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Ping Zhu

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Ping Zhu

Associate Professor, Chinese Literature


Phone: 405-325-1473

Professor Zhu’s Courses at OU:

CHIN 2113, 2223 Intermediate Chinese
CHIN 3113, 3223 Advanced Chinese
CHIN 4533 Learning Chinese Through Media
MLLL 3753 Modern Chinese Literature and Culture
MLLL 3763 Chinese Cinema (offered as the Presidential Dream Course in Spring 2015)
CHIN 4790 Translating Chinese
CHIN 4993 Chinese Capstone


Ping Zhu is Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. Professor Zhu serves as Acting Editor in Chief of the peer-reviewed literary journal Chinese Literature Today 
and contributing editor of World Literature Today. She is the coordinator of the Chinese section at the University of Oklahoma.

Professor Zhu received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University. Her research interests include modern Chinese literature, women’s & gender studies, Chinese films, literary theory, and translation.

Professor Zhu has published scholarly essays in comparative literature, modern Chinese literature and Chinese cinema. Her first book is entitled Gender and Subjectivities in Early Twentieth-century Chinese Literature and Culture (Palgrave 2015). With firsthand cultural texts and fresh literary analysis, this book explores how Chinese intellectuals in the early twentieth century rescued the feminine as the inferior other from the colonial sex/gender binary, and reconstructed the feminine as a bisexual quality that both gave birth to and empowered modern Chinese subjectivities.

Ping Zhu has recently co-edited (with Zhuoyi Wang and Jason McGrath) a volume entitled Maoist Laugher (link), which was published at Hong Kong University Press in August 2019. The ten essays in this volume examines the social, political, psychological, and aesthetic models of the marriage of laughter and politics during the Maoist period from a variety of theoretical perspectives. She is currently working on another edited volume with Faye Hui Xiao, titled Feminisms with Chinese Characteristics. This volume contains essays, talks, and interviews by eminent Chinese feminist scholars, activists, and writers and it covers the contemporary time period from 1995 (when the 4th World Conference on Women was held in Beijing) to the present. It offers a timely study on the special characteristics of different, sometimes clashing, Chinese feminisms when the "#METOO" movement sweeps over the world under the mantle of global capitalism.

Ping Zhu has started a new research project for her second monograph, tentatively titled "The Making and Unmaking of Chinese Laborers." This project will examine how “Chinese laborers” was appropriated by different social forces to carry out different historical missions, be it anti-feudalism, mass mobilization, production movement, gender reform, ideological education/rectification, or different experiments of socialist utopia. This project is a contextualized study on how the notion of “Chinese laborers” has been conceptualized in different ways, at different times, and in different contexts. It reads the representation of “Chinese laborers” as an ever-changing phenomenon existing within a vast field of potentialities and possibilities that is formed through dialogic relationships with the capitalist world system and socialist discourses.

Selected Publications

Ping Zhu, Zhuoyi Wang, and Jason McGrath, eds., Maoist Laughter, Hong Kong University Press, 2019.

Ping Zhu, "The Study of Laughter in the Mao Era," in Ping Zhu, Zhuoyi Wang, and Jason McGrath, eds., Maoist Laughter, Hong Kong University Press, 2019, pp.1-18.

Ping Zhu, "Huajixi, Heteroglossia, and the Maoist Language," in Ping Zhu, Zhuoyi Wang, and Jason McGrath, eds., Maoist Laughter, Hong Kong University Press, 2019, pp.162-178.

Ping Zhu, "Women’s Same-Sex Love in Two Fictional Memoirs of the Chinese Cultural Revolution," Asian Women 35, no.1 (2019): 71-94.

Ping Zhu, Gender and Subjectivities in Early Twentieth-century Chinese Literature and Culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2015.

Ping Zhu, "The Phantasm of the Feminine: Gender, Race and Nationalist Agency in Early-Twentieth-Century China," Gender & History 26, no.1 (2014): 147-166

Ping Zhu, “The Masquerade of Male Masochists: Two Tales of Translation of the Zhou Brothers (Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren) in the 1910s,” Frontiers of Literary Studies in China 8, no.1 (2014): 31-51

Ping Zhu, "Virtuality, Nationalism, and Globalization in Zhang Yimou's Hero," CLCweb: Comparative Literature and Culture 15, no.2 (June 2013):1-9

Ping Zhu, "Destruction, Moral Nihilism, and the Poetics of Debris in Jia Zhangke’s Still Life,” Visual Anthropology 24 (2011): 318-328

Ping Zhu, "Sublime and Nothing: The Metamorphosis of the Female Body in Lu Xun’s ‘Regrets for the Past,’” New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies 12, 1 (June 2010): 9-22


Sample chapter
Book review by Xueping Zhong
Book review by Eileen J. Cheng
Book review by Yi Zheng