Bio


Mei Li Inouye is a doctoral candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University, with an MFA in Creative Writing. Her research explores democratic community formation, transnational exchanges and appropriations, genre and media boundary crossings and transformations, and the mediating and critical role of memory in modern and contemporary Chinese literature, film, dance, theater, and visual culture.

Her dissertation, “Performing Jiang Qing (1914-1991): gender politics in modern Chinese visual culture, theater, and literature” goes beyond historico-political accounts of Jiang Qing (1914-1991) as Chairman Mao’s wife and Gang of Four ring leader to examine representations, remembrances, and appropriations of her in visual culture, theater, memories, and literature from the 1930s to the present. Targeting the neat chronologies in which popular and official gender discourses in China have been studied, this project asks how Jiang Qing has been represented by various stakeholders; how these representations illuminate the fissures and continuities of gender discourses and their typically assigned periods; and how representations of Jiang Qing’s performances illuminate her and others’ attempts to negotiate the structures and the terms of gender containing them. Using original sources on Jiang Qing from archives in China, Hong Kong, Europe, and the United States, her project applies interdisciplinary theories and methodologies such as horizontal reading and performance to its own curated archives of textual and repertoire-based materials.

Working within the framework of China and the world, her second project examines literary, filmic, kinesthetic, and theatrical appropriations/translations of figures and genres such as Balzac, Brecht, Borges, and ballet in modern China to identify conditions of egalitarian exchange and democratic community formation from the late Qing through the Republican, socialist, and post-Mao periods in China.

Honors & Awards


  • The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education Diversity Dissertation Research Award, Stanford University (2018-2019)
  • Stanford Center at Peking University Pre-Doc Dissertation Fellow, Stanford University (2016-2017)
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS), Stanford Univesity (2014)
  • Silas Palmer Research Funds Recipient, Stanford University Hoover Institution Library and Archives (2016-2017)

Professional Affiliations and Activities


  • Member, Modern Language Association (MLA) (2016 - Present)
  • Member, Association for Asian Studies (AAS) (2016 - Present)

Education & Certifications


  • MFA, Hollins University, Creative Writing (2007)
  • BA, Brigham Young University, Chinese and English (2005)

Stanford Advisors


  • Ban Wang, Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
  • Haiyan Lee, Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)

Service, Volunteer and Community Work


  • Graduate Student Chair, Berkeley-Stanford Graduate Conference in Modern Chinese Humanities, Stanford University (10/3/2016 - Present)

    Location

    Stanford, CA

  • Escondido Village Graduate Families Head Community Associate (CA), Stanford University (11/1/2016 - Present)

    Location

    Stanford, CA

  • Escondido Village Family Community Associate, Stanford University (9/1/2015 - Present)

    Location

    Stanford, CA

  • Escondido Village Singles/Couples Treasurer, Stanford University (9/1/2014 - 9/1/2015)

    Location

    Stanford, CA

  • Stanford+Connects Bay Area Student Ambassador, Stanford University (5/21/2016)

    The grand finale of a 16-city world tour, this event brings together 3,000 alumni to campus to revisit their Stanford experience and to celebrate President Hennessy’s 16 years on campus.

    Location

    Stanford, CA

  • SPLASH Volunteer, Stanford University (4/11/2015 - 4/12/2015)

    Splash is the program that brings high school and middle school students from everywhere to Stanford’s campus for a two-day learning extravaganza. Classes are taught by Stanford undergraduates, graduate students, and other community members.

    Location

    Stanford, CA

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Mei Li Inouye is a doctoral candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University, with an MFA in Creative Writing. Her interests include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, film, dance, theater, and visual culture. Her research explores transnational exchanges and appropriations, genre and media boundary crossings and transformations, and the mediating and critical role of memory in modern and post-modern literature.

All Publications


  • Tracking Jiang Qing in Stanford’s Hoover Archives Inouye, M. Hoover Institution News. Stanford, CA. 2017
  • Blackie: A Dog Elegy (Translation by Mei Li Inouye and Haiyan Lee) MCLC Resource Center Jiang, Z. 2014
  • Walk without Notice Inouye, K. M. Palmyra Press. 2005