Sheldon Lu (鲁晓鹏)

Sheldon Lu

Position Title
Professor of Comparative Literature

808 Sproul Hall

Education and Degree(s)

  • M.A. & Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • B.A. in Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Research Interest(s)

  • World cinema
  • Chinese cinema, art, visual culture
  • Chinese literature and global Chinese-language literature
  • Cultural theory
  • East-West comparative poetics

Course(s) Taught

  • Forms of Asian Literature
  • Chinese Cinema
  • Hong Kong Cinema
  • Introduction to Film
  • World Cinema
  • Globalization and National Culture
  • Transnationalism
  • Introduction to Critical Theory
  • Colloquium: Introduction to Comparative Literature
  • Shanghai and Hong Kong: Cinema, Culture, Society (UC Davis Summer Study Abroad Program, 2008)
  • Freshman Seminar: Modern Chinese Literature, Spring 2012


Sheldon Lu taught at the University of Pittsburgh for ten years before joining the University of California at Davis in 2002 as Professor of Comparative Literature.  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 a dozen books in English and Chinese.  His writings have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including such journals as New Literary History, Modern Language Quarterly, Telos, boundary 2, Semiotica, Comparative Literature, European Review (Academia Europaea), Cinema Journal, Jump Cut, positions, Post Script, Asian Cinema, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese (現代中文文學學報), Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR), China Information, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, as well as many Chinese-language journals and books. 

He is the editor of the book series "Critical Interventions" of the University of Hawaii Press (

Advisory/editorial board member of international journals:

Committees and Service

  • Founding Co-Director of Film Studies Program, UC Davis, 2002-2004
  • Director of the Graduate Program in Comparative Literature, UC Davis, 2010-2014
  • Member of Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) of University Grants Committee, Hong Kong, 2014
  • Chair of Department of Comparative Literature, UC Davis, 2016-

Selected Publications


  • Co-editor (with Haomin Gong 龚浩敏).  Essays on Chinese Ecocinema 中国生态电影文集.  Wuhan: Wuhan University Press, 2017.  
  • Image, Literature, Theory: Re-visioning Chinese Modernity 影像、文学、理论:重新审视中国现代性. Beijing: China United Artists Press 中国文联出版社, 2016. Available at
  • Love Trilogy (novel)--The Sentimental Age; Returning to Beijing; A 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. Available at;
  • 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, 2011).
  • Co-editor (with Jiayan Mi).  Chinese Ecocinema in the Age of Environmental Challenge (Hong Kong University Press, 2009).
  • Chinese Modernity and Global Biopolitics: Studies in Literature and Visual Culture (University of Hawaii Press, 2007).  
  • Co-editor (with Emilie Y. Y. Yeh).  Chinese-Language Film: Historiography, Poetics, Politics (Hawaii, 2005). Choice's award of "Outstanding Academic Title of 2005." 
  • Culture, Mirror-Image, Poetics 文化,镜像,诗学 (Tianjin People's Press, 2002).
  • China, Transnational Visuality, Global Postmodernity (Stanford University Press, 2001). 
  • Editor.  Transnational Chinese Cinemas: Identity, Nationhood, Gender (Hawaii, 1997). A University of Hawaii Press best-selling text.  
  • From Historicity to Fictionality: The Chinese Poetics of Narrative. Stanford University Press, 1994.
  • Korean edition of From Historicity to Fictionality: The Chinese Poetics of Narrative.  Seoul: Ghil, 2001. 
  • Chinese edition--《从史实性到虚构性:中国叙事诗学》,Beijing University Press, 2012.  Available at;

Editor of Special Journal Issues:

·  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).

Selected Recent Publications(Since 2014): 

“Genealogies of Four Critical Paradigms in Chinese-Language Film Studies,” Sinophone Cinemas, ed. Audrey Yue and Olivia Khoo, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.  13-25.

Book review.  Beyond Sinology: Chinese Writing and the Scripts of Culture.  By Andrea Bachner.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.  Comparative Literature vol. 66 no. 3 (Summer 2014): 371-373.

“History, Memory, Nostalgia: Rewriting Socialism in Film and Television Drama," trans. Yang Hui, Cultural Studies (Beijing) no. 18 (Spring 2014): 225-244.  《历史、记忆、怀旧:电影与电视剧对社会主义的重新书写》,杨慧译,《文化研究》(北京),第18辑,2014年春,225-244页。

Li Huanzheng, Sheldon Lu.  “Overseas Chinese-language Film Studies and the Rewriting of Film History: An Interview with Professor Sheldon Lu at the University of California.”  Contemporary Cinema(Dangdai dianying) no. 4 (2014): 62-67.  李焕征、鲁晓鹏:《海外华语电影研究与“重写电影史”--美国加州大学鲁晓鹏教授访谈录》,《当代电影》2014年第4期, 62-67页。

“The Question of Reception in Transnational Chinese-language Film Studies: A Rejoinder and Discussion,” Contemporary Cinema (Dangdai dianying) no. 10 (2014): 27-29.  鲁晓鹏:《跨国华语电影研究的接受语境问题:回应与商榷》,《当代电影》2014年第10期, 27-29页。

“Explorations of the Concept of Chinese-language Cinema,” New Films (Shanghai) no. 5 (2014): 4-9.  鲁晓鹏:《华语电影概念探微》,《电影新作》(上海),2014年第5期。4-9页。

"An Examination of the Advent of Lumiere Brothers' Films in China," New Films no. 1 (2015). 《卢米埃尔兄弟电影在中国放映考》,《电影新作》,2015年第1期。

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Bouncing Angels: Hollywood, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Transnational Cinema," trans. Charlene Che, New Films no. 2 (2015).  《卧虎,藏龙,娇娃-好莱坞,台湾,香港,和跨国电影》,车琳译,《电影新作》2015年第2期。 

Forum: "Transnational Chinese Film Studies: Terminology, Status, Problems and Future," Contemporary Cinema no. 2 (2015): 68-78.  Speakers: Lu Xiaopeng (Sheldon Lu, invited main speaker), Wang Yichuan, Chen Xuguang, Li Daoxin.  《跨国华语电影研究:术语、现状、问题与未来》,鲁晓鹏(主讲嘉宾)、王一川、陈旭光、李道新。《当代电影》2015年第2期,68-78页。

”Classical Poetry in Hong Kong in the 1950s: Solidarity Club and Lin Bicheng"《一九五〇年代香港詞壇:堅社与林碧城》,Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese《現代中文文學學報》12. 2 (summer 2015): 138-209.

Li Huanzheng, Sheldon Lu.  "Intellectuals in the Humanities and Humanistic Education at the University in the Age of Globalization: An Interview with Professor Sheldon Lu," Journal of China Agricultural University (Social Science edition), vol. 32, no. 2 (April 2015):5-17.  李焕征、鲁晓鹏:《全球化时代的人文知识分子与大学人文教育:鲁晓鹏教授访谈录》,《中国农业大学学报》(社会科学版),第32卷第2期,(2015年4月),5-17页。

“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.

"Commentary: Dimensions of Hong Kong Cinema," in A Companion to Hong Kong Cinema, ed. Esther Cheung, Gina Marchetti, Esther Yau.  Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. 116-120.

“Gorgeous Three Gorges at Last Sight: Cinematic Remembrance and the Dialectics of Modernization.” Trans. Ling-ching Chiang.  In New Space, New Subjectivity: Contemporary Horizons in the Study of Chinese-Language Cinema.  Eds. Ling-ching Chiang and Jiann-guang Lin.  Taipei, Taiwan: Shulin Press, 2015.  57-70. 《美麗的三峽最後一瞥:電影記憶與現代性的辯證》,江凌青、林建光主編:《新空間、新主體:華語電影研究的當代視野》,臺北:書林,2015. 57-70頁。

“Re-visioning Global Modernity through the Prism of China,”《重探全球现代性:以中国为棱镜》(附现场讨论实录),《文化与诗学》(北京,三联),2014年第1辑,总第18辑,201至241页。

“Is Chinese-language Film Studies ‘Chinese’ or ‘Western’?” Contemporary Cinema (Beijing) no. 12 (2015): 105-109.《华语电影研究姓“中”还是姓“西”》,《当代电影》,2015年,第12期 。105-109页.

“Ecocinema and Chinese-language Documentary," Research in Film (Shanghai Theater Academy), no. 3 (2015): 107-114. 《生态电影与华语纪录片》,《电影研究》(上海戏剧学院),第3期,2015年。107-114.

"The Postsocialist Working Class: Male Heroes in Jia Zhangke's Films," in Changing Chinese Masculinities: From Imperial Pillars of State to Global Real Men, ed. Kam Louie. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2016.  173-185.

"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.” review essay on Weihong Bao, Fiery Cinema: The Emergence of an Affective Medium in China, 1915–1945, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015; Victor Fan, Cinema Approaching Reality: Locating Chinese Film Theory, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015, in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol. 76, no. 1 (June 2016): 197-207.

Guest Editor, special issue on Chinese Ecocinema, Journal of Chinese Cinemas 11.1 (March 2017).

"Introduction: Chinese-language Ecocinema," Journal of Chinese Cinemas 11.1 (March 2017): 1-12.

"Cosmopolitanism and Alternative Modernity in Twentieth-Century China," Telos: A Quarterly Journal of Critical Thought 180 (Fall 2017): 105-120. Part of a special issue on "Cosmopolitanism and China."

Interview by Wai Siam Hee 徐维贤.  "On the Origins, Development, and Discussions of the Concept of Chinese-language Cinema: An Interveiw with Professor Sheldon Lu" 华语电影概念的起源、发展和讨论:鲁晓鹏教授访谈录. Journal of Shanghai University 上海大学学报 (Social Sciences) vol 34, no. 3 (May 2017): 60-71.

Creative Work:

Returning to Beijing 《回北京》,  a novella, in the literary bimonthly Great Wall (Changcheng 长城), no. 6 (2014): 84-116.

Love Trilogy《爱情三部曲》. Beijing: Overseas Chinese Press 中国华侨出版社,2015.

Honors and Awards

  • Fulbright Scholar in Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine, 2004-2005
  • Grant from the Pacific Rim Research Program of the UC system for organizing the international conference "Literary Studies in the Age of Globalization," Beijing, China, summer 2004.
  • Research Associate, Center for Literary Theory (wenyixue yanjiu zhongxin) at Beijing Normal University, China
  • Visiting Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore