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Roy Chan

Roy Chan profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor, Chinese Literature
  • Additional Title: William and Susan Piché Faculty Fellow
  • Office: 426 Friendly Hall
  • Office Hours: T 11:30-1:30 and by appointment
  • Affiliated Departments: Asian Studies, Comparative Literature Department, Russian and East European Studies


Roy Chan is a literary comparatist who specializes in modern Chinese and Russian literatures. His book, The Edge of Knowing: Dreams, History, and Realism in Modern Chinese Literature, examines the rhetoric of dreams and reality and its relationship to issues of literature, modernity, and revolutionary utopianism in modern Chinese fiction. His second project engages a translingual and transcultural literary critique of Soviet/Russian and Chinese literary texts that address the other country tentatively titled A Reflection of Sovereignty: Transnational Figurations and Global Forms in Modern Chinese and Russian Literatures. A third project, in beginning stages of preparation, aims to comparatively explore relationships between emotion, mourning, and care in Soviet/Post-Soviet and modern Chinese cultures, and their relation to psychology, counseling, biopolitics, and sociality and self. Research interests include modern literature, realism, narrative, the imperial imagination, and popular culture, among others. Theoretical concerns include Marxism, psychoanalysis, gender and sexuality, semiotics, formalism, and affect. 


He received his Ph.D. (2009) in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and also holds a B.A. (2002) in Russian and Comparative Literature from the University of Washington. Prior to coming to Oregon, he taught at the College of William and Mary, and was a Harvard University Fairbank Center An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow in Chinese Studies.


He teaches a wide array of courses spanning modern Chinese literature, popular Chinese culture, modern Russian literature, and Comparative Literature.

Graduate seminars previously taught:
RUSS 434/534 Comparative Realisms in Russia and China
CHN 607 Lu Xun
CHN 607 Mind and Spirit in Modern Chinese Literature
CHN 607 The Cultural Revolution and the Question of Culture
CHN 607 Late-Qing Literature
CHN 410/510 Reading Socialist Texts
CHN 407/507 "Class" in Modern Chinese Literature

Undergraduate courses previously taught:
CHN 152 Introduction to Chinese Popular Culture
CHN 307 History of Modern Chinese Literature
CHN 351 Gender and Sexuality in Modern Chinese Literature


Articles, Chapters in Edited Volumes, Monographs (selected):
“The Revolutionary Metapragmatics of Laughter in Zhao Shuli’s Fiction," in Maoist Laughter, ed. Jason McGrath, Zhuoyi Wang, Ping Zhu (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, forthcoming).

"Homeless in the World: War, Narrative, and Historical Consciousness in Eileen Chang, Gyorgy Lukacs, and Lev Tolstoy," in Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese 14 no. 1 (Summer 2017): 45-69.

The Edge of Knowing: Dreams, History, and Realism in Modern Chinese Literature (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017).

“Broken Tongues: Race, Sacrifice and Geopolitics in the Far East in Vsevolod Ivanov’s ‘Armored Car No. 14-69’,” in Sibirica: Journal of Siberian Studies 10 no.3 (2011): 25-54.

Lu Xun. “Curiosities,” “Before the Appearance of Geniuses,” and “A Brief Glimpse of Shanghai’s Literature” (co-translated with Yu Chih Chou). In Jottings Under Lamplight, edited by Eileen Cheng and Kirk Denton (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017).