Yunwen GAO

Assistant Professor

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


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

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
CHES1001 Chinese Languages, Past and Present – Sound and Script
CHES1002 Chinese Languages, Past and Present – Text and Translation
CHES2105 Modern Chinese Literature
CHES3200 Advanced Chinese Literature Seminar
CHES4001 Research on Chinese Texts I
CHES4500 Capstone Research Paper