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Dr. Robin Visser

Robin Visser
Professor
魏若冰
Associate Chair & Director of Undergraduate Studies

rvisser@email.unc.edu
New West 302

Zoom Link

Research

My research specialties are in modern Chinese and Sinophone literatures, urban cultural studies, and environmental studies. I also have research interests in science fiction, Indigenous studies, gender, and visual culture. My current research focuses on Indigeneity and ecology in East Asia and on Chinese Cli Fi (Climate Fiction rooted in Science Fiction).
My book, Questioning Borders: Ecoliteratures of China and Taiwan (Columbia UP, 2023), compares ecoliterature by Han and non-Han Indigenous writers of China and Taiwan, analyzing relations among humans, animals, and ecosystems. My earlier book, Cities Surround the Countryside: Urban Aesthetics in Postsocialist China (Duke UP, 2010), now in Russian translation (Academic Studies Press, 2022), analyzes urban planning, fiction, cinema, art, and cultural studies in the People’s Republic of China at the turn of the 21st century. I have also translated essays and fiction by Chinese and Taiwanese intellectuals.

Awards

National Humanities Center Fellow, 2017-18, for Bordering Chinese Eco-Literatures (supported by the NEH Fellowship and Walter Hines Page Fellowship of the Research Triangle Foundation)

Book Award Finalist for Cities Surround the Countryside, Southeast Conference of the Association of Asian Studies Book Prize (2011).

Courses

  • ASIA 56: First-Year Seminar: Writing Women in Modern China
  • ASIA 56: First-Year Seminar: Writing Women in Modern China
  • CHIN 247: Indigenous Spiritualities in Literatures of China and Taiwan
  • CHIN 247: Indigenous Spiritualities in Literatures of China and Taiwan
  • CHIN 356: Chinese Environmental Literature
  • CHIN 356: Chinese Environmental Literature
  • CHIN 463: Narrative Ethics in Modern China
  • CHIN 463: Narrative Ethics in Modern China
  • CHIN 464: The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film
  • CHIN 464: The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film
  • CHIN 545: Chinese Science Fiction
  • CHIN 545: Chinese Science Fiction
  • CHIN 562: Contemporary Chinese Urban Culture and Arts
  • CHIN 562: Contemporary Chinese Urban Culture and Arts
  • ASIA 691H: Senior Honors Thesis I
  • ASIA 691H: Senior Honors Thesis I
  • ASIA 742: Indigenous Ecologies in Literatures of China and Taiwan

Publications

Books

Questioning Borders: Ecoliteratures of China and Taiwan. Columbia University Press, 2023. https://cup.columbia.edu/book/questioning-borders/9780231199810

Russian translation of Cities Surround the Countryside: Urban Aesthetics in Postsocialist China. Города окружают деревню: Урбанистическая эстетика в культуре постсоциалистического Китая. Trans. Nikolay Protsenko. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2022. https://www.academicstudiespress.com/contemporary-eastern-studies-books/visser 

Cities Surround the Countryside: Urban Aesthetics in Postsocialist China. Duke UP, 2010. https://www.dukeupress.edu/cities-surround-the-countryside

Selected Articles

“Ecocriticism and Indigenous Anti-epics of China.” The Epic World. Ed. Pamela Lothspeich. London: Routledge, forthcoming 2024.

“Indigenous Literary Perspectives on Green Governance Policies in China.” Handbook on China’s Urban Environmental Governance. Eds. Fangzhu Zhang and Fulong Wu. London: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023.

"Ecology as Method.” Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature, 16.2 (Fall 2019): 320-345. https://prism-journal.org/2019/10/18/prism-volume-16-no-2-special-issue-method-as-method-table-of-contents/

“Posthuman Policies for Creative, Smart, Eco-Cities? Case Studies from China.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space (17 April 2018): 1-20.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X18765481

"Chinese Eco-Cities and Urbanization Planning: Case Studies of Tongzhou, Lingang, and Dujiangyan." In Ghost Protocol: Development and Displacement in Global China. Eds. Carlos Rojas, Ralph Litzinger. Duke University Press, 2016. 36-61.

"Contemporary Urban Fiction: Rewriting the City." With Jie Liu. In The Columbia Companion to Modern Chinese Literature. Ed. Kirk Denton. Columbia University Press, 2016. 345-354.

"Anthropocosmic Resonance in Post-Mao Chinese Environmental Literature." In Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art 《文艺理论研究》33.4 (2013): 34-44.

“Coming of Age in RMB City.” In Spectacle and the City: Chinese Urbanities in Art and Popular Culture. Eds.. Jeroen de Kloet and Lena Scheen. University of Amsterdam Press, 2013. 41-57.

"Pining for the Native Soil." In Homecoming: Contextualizing, Materializing, and Practicing the Rural in China. Eds. Joshua Bolchover, Christiane Lange, and John Lin. Gestalten Press, 2013. 47-49.

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