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Bernards, Brian

East Asian Languages and Cultures, USC


  • B.A. , University of Washington, 2002
  • M.A. , Columbia University, 2005
  • Ph.D. Asian Languages & Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles, 2011

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Modern Chinese and Southeast Asian literature and cinema, Sinophone studies, and postcolonial studies. Forthcoming book, Writing the South Seas, examines the colonial and postcolonial formation of the Nanyang, the “South Seas,” as a transnational and translingual literary trope in the modern literatures of China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.



  • Bernards, B. (2015). Writing the South Seas: Imagining the Nanyang in Chinese and Southeast Asian Postcolonial Literature. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.
  • Bernards, Brian, Shu-mei Shih, and Chien-hsin Tsai (Ed.). (2013). Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader. New York: Columbia University Press.

Book Chapter

  • Bernards, B. (2013). "Plantation and Rainforest: Chang Kuei-hsing and a South Seas Discourse of Coloniality and Nature". Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader pp. 325-338. New York: Columbia University Press.

Journal Article

  • Bernards, B. (2014). From Diasporic Nationalism to Transcolonial Consciousness: Lao She's Singaporean Satire, Little Po's Birthday. Modern Chinese Literature and Culture. Vol. 26 (1), pp. 1-40.
  • Bernards, B. (2013). "Shuangxiang de hunzaxing: lun lengzhan shiqi Tai Hua xiaoshuo zhong de 'Taihua'" [Bidirectional Hybridity: "Thaification" in Cold War-Era Sinophone Thai Fiction]. Zhongshan renwen xuebao [Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities]. Vol. 35, pp. 127-141.
  • Bernards, B. (2013). "Beyond Diaspora and Multiculturalism: Recuperating Creolization in Postcolonial Sinophone Malaysian Literature". Postcolonial Studies. Vol. 15 (3), pp. 311-329.

New Courses Developed

  • ARLT 100g, 105g: Southeast Asian Literature and Film, Arts and Letters, 2011-  
  • EALC 380: Transnational Chinese Literatures, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Spring 2013   
  • EALC 530: Race, Ethnicity, and Multiculturalism in East Asia, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Spring 2013   
  • EALC 150g: Global Chinese Cinema and Cultural Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Fall 2012   

Honors and Awards

  • USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, USC Dornsife General Education Teaching Award, Fall 2014   
  • UCLA Asia Institute Graduate Fellowship, 2010-2011   
  • Fulbright Award, Fulbright-Hays Research Grant, 2008-2009   
  • University of California Pacific Rim Research Program Grant, 2008-2009   


August 19, 2019 - 4:00pm
Los Angeles, California

Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute and Asia Society for a talk with Weijian Shan, one of Asia’s best-known financiers, as he recounts his remarkable personal story of his exile to the Gobi Desert for hard labor at the age of 15 amidst the turmoil of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.

September 5, 2019 - 4:00pm
Los Angeles, California

The USC U.S.-China Institute presents a book talk with journalist and author Matt Sheehan. His new book chronicles the deep and interdependent socioeconomic exchanges between China and California.