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. “Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies: Female Melancholy as Fiction and Commodity.” Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies Selected Papers in Asian Studies, vol. 21, 1986.


Chow, R. ““King Kong in Hong Kong: Watching the ‘Handover,’ from the USA.” Social Text, vol. 55, 1998, pp. 93–108.

Chow, R. “The Postcolonial Difference: Lessons in Cultural Legitimation.” Postcolonial Studies, vol. 1, 1998, pp. 161–69.

Chow, R. “Yao minzhu haishi yao yapian?Xin Bao (Hong Kong Economic Journal), July 1997.

Chow, R. “Playing on the Air: Recollections of a Hong Kong Childhood.” Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, vol. 1, Hong Kong: Lingnan College, July 1997, pp. 109–27.

Chow, R. “Larry Feign, Ethnographer of a ‘Lifestyle’ — Political Cartoons from Hong Kong.” Boundary2, vol. 24, 1997, pp. 21–45.

Chow, R. “Can One Say No to China?New Literary History, vol. 28, 1997, pp. 147–51.

Chow, R. “Stories and Politics,” Review article on Michael Hanne, The Power of the Story: Fiction and Political Change.” Novel: A Forum on Fiction 29.2, vol. 29, no. 2, 1996, pp. 262–65.

Chow, R. “We Endure, therefore We Are: Survival, Governance, and Zhang Yimou’s ’To Live’.” South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 95, 1996, pp. 1039–64.

Chow, R. “The Fascist Longings in Our Midst.” Ariel, vol. 26, no. 1, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995, pp. 23–50.

Chow, R. ““The Politics of Admittance: Female Sexual Agency, Miscegenation, and the Formation of Community in Frantz Fanon.” Uts Review (Sydney, Australia), vol. 1, 1995, pp. 5–29.