Belinda Kong

John F. and Dorothy H. Magee Associate Professor of Asian Studies and English, Director of Asian Studies Program

Teaching this semester

ASNS 2801/ENGL 2750. Asian American Literature

An introduction to the writings of Asian America and this literature's development from mid-twentieth century to the present. Focuses on the ways Asian American writers have responded to and contested dominant American discourses of Asia/Asians. Also explores the intersections of race with gender, sexuality, class, and country of origin in shifting notions of Asian American identity. Authors include Carlos Bulosan, David Henry Hwang, Maxine Hong Kingston, le thi diem thuy, Chang-rae Lee, and John Okada.

Belinda Kong's research focuses on contemporary literature by Chinese diaspora and Asian American writers, with special attention to geopolitics, biopolitics, and state power. Her first book, Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square, analyzes Chinese diasporic fictions on the 1989 Tiananmen movement and massacre. Her current book project examines global pandemic discourses around the 2003 SARS epidemic. Her teaching areas include Asian American literature, Asian diaspora literature, Chinese and Chinese diaspora literature.


  • Ph.D., English Language and Literature, University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, MI, 2005
  • M.A., English Language and Literature, University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, MI, 1999
  • B.A., English and Philosophy, College of William and Mary; Williamsburg, VA, 1998

PDF Curriculum Vitae



Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square: The Chinese Literary Diaspora and the Politics of Global Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press (Asian American History & Culture Series), 2012.

Journal Articles & Anthology Essays

“Totalitarian Ordinariness: The Chinese Epidemic Novel as World Literature.”  Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 30.1 (2018).  (Forthcoming in special issue on “Chinese Literature as World Literature,” ed. Kuei-fen Chiu and Yingjin Zhang)

“From Chinese Diaspora to Sinospore: Multispecies Chineseness and Transmemory in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl.”  Re-imagining China.  Ed. Carlos Rojas and Mei-hwa Song.  (Forthcoming 2018)

“Xiaolu Guo and the Contemporary Chinese Anglophone Novel.”  Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures.  Ed. Carlos Rojas and Andrea Bachner.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.  474-497.

“Diasporic Exceptionality: Maxine Hong Kingston’s ‘The Brother in Vietnam’ and Ha Jin’s ‘A Good Fall.’” Between Worlds: An Anthology of Contemporary Fiction and Criticism. Ed. Deborah Poe and Ama Wattley. New York: Peter Lang, 2012. 203-214.

“In and Out of the Spectacle: The Beijing Olympics and Yiyun Li’s The Vagrants. Ariel 42.1 (2011): 107-128.

“Beyond K’s Specter: Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life, Comfort Women Testimonies, and Asian American Transnational Aesthetics.” Journal of Transnational American Studies 3.1 (2011): 1-29.

“Monkey Remnants: Paternality, Ancestry, and Chineseness in Patricia Chao’s The Monkey King.” Myth and Violence in the Contemporary Female Text: New Cassandras. Ed. Sanja Bahun-Radunovic and V. G. Julie Rajan. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011. 37-54.

“Theorizing the Hyphen’s Afterlife in Post-Tiananmen Asian-America.” Modern Fiction Studies 56.1 (2010): 136-159.

“When Ghosts Dream: Immigrant Desire in Lan Samantha Chang’s Hunger.” Death in American Texts and Performances: Corpses, Ghosts, and the Reanimated Dead. Ed. Lisa K. Perdigao and Mark Pizzato. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010. 99-112.

“Shanghai Biopolitans: Wartime Colonial Cosmopolis in Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City and J. G. Ballard’s Empire of the Sun.” Journal of Narrative Theory 39.3 (2009): 280-304.

“The Asian-American Hyphen Goes Gothic: Ghosts and Doubles in Maxine Hong Kingston and lê thi diem thúy.” Asian Gothic: Essays on Literature, Film and Anime. Ed. Andrew Hock Soon Ng. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008. 123-139.

“Traveling Man, Traveling Culture: Death of a Salesman and Post-Mao Chinese Theater.” Arthur Miller’s Global Theater. Ed. Enoch Brater. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. 35-56.

Book Reviews, Encyclopedia Entries, and Pedagogy Essays

“Kingston, Maxine Hong.”  The Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies.  Ed. Sangeeta Ray, Henry Schwarz, José Luis Villacañas Berlanga, Alberto Moreiras, and April Shemak   Boston: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.  Blackwell Reference Online.

Review of Not Like a Native Speaker: On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience, by Rey Chow.  CLEAR: Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 37 (2015).

Review of Pluralist Universalism: An Asian Americanist Critique of U.S. and Chinese Multiculturalisms,by Wen Jin. American Studies 58 (2014): 222-223.

Review of Chinese Modernity and Global Biopolitics: Studies in Literature and Visual Culture, by Sheldon H. Lu. China Review International 18.4 (2013): 533-535.

“Hong Kong (Britain/China).” Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. Ed. Edward Ramsamy, Andrea L. Stanton, Peter J. Seybolt, and Carolyn Elliott. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2012. 288-290.

“Teaching Contemporary Diaspora Fiction of the Nanjing Massacre in the Globalized Classroom.” Asia in the Classroom and the Academy: New Ideas in Scholarship and Teaching. Ed. Suzanne Wilson Barnett. (Submitted chapter for Luce Foundation Asian Studies Faculty Book)

Works in Progress

SARS Fictions: Chinese Totalitarianism in Global Infectious Disease Discourse (book manuscript)

“Pandemic as Method,” solicited article for theme issue on “X as method” for PRISM(formerly Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese)



“Pandemic as Method” (invited)
Workshop on PRISM special issue on “X as method”
Duke University, Durham, NC, April

Panel chair for “Reinventing Tradition across Media Platforms: Asia and Beyond”
“Multispecies Bodies and Transincarnational Memory in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl
ASIANetwork Annual Conference
Philadelphia, PA, April

“SARS, Hong Kong Cinema, and Epidemic Camp” (accepted but cancelled)
Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Annual Conference
Toronto, Canada, March


Seminar co-organizer for “The New Security State”
“The Pandemic Planet: Disease Discourse, Biosecurity States, and Contemporary Biopower”
American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Conference
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, March

"Anglophone Chinese Literature: The Case of Xiaolu Guo"
Remapping a Discipline: Modern Chinese Literary Literatures Conference (by invitation)
Duke University, Raleigh, NC. April.

"Fleshing Out the Future: Speculative Fictions of China's Biocapitalism in Chan Koonchung's The Fat Years and Xiaolu Guo's UFO in Her Eyes"
Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference (by invitation)
Philadelphia, PA. March.

Seminar organizer for "Asian Biocapitals"
"Theorizing Biocapital: Why Asia? Why Literature?"
American Comparative Literature Association (ASLA) Annual Conference
NYU, New York, NY. March.

"'American Asia' in Ha Jin's Nanjing Requiem: Asian American Literary Politics as Comparative Empire Studies"
Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (by invitation)
American Literature Association (ALA) Annual Conference
Boston, MA. May.

Seminar co-organizer for "Islands of Contention"
"Islands with No Texts: the Case of Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands"
American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Conference
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. April.

"Playing Up the Past, Playing Down the Clock: Shanghai in Post-SARS Hong Kong Cinema"
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Annual Convention
Boston, MA. March.

Seminar co-organizer for "Discontemporaries: Turning Over and Overturning the Present"
"Crossed Objects Part 1: Timothy Mo's An Insular Possession"
Speaker for ACL(x) Session: "The 1980s" (by invitation)
American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Conference
Brown University, Providence, RI. March.

"Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square: Ha Jin and the Cultural Politics of Diaspora Literature"
Global Asias 2 Conference: Futures of Asian/Asian American Studies (by invitation)
Penn State University, University Park, PA. November.

"Theorizing the Hyphen's Afterlife in Post-Tiananmen Asian-America"
Asian American Literature Division Panel (solicited participation)
Modern Language Association (MLA) 2009 Convention
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. December.

"The Cangue of Cosmopolitanism: Eileen Chang’s Self-Translations"
Seminar: Multilingual Modernisms
Modernist Studies Association (MSA) 11th Conference
Montreal, Quebec, Canada. November.

"Yiyun Li's Aging of Globalization"
American Literature Association (ALA) 20th Annual Conference
Boston, Massachusetts. May.

"Shanghai Biopolitans: Wartime Colonial Cosmopolis in Eileen Chang and J. G. Ballard"
American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Conference   
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. March.

"The Afterlife of Polis: Walter Benjamin and the Chinese Diaspora"
Logics of the Living Conference
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

"Asian American Afterlife: Theorizing the Ethics of Diasporic Writing"
American Literature Association (ALA) 18th Annual Conference
Boston, Massachusetts

"Ghosts and Doubles: The Asian-American Hyphen Goes Gothic"
National Popular & American Culture Associations (PCA/ACA) Joint Conference
Boston, Massachusetts. April.

"Writing the Trauma of the Other in Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture Life"
Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA) Convention
Baltimore, Maryland. March.

"The Two Gaos: Exile, Recognition, and the Manufacture of Literary Identity."
At the Edge: Margins, Frontiers, Initiatives in Literature and Culture.
International Comparative Literature Association 17th Congress.
Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China.

"The Ecstasy of Diasporic Homecomings."
Imagining Diasporas: Space, Identity and Social Change Conference.
University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

"Ha Jin and the Gradient of Difference."
The University: 45th Annual Midwest Modern Language Association Convention.
Chicago, Illinois.

"Traveling Man, Traveling Culture: Arthur Miller and Death of a Salesman in Beijing."
Caribbean Crossings: American Comparative Literature Association Annual Conference.
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico.