Wenjin Cui

Office: Languages, Literatures, & Cultures, Murkland Hall Rm G10E, Durham, NH 03824
Wenjin Cui

My areas of specialization include modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture, film studies, and critical theory. My current research focuses on the issue of biopolitics in modern Chinese culture. Drawing upon the interpretative frameworks of biopolitics and correlative thinking, I explore the dynamic space between biological life and cultural production that is presented in a broad range of modern and contemporary Chinese literature, film and art.

Based on my dissertation research, I am completing a book manuscript, “The Trans-formation of Life: Lu Xun and Modern Chinese Biopolitics,” which investigates a biopolitical mode of modernity through the study of Lu Xun (1881-1936), the most prominent cultural figure of modern China. Meanwhile, I have also started a new project that explores the biopolitical configuration of everyday life in contemporary China.

I have taught a wide variety of courses, ranging from modern and contemporary Chinese literature and film, to literary theory and biopolitical discourse, to Chinese language at different levels.


  • Ph.D., East Asian Studies, New York University
  • M.A., Modern Chinese Literature, Peking University
  • B.A., Law, Renmin University of China

Research Interests

  • Aesthetics
  • Asian cinema
  • Biopolitics
  • Critical theory
  • Modern Chinese literature and culture

Courses Taught

  • CHIN 401: Elementary Chinese I
  • CHIN 402: Elementary Chinese II
  • CHIN 425: Intro to Chinese Culture
  • CHIN 503: Intermediate Chinese I
  • CHIN 521: What does it Mean to be Modern
  • CHIN 631: Advanced Chinese I
  • CHIN 632: Advanced Chinese II

Selected Publications

Cui, W. (2020). Waiting and the Duration of Time: The Critique of Everyday Life in Jia Zhangke’s Platform. China Perspectives, 2020(2), 35-42.

Cui, W. (2016). The “Symbol of Angst” and the Poetics of Remembrance: Lu Xun and Chinese Literary Modernity. Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, 28(2), 139-182.

Cui, W. (2012). 'Literal Translation' and the Materiality of Language: Lu Xun as a Case. Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, 6(3), 393-409.