Bio


Before coming to Stanford in 2009, Haiyan Lee taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Hong Kong, and held post-doctoral fellowships at Cornell University and Harvard University. Her first book, _Revolution of the Heart: A Genealogy of Love in China, 1900-1950_, is a critical genealogy of the idea of “love” (qing) in modern Chinese literary and cultural history. It is the first recipient of the Joseph Levenson Prize in the field of modern Chinese literature. Her second book, _The Stranger and the Chinese Moral Imagination_, examines how the figure of “the stranger”—foreigner, migrant, class enemy, woman, animal, ghost—in Chinese fiction, film, television, and exhibition culture tests the moral limits of a society known for the primacy of consanguinity and familiarity. Her new project centers on Chinese visions of “justice” at the intersection of narrative, law, and ethics. In 2015-16 she received a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies which supported her residency at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. For more about her work, see “Social Science Research Council (SSRC): New Voices” and “Stanford Report: The Human Experience Feature Story.”

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Professor, Comparative Literature

Honors & Awards


  • Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies (2015-2016)
  • Joseph Levenson Book Prize, The Association for Asian Studies (2009)
  • An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship, John K. Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University (2006-2007)
  • Eugene M. Kayden Manuscript Prize, University of Colorado (2005)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in comparative literature, Cornell Society for the Humanities (2002-2003)
  • Committee on Scholarly Communication with China (CSCC) Graduate Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies (1998-1999)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Elected member of the Modern and Contemporary Chinese LLC (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) Forum Executive Committee, Modern Language Association of America (2017 - Present)
  • Editorial board member and associate editor, Journal of Asian Studies (2012 - 2015)
  • Elected member of the China and Inner Asia Council, Association for Asian Studies (2012 - 2015)
  • Chief consultant and jury coordinator of the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature, World Literature Today and the Institute for US-China Issues, University of Oklahoma (2008 - 2009)
  • Member of the Annual Meeting Program Committee, Association for Asian Studies (2007 - 2009)

Program Affiliations


  • Center for East Asian Studies
  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Professional Education


  • B.A., Peking University, Philosophy and Religious Studies (1990)
  • M.A., University of Chicago, East Asian Languages and Civilizations (1994)
  • Ph.D., Cornell University, East Asian Literature (2002)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Modern Chinese literature and popular culture; philosophy and literature; law and literature; cognitive science; affect studies; cultural studies of gender, sexuality, race, and religion; human-animal relations and environmental humanities

My current project is tentatively titled "A Certain Justice: Toward a Ecology of the Chinese Legal Imagination." I approach justice as a juridical, ethical, aesthetic, ecological, and cosmological concept as it emerges from a variety of verbal and visual genres ranging from traditional courtroom drama and knight-errantry tale to modern detective fiction and spy thriller, as well as media and intellectual debates on law and morality, human and animal rights, and social justice. I structure my investigation around five interlocking keywords—justice, violence, guilt, dissemblance, and the exception—and situate it at the intersection of literary genre studies, critical legal studies, moral and political philosophy, and cognitive science.

2016-17 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • The Silence of Animals: Writing on the Edge of Anthropomorphism in Contemporary Chinese Literature ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment Lee, H. 2018
  • Revolution and Love A New Literary History of Modern China Lee, H. edited by Wang, D. Harvard University Press. 2017
  • The Rise and Fall (and Rise again) of Vernacular Happiness Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese Lee, H. 2017
  • The Soft Power of the Constant Soldier; or, Why We Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the PLA Rethinking Chinese Visions of the World Order Lee, H. edited by Wang, B. Duke University Press. 2017
  • Guns, Fairy Tales, and Red Guards Lee, H. Parlio.com. 2016
  • Chinese Paw-litics, Anyone? Lee, H. China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham. 2016
  • Chinese Feelings: Notes on a Ritual Theory of Emotion The Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture Lee, H. 2016; 9 (2): 1-37
  • Mao’s Two Bodies: On the Curious (Political) Art of Impersonating the Great Helmsman Red Legacies in China: Cultural Afterlives of the Communist Revolution Lee, H. edited by Li, J., Zhang, E. Harvard University Asia Center Publications. 2016
  • ’Two Wongs Can Make It White’: Charlie Chan and the Orientalist Exception. Transnational Asia Lee, H. 2016; 1 (1)
  • Figuring History and Horror in a Provincial Museum: The Water Dungeon, the Rent Collection Courtyard, and the Socialist Undead The Challenge of Linear Time: Nationhood and the Politics of History in East Asia Lee, H. edited by Murthy, V., Schneider, A. Brill. 2014: 215-254
  • Woman, Sacrifice, and the Limits of Sympathy Frontiers of Literary Studies in China Lee, H. 2012; 6 (2): 184-197
  • The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan; Or, How to Enjoy a National Wound Places of Memory in Modern China: History, Politics, and Identity Lee, H. edited by Matten, M. A. Brill. 2012: 193-232
  • The Charisma of Power and the Military Sublime in Tiananmen Square JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES Lee, H. 2011; 70 (2): 397-424
  • From the Iron Rice Bowl to the Beggar's Bowl: What Good Is (Chinese) Literature? TELOS Lee, H. 2010: 129-149
  • Enemy under My Skin: Eileen Chang's Lust, Caution and the Politics of Transcendence PMLA-PUBLICATIONS OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA Lee, H. 2010; 125 (3): 640-?
  • Nowhere in the World does There Exist Love or Hatred without Reason Words and Their Stories: Essays on the Language of the Chinese Revolution Lee, H. edited by Wang, B. Brill. 2010: 149-170
  • The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan Or, How to Enjoy a National Wound MODERN CHINA Lee, H. 2009; 35 (2): 155-190
  • Brought to You by the People’s Republic of The Onion China Beat Lee, H. 2009
  • It’s Right to Party, en Masse China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance Lee, H. edited by Merkel-Hess, K., Pomeranz, K., Wasserstrom, J. Rowman and Littlefield. 2009: 173-177
  • Kung Fu Panda, Go Home! China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance Lee, H. edited by Merkel-Hess, K., Pomeranz, K., Wasserstrom, J. Rowman and Littlefield. 2009: 241-245
  • Mo Yan, Inaugural Newman Laureate, Honored in Oklahoma China Beat Lee, H. 2009
  • Taking It to Heart: Emotion, Modernity, Asia Positions: asia critique Lee, H. 2008; 16 (2)
  • Woman, Demon, Human: The Spectral Journey Home Chinese Films in Focus II Lee, H. edited by Berry, C. BFI Publishing. 2008; 2nd edition: 243-249
  • Meng Jiang Nü and the May Fourth Folklore Movement Meng Jiangnu Brings down the Great Wall: Ten Versions of a Chinese Legend Lee, H. University of Washington Press. 2008: 24-41
  • The Lord of the Wolves? China Beat Lee, H. 2008
  • Kung Fu Panda, Go Home! China Beat Lee, H. 2008
  • The Right to Party, en Masse. China Beat Lee, H. 2008
  • Painted Skin: To Scare or Not to Scare? China Beat Lee, H. 2008
  • The Other Chinese: Romancing the Folk in May Fourth Native Soil Fiction Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies Lee, H. 2007; 33 (2): 9-34
  • 'A Dime Store of Words': The Liberty Magazine and the Cultural Logic of the Popular Press Twentieth-Century China Lee, H. 2007; 33 (1): 53-80
  • Nannies for foreigners: The enchantment of Chinese womanhood in the age of millennial capitalism PUBLIC CULTURE Lee, H. 2006; 18 (3): 507-529
  • Governmentality and the aesthetic state: A Chinese fantasia POSITIONS-EAST ASIA CULTURES CRITIQUE Lee, H. 2006; 14 (1): 99-129
  • The Book and the Sword: China and the U.S. in the Global Classroom Teaching China in the American Classroom: Personal Reflections of Chinese Scholars in the U.S. Lee, H. edited by Ban, W., Xueping, Z. Nanjing University Press. 2006
  • From Abroad, with Love: Transnational Texts, Local Critiques Tamkang Review Lee, H. 2006; 36 (4): 185-225
  • Tears that crumbled the great wall: The archaeology of feeling in the may fourth folklore movement JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES Lee, H. Y. 2005; 64 (1): 35-65
  • Sympathy, Hypocrisy, and the Trauma of Chineseness Modern Chinese Literature and Culture Lee, H. 2004; 16 (2): 76-122
  • All the feelings that are fit to print - The community of sentiment and the literary public sphere in China, 1900-1918 MODERN CHINA LEE, H. 2001; 27 (3): 291-327

    View details for Web of Science ID 000169336500001

    View details for PubMedID 18323031

  • Love or Lust? The Sentimental Self in Honglou meng Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews Lee, H. 1997; 19: 58-111