Deleuze’s Method.” Deleuze and the Postcolonial, edited by S. Bignall and P. Patton, Edinburgh:University of Edinburgh Press, 2010, pp. 62–77.

Chow, R. “The Elusive Material, What the Dog Doesn’t Understand.” New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics, edited by S. Frost and D. Coole, Duke University Press, 2010, pp. 221–33.

Chow, R. “Afterword.” Cosmopatriots: On Distant Belongings and Close Encounters, edited by E. Jurriëns and J de Kloet, Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2008, pp. 291–94.

Chow, R. “Poststructuralism: Theory as Critical Self-Consciousness.” The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Literary Theory, edited by E. Rooney, Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 195–210.

Chow, R. “Sexuality.” A Concise Companion to Feminist Theory, edited by M. Eagleton, Blackwell, 2003, pp. 93–110.

Chow, R. “The Resistance of Theory; or, the Worth of Agony.” Just Being Difficult? Academic Writing in the Public Arena, edited by J. Culler and K. Lamb, Stanford University Press, 2003, pp. 95–105.


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, Timothy D., et al. “Bioenergy: Counting on Incentives Response.” Science, vol. 327, no. 5970, Mar. 2010, pp. 1200–01. Wos-lite, doi:10.1126/science.327.5970.1200-a. Full Text Open Access Copy

Chow, R. “Response: Fleeing Objects.” Postcolonial Studies (Special Issue: Rey Chow, Postcoloniality and Interdisciplinarity), vol. 13, 2010, pp. 303–04.

Chow, R. “The Provocation of ’Dim Sum’; or, Making Diaspora Visible on Film.” Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, vol. 9, July 2009, pp. 208–17.

Chow, R. “Translator, Traitor; Translator, Mourner (or, Dreaming of Intercultural Equivalence).” New Literary History, vol. 39, 2008, pp. 565–80.

Chow, R. “American Studies in Japan; Japan in American Studies: Challenges of the Heterolingual Address.” Nanzan Review of American Studies (Japan), vol. 30, 2008, pp. 47–61.

Chow, R. “Woman,’ Fetish, Particularism: Articulating Chinese Cinema with a Cross-Cultural Problematic.” Journal of Chinese Cinemas, vol. 1, 2007, pp. 209–21.

Chow, R. “Sacrifice, Mimesis, and the Theorizing of Victimhood.” Representations, vol. 94, 2006, pp. 131–49.