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. “Walter Benjamin’s Love Affair with Death.” New German Critique, 1989, pp. 63–86.

Chow, R. “Virtuous Transactions: A Reading of Three Stories by Ling Shuhua.” Modern Chinese Literature, vol. 4, 1988, pp. 71–86.

Chow, R. “Rereading Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies: A Response to the ‘Postmodern’ Condition.” Cultural Critique, vol. 5, 1986, pp. 69–94.

Chow, R. “Roland Barthes: ’Empire of Signs’.” Constructions, 1986, pp. 17–24.

Chow, R. “Reading Derrida on Being Monolingual.” New Literary History, vol. 39, pp. 217–31.

Chow, R. “'I Insist on the Christian Dimension': On Forgiveness…and the Outside of the Human.” Differences, vol. 20, Duke University Press, pp. 224–49.