Yunwen GAO

Assistant Professor/BA Programme Director

PhD, East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Southern California

Room 1107, 11/F,
Yasumoto International Academic Park

3943 3713

Born and brought up in Shanghai, I am especially drawn to the culture and language of the local and the regional manifest in literature, film, and oral performance in the Wu fangyan (topolect) speaking region. My academic training at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Southern California where Cantonese is widely used among the Sinophone communities further stimulated my research interest in the relationship between fangyan and cultural plurality. Currently, I am working on my book manuscript titled “Language, Soundscape and Identity Formation in Shanghai Fangyan Literature and Culture.” It examines the changing discourse and cultural significance of Wu fangyan writing in the history of Shanghai literature and culture from the late Qing period to the present. My teaching interests cover a wide range of topics such as Modern Chinese literature and culture; Sinophone studies; Chinese cinema and performative arts; post-colonial literature and cultural studies.

Research Interests

  • modern Chinese literature and culture
  • sinophone studies
  • Chinese cinema and performative arts
  • post-colonial literature
  • cultural studies

Representative Publications

Journal Articles & Book Chapters


Qu, You. “The Tale of the Lady in Green.” In Ming Dynasty Tales: A Guided Reader. Edited by Victor H. Mair and Zhenjun Zhang. New York: Bloomsbury. 2022: 51-62.


Gao, Yunwen. “Sounding Shanghai: Sinophone Intermediality in Jin Yucheng’s Blossoms” Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies43(2), 87-105


Gao, Yunwen. “Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Colonial Modernity in Liang Qichao’s Ban Dingyuan Conquering the Western Region” Ming Qing Studies. Vol. 2015, pp. 159-174.


Gao, Yunwen. “M. Butterfly: A Deconstructive Performance on Oriental Fantasy” Intercultural Communication, Representations and Practices: A Global Approach.

Current Research Projects

2022, Acoustic Encountering: Online Audio Industry in China in the 21st Century, Direct Grant for Research

2021, Chinese Music in Western Languages Music Theory and Historical Writing in the second half of 19th Century, Shanghai Pujiang Talent Program, Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, with Dr. Xu Lufan

2020, Underground Sound, UK-China Knowledge Frontiers Symposium Seed Funding for Research Collaboration, The British Academy, with Dr. Katie Beswick

2019, Dialect Writing and Identity Formation from Late Qing to Contemporary Shanghai, RGC Early Career Scheme

2018, Tracing the history of Chinese Immigrants in Cuba through Cantonese Opera in Havana during the 1920s-1940s, Direct Grant For Research

Courses Offered

CHES1000 Introduction to Chinese Studies
CHES1003 Understanding Chinese through Texts I
CHES1004 Understanding Chinese through Texts II
CHES2004 Chinese Literature in Translation
CHES2105 Modern Chinese Literature
CHES3200 Advanced Chinese Literature Seminar
CHES3300 China Summer Fieldtrip
CHES4001 Research on Chinese Texts I
CHES4002 Research on Chinese Texts II
CHES4500 Thesis Research Paper
CHES5147 Modern Chinese Literature
CHES5201A Independent Study Project
CHES5201B Research Lab Project
CHES6010 China Seminar 1
CHES6020 China Seminar 2
CHES8001A Thesis Guidance
CHES8001B Thesis Guidance