Statement from undersigned members of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures in response to the UCLA administration's failures over the Student Encampment and Protests

Shu-mei Shih

A photo of Shu-mei Shih
Shu-mei Shih, Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures, Asian American Studies, and Comparative Literature, is the Irving and Jean Stone Chair in Humanities.  She was the inaugural holder of the Edward W. Said Professorship in Comparative Literature (2019-2022) and the past President of the American Comparative Literature Association (2021-2022).An elected fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Arts and the Humanities, she is also the recipient of a Yu-Shan Scholar Prize from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education (2022-2025) and a distinguished alumnae award from National Taiwan Normal University.Among other works, her book, Visuality and Identity: Sinophone Articulations across the Pacific (2007), has been attributed as having inaugurated a new field of study called Sinophone Studies.  Its Mandarin Chinese translation has gone into three printings (2013; 2015; 2018).  Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader (2013) is a textbook that she co-edited for the field.  Her latest work in this field is Against Diaspora: Discourses on Sinophone Studies, a monograph published in Taiwan (2017; second printing, 2018). She is currently co-editing a new reader in Sinophone Studies entitled Sinophone Studies Across Disciplines, which is forthcoming from University of Columbia Press.

Besides Sinophone studies, her areas of research include comparative modernism, as in the book The Lure of the Modern: Writing Modernism in Semicolonial China, 1917-1937 (2001; Mandarin translation 2007); theories of transnationalism, as in her co-edited Minor Transnationalism (2005; second printing, 2009); critical race studies, as in her guest-edited special issue of PMLA entitled “Comparative Racialization” (2008); critical theory, as in her co-edited Creolization of Theory (2011; second printing, 2014); Taiwan studies, as in her guest-edited special issue of Postcolonial Studies entitled “Globalization and Taiwan’s (In)significance” (2003), the co-edited volumes Comparatizing Taiwan (2015; paperback, 2018) and Knowledge Taiwan: On the Possibility of Theory in Taiwan (2016), Keywords of Taiwan Theory (March, 2019; second printing May 2019), and Indigenous Knowledge in Taiwan and Beyond (2021).

She has been a visiting professor at numerous universities in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, including University of Stockholm, University of Sydney, Carlton University, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, University of Amsterdam, National Taiwan Normal University, National Taiwan University, and University of Bologna.  She has also given a large number of keynote, endowed, and plenary lectures around the world, and is a recipient of research fellowships from Fulbright-Hays Foundation, American Philosophical Society, and American Council of Learned Societies.  Her work has been translated into French, Japanese, Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, and Korean.  She serves on dozens of editorial boards in Asia, Europe and the Americas, and is currently the series editor for “Sinophone Studies” at the University of California Press.

At UCLA, one of her contributions includes co-directing the “Cultures in Transnational Perspective” Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities with Françoise Lionnet for a decade, which was supported by a grant of $3.2 million dollars from the Mellon Foundation.

She is currently working on several projects, including two monographs entitled Sinophone Divergences and Comparative Literature in a Relational World.


A photo of Shu-mei Shih