Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities
Office: 406 Kent Hall
Office Hours: On leave fall 2021
Phone: (212) 854-5631
BA: Northwestern Normal University (’79)
MA: Shangdong University (’83)
PhD: Harvard University (’90)
EAAS UN3927 China in the Modern World
EAAS G8035 Lu Xun and Modern China
CPLS UN3991 Senior Seminar – Comparative Literature and Society
CPLS GU4890 Conflict Urbanism and Language Justice
Comparative Political Theory, Human Rights, Critical Translation Theory, Media Studies
Lydia H. Liu is the Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities; Director, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. Her research centers on modern China, cross-cultural exchange, and global transformation in modern history, with a focus on the movement of words, theories, and artifacts across national boundaries and on the evolution of writing, textuality, and media technology.
Professor Liu teaches courses on modern Chinese literature and culture in this department and offers graduate courses on comparative literature, critical translation theory, and new media in the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.
Her recent publications include Natural Justice & Equity, the first annotated edition of the complete sets (in two volumes) of Tianyi and Hengbao in Chinese co-edited with Wan Shiguo (2016); a new study in global history called Origins of the Global Order: From the Meridian Line to the Standard of Civilization, edited volume in Chinese (2016); an article entitled “Scripts in Motion: Writing as Imperial Technology,” PMLA, 130.2 (March 2015); “La probabilité du sens dans la machine hypermnésique,” (trans. Hélène Soldano) in Le sujet digital with Bernard Stigler and Katherine Hayles, edited by Claire Larsonneur, et al (2015); “Abgründe des Universalismus: P. C. Chang entgrenzt die Menschenrechte” (trans. Michael Adrian), Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte IX/1 (Spring 2015); “The Eventfulness of Translation: Temporality, Difference, and Competing Universals,” translation: a transdisciplinary journal, no.4 (Spring 2014) and “Shadows of Universalism: The Untold Story of Human Rights Around 1948,” Critical Inquiry 40 (Summer 2014).
As a creative writer in Chinese, she published a new book (in Chinese) called The Nesbit Code with Oxford University Press in Hong Kong which received the 2014 Hong Kong Book Award.
Professor Liu was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1997–1998) and a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin (2004–2005); in 2013, she was the Class of 1932 Fellow in the Humanities Council at Princeton University.
Among her many activities, Professor Liu established a new Tsinghua-Columbia Center for Translingual and Transcultural Studies (CTTS) at Tsinghua University in Beijing to promote international collaboration and interdisciplinary research. Before joining Columbia in 2006, she taught at the University of Michigan (2002–2006) and at the University of California at Berkeley (1990-2002).
The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Feminism (co-author with Rebecca Karl and Dorothy Ko, Columbia, 2013)
The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious (University of Chicago Press, 2010).
The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making (Harvard, 2004)
Tokens of Exchange: The Problem of Translation in Global Circulations (editor, Duke, 1999)
Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity (Stanford, 1995)