Sheldon Lu 鲁晓鹏


Position Title
Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature

808 Sproul Hall
Office Hours
SQ 24: Tuesday, 9-11 am


  • M.A. and Ph.D. (1990) in Comparative Literature, Indiana University, Bloomington.
  • B.A. (1984) in Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

Sheldon Lu joined the University of California at Davis in 2002 and is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature.  He is also affiliated with East Asian Studies, Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, Film and Media Studies, Critical Theory, and Designated Emphasis in Environmental Humanities at UC Davis.  Previously he taught at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1990-1991), Indiana University at Bloomington (1991-1992), University of Pittsburgh (1992-2002), and Beijing Normal University (2000-2001).  He was a Fulbright scholar in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2004-2005.  He has served as the Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature, Director of the Graduate Program in Comparative Literature, and Founding Co-Director of the Film Studies Program at UC Davis.  His research, scholarship, and teaching lie at the intersection of literary studies, visual studies, film studies, China studies, and cultural theory.  He is the author and editor of some 15 books in English and Chinese.  His writings have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, such as New Literary HistoryModern Language QuarterlyTelosboundary 2SemioticaComparative Literature Studies, Comparative LiteratureEuropean Review (Academia Europaea), Journal of World Literature, Cinema JournalJump Cutpositions, Post Script, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Asian CinemaJournal of Chinese Cinemas, Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese 現代中文文學學報, Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR), China InformationPrism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature, Arts Criticism 艺术评论,Literature & Art Studies 文艺研究, Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art 文艺理论研究, Contemporary Film 当代电影, New Film 电影新作, Film Appreciation 電影欣賞, and Avant-Garde Today 今日先锋. He was Founding General Editor (2009-2019) of the book series "Critical Interventions" at the University of Hawaii Press.  Websites:; 



Monographs in English

  • Contemporary Chinese Cinema and Visual Culture: Envisioning the Nation.  London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021.  Honourable Mention for Best Monograph at the British Association of Film, Television, and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) in 2022.
  • Chinese Modernity and Global Biopolitics: Studies in Literature and Visual Culture.  University of Hawaii Press, 2007. 
  • China, Transnational Visuality, Global Postmodernity.  Stanford University Press, 2001.
  • From Historicity to Fictionality: The Chinese Poetics of Narrative. Stanford University Press, 1994.  Translated into Korean and Chinese, published in Seoul, South Korea (Ghil, 2001) and Beijing, China (Beijing University Press, 2012).

Edited Anthologies in English

  • Co-editor with Haomin Gong.  Ecology and Chinese-Language Cinema: Reimagining a Field.  London and New York: Routledge, 2020.
  • Co-editor with Jiayan Mi.  Chinese Ecocinema in the Age of Environmental Challenge. Hong Kong University Press, 2009; Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010. 
  • Co-editor with Emilie Y. Y. Yeh.  Chinese-Language Film: Historiography, Poetics, Politics. University of Hawaii Press, 2005. Choice's Award of "Outstanding Academic Title of 2005." 
  • Editor.  Transnational Chinese Cinemas: Identity, Nationhood, Gender.  University of Hawaii Press, 1997.  A University of Hawaii Press best-selling text.

Monographs in Chinese

  • Lyric Poetry and Solidarity Society in Hong Kong in the 1950s 一九五〇年代香港詞壇與堅社. Hong Kong: Chung Hwa Book Co. 中華書局, 2022.
  • Image, Literature, Theory: Re-visioning Chinese Modernity 影像、文学、理论:重新审视中国现代性. Beijing: The Publishing House of the China Literary Federation 中国文联出版社, 2016. 
  • Chinese edition of From Historicity to Fictionality: The Chinese Poetics of Narrative--从史实性到虚构性:中国叙事诗学.  Beijing University Press 北京大学出版社, 2012. 
  • Culture, Mirror-Image, Poetics 文化,镜像,诗学.  Tianjin People's Press 天津人民出版社, 2002.

Edited Books in Chinese

  • Editor.  Collected Works of Lingnan Scholar Lin Manhua 嶺南學人林縵華文集.  Hong Kong: Joint Publishing Co.三聯書店, 2022.
  • Co-editor with Haomin Gong 龚浩敏.  Essays on Chinese Ecocinema 中国生态电影文集.  Wuhan: Wuhan University Press 武汉大学出版社, 2017.  
  • Editor.  The Lyric Poetry of Lin Bicheng 碧城樂府:林碧城詞集, by Lin Ruheng 林汝珩,with introduction, annotations and supplemental materials.  Hong Kong University Press 香港大学出版社, 2011.

Creative Writing

  • Love Trilogy (novel)--The Sentimental AgeReturning to BeijingA Journey to the West (aka From Ukraine, with Love) . Beijing: Overseas Chinese Press, 2015.  小说:《爱情三部曲》--《感伤的岁月》、《回北京》、《西域行》(又名:《乌克兰之恋》)。北京:中国华侨出版社,2015. 313 pages, Preface, 20 photos.


  • Co-editor with Zhang Longxi.  Comparative Literature and China: Methods and Perspectives.  A special issue, Journal of World Literature 9.2 (May 2024).
  • Co-editor with Jaimey Fisher.  The Modern City in World Cinema.  A special issue, Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary  no. 197 (Winter 2021).
  • Guest editor.  Chinese-language Ecocinema, a special issue of Journal of Chinese Cinemas vol. 11, no. 1 (March 2017).
  • Editor.  “Chinese Film Studies” (华语电影研究), a special section of 《文化研究》(Cultural Studies) (Beijing) vol. 11 (2011): 245-308.
  • Co-editor with Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh.  Chinese Cinema, a special double issue of Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities 20.2 & 3 (Winter/Spring & Summer 2001). 
  • Editor.  “Problems and Prospects of Teaching Asian Cinema in America: A Symposium,” a special section of Asian Cinema 11.1 (Spring/Summer 2000).


  • "The Early Modern Period, Dream of the Red Chamber, and World Literature."  Journal of World Literature 9.2 (May 2024): 207-225.
  • Co-author with Zhang Longxi. "Introduction." Comparative Literature and China: Methods and Perspectives, ed. Zhang Longxi and Sheldon Lu.  A special issue of Journal of World Literature 9.2 (May 2024): 149-160.
  • “Trailblazing Scholar, Brilliant Critic: In Memory of Yingjin Zhang." Chinese Literature and Thought Today vol. 54, nos. 3-4 (2023): 16-20.
  • Co-author with Haomin Gong.  "Reflections on the Construction of the Discourse of a Chinese Film School in Recent Years” 近年来“中国电影学派”话语的构建:几点反思与质疑.  Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art 文艺理论研究 no. 5 (2023): 133-143.
  • Co-author with Xuesong Shao.  "Reconfiguring the Chronotope: Spatiotemporal Representations and Cultural Imaginations of Beijing in Mr. Six."  Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature (Duke University Press) (March 2022) 19 (1): 67-85.
  • Co-author with Jaimey Fisher.  "Introduction."  The Modern City in World Cinema.  A special issue of Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary no. 197 (Winter 2021).
  • Co-author with Zhen Zhang.  "Mediated Environment across Oceans and Countries."  Media + Environment 1 (1), November 22, 2019.
  • “The First Screenings of Lumière Films in China: Conjectures and New Findings.” Asia Cinema 30.1 (2019): 129-135.
  • Co-author with Karen Thornber.  “Commentary.” A special issue of Comparative Literature Studies on “Ecocriticism in East Asia.”  Vol. 55, no. 4 (2018): 741-748.
  • “Introduction: Chinese-language Ecocinema.” Journal of Chinese Cinemas 11.1 (March 2017): 1-12.
  • “Cosmopolitanism and Alternative Modernity in Twentieth-Century China.” Telos 180 (Fall 2017): 105-120.
  • "Space, Mobility, Modernity: The Figure of the Prostitute in Chinese-language Cinema." Asian Cinema 27.1 (2016): 85-99. 
  • "Foreword," a special issue on Chinese-language cinema, Asian Cinema 27.1 (2016): 3-5. 
  • “Agitation or Deep Focus? Early Chinese Film History and Theory.” A review essay. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol. 76, no. 1 (June 2016): 197-207. 
  • “Classical Poetry in Hong Kong in the 1950s: Solidarity Club and Lin Bicheng” 一九五〇年代香港詞壇:堅社與林碧城.  Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese《現代中文文學學報》12. 2 (summer 2015): 138-209.
  • “Re-visioning Global Modernity through the Prism of China.” European Review (Academia Europaea) vol. 23, no. 2 (May 2015): 210-226.
  • “Artistic Interventions in Contemporary China,” a special issue on urbanization and art, China Information: A Journal on Contemporary China Studies 29 (2) (July 2015): 282-297.
  • “Notes on Four Major Paradigms in Chinese-Language Film Studies.”  Journal of Chinese Cinemas 6.1 (2012): 15-25.
  • “Spatial Reconfigurations of Beijing: Transnational Architecture, Avant-Garde Art, and Local Documentary Practice.” Asian Cinema 22.2 (Fall/Winter 2011): 352-363.
  • “I Ching and the Origin of the Chinese Semiotic Tradition,” Semiotica 170—1/4 (2008): 169-185.
  • “Popular Culture and Body Politics: Beauty Writers in Contemporary China,” Modern Language Quarterly 69.1 (March 2008): 167-185.
  •  “Dialect and Modernity in 21st Century Sinophone Cinema.”  Jump Cut: A Journal of Contemporary Film and Media (online journal) 49 (Spring 2007).
  • “History, Memory, Nostalgia: Rewriting Socialism in Chinese Film and TV Drama,” Asian Cinema (fall 2005): 2-24.
  • ‘“Beautiful Violence’: War, Peace, Globalization,” a special issue on Asian visual culture, positions: east asia cultures critique 12.3 (winter 2004): 759-711.
  • “Waking to Modernity: The Classical Tale in Late Qing China,” New Literary History 34.4 (Autumn 2003): 745-760.
  • “Soap Opera in China: The Transnational Politics of Visuality, Sexuality, Masculinity,” Cinema Journal vol. 40, no. 1 (Fall 2000): 25-47.
  • Co-author.  "Ermo: Televisuality, Capital and the Global Village."  Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media no. 42 (December 1998).
  • “Global POSTmodernIZATION: The Intellectual, the Artist, and China’s Condition.”  Special issue Postmodernism and China boundary 2: an international journal of literature and culture 24.3 (fall 1997): 65-97.
  • “Art, Culture, and Cultural Criticism in Post‑New China.” Special issue Cultural Studies: China and the WestNew Literary History 28.1 (Winter 1997): 111-133.
  • “Postmodernity, Popular Culture, and the Intellectual: A Report on Post‑Tiananmen China.”  boundary 2 23.2 (summer 1996): 139‑69.
  • “The Fictional Discourse of Pien‑wen: The Relation of Chinese Fiction to Historiography.”  Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 9 (1987): 49‑70.
  • Forms of Asian Literature
  • Chinese Cinema
  • Hong Kong Cinema
  • World Cinema
  • Introduction to Film
  • Introduction to Critical Theory
  • Shanghai and Hong Kong: Cinema, Culture, Society (UC Davis Summer Study Abroad Program in China and Hong Kong, 2008)
  • Freshman Seminar: Modern Chinese Literature
  • Graduate Seminars
  • Globalization and National Culture
  • Transnationalism
  • Approaches to Critical Theory
  • Introduction to Graduate Studies in Chinese Literature
  • World Cinema (Spring 2023)
  • East-West Literary Relations, Comparative Poetics, Cross-cultural Modernity (Fall 2023)
  • Colloquium: Introduction to Comparative Literature