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Fiss, Geraldine

East Asian Languages and Cultures

Contact Information
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
College of Letters Arts and Sciences
Office: THH 372
Phone: (213) 740-0063


Curriculumn Vitae 


  • Ph.D, East Asian Languages and Civlizations, Harvard University, 2008

  • B.A., East Asian Languages and Literatures, Smith College, 1997

Postdoctoral Training

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Southern California, 2010-2015

Biographical Information and Research Foci

Géraldine Fiss (許潔琳) is a Lecturer at the University of Southern California and received her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University in November 2008. She is interested in tracing the cross-cultural nexus of forces that influences literary, cultural and cinematic production in modern China and throughout East Asia in the early modern, modern and contemporary periods. In particular, her research illuminates the ways in which Chinese poets, writers, thinkers and film-makers synthesize modern Western (especially German) and non-Western impulses with classical Chinese aesthetics to create new, distinctly Chinese modern (and modernist) works and philosophical ideas. Her first book project, entitled Textual Travels and Traveling Texts: Encounters with German Culture, Literature and Ideas in Early Twentieth Century China, examines the ways in which Chinese intellectuals of the late Qing and Early Republican period (ca. 1860-1918) prior to May Fourth thought about and engaged German culture, literature and thought. In her current research, she is focusing on modern and contemporary Chinese poetry and cinema, and the trans- cultural influences that inform these literary and visual modes. Her second book project focuses on modern and contemporary Chinese poetry and is entitled Rilke in China: Reconfiguring Modern Poetics. Simultaneously, she is also doing research on the Chinese New Documentary Film Movement, particularly contemporary women’s films, which often present a disruptive counter-discourse to the predominant cultural mainstream. In addition, she studies and teaches Chinese feminism and women’s literature; the genre of the fantastic in modern East Asian literature and film; and Chinese as well as East Asian ecocriticism, ecoliterature and ecocinema. 

Research Specialities

Early modern, modern and contemporary Chinese literature, intellectual history and film; Cultural translation in East Asia; East-West literary, aesthetic and cinematic relations; Modern and contemporary Chinese poetry; Chinese and transnational modernisms; The fantastic in East Asian literature and film; Chinese women's literature and film, East Asian ecocriticism


Article and Book Chapters

  • Fiss, G. (2016). From Du Fu to Rilke and Back: Feng Zhi's Modernist Aesthetics and Poetic Practice. Chinese Poetric Modernisms. Leiden: Brill.
  • Fiss, Geraldine and Guo, Li "Beyond Boundaries: Women, Writing and Visuality in Contemporary China." Introduction to frontiers of Literary Studies in China Special Issue Women, Writing and Visuality in Contemporary China, vol. 11, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-6. 
  • Fiss, G. (2016). Muenchhausen Travels to China: Xu Nianci Transformer a German Tale into Chinese Science Fiction. A New Literary History of Modern China. Cambridge, MA: Havard University Press.
  • Fiss, Géraldine. “Feminine and Masculine Dimensions of Feminist Thought and Transcultural Modernism in Republican China.” Frontiers of Literary Studies in China Special Issue Nation, Gender and Transcultural Modernism in Republican China, vol. 8, no. 1, 2014, pp. 101-125.
  • Fiss, Géraldine. “From Du Fu to Rilke and Back: Feng Zhi’s Modernist Aesthetics and Poetic Practice.” Fothcoming in Chinese Poetic Modernisms. Brill.
  • Fiss, Géraldine. “Dismembering the New Woman: Expressionist Visuality and Literary Innovation in the Works of Mu Shiying.” Forthcoming in Transnational Modernism and Urban Conflict in the Interwar Era. Routledge.
  • Fiss, Géraldine. “Ding Ling: The New Woman Writes Her Self.” Forthcoming in Routledge Handbook of Modern Chinese Literature. Routledge. 
Book Reviews
  • Fiss, Géraldine. Featured Scholar Interview with Professor Christopher Lupke: Paving the Way for New Canons. Chinese Literature Today, vol. 6, no. 1, 2017, pp. 116-121.

  • Fiss, Géraldine. Review of Sabina Knight. Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2012. Forthcoming in China Review International, vol. 22, no. 3 & 4, 2017.

  • Fiss, Géraldine. Review of Selina Lai-Henderson. Mark Twain in China. Stanford University Press, 2015. Forthcoming in The Journal of Asian Studies.

  • Fiss, Géraldine. Review of Liang Luo. The Avant-Garde and the Popular in Modern China: Tian Han and the Intersection of Performance and Politics. The University of Michigan, 2014. The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 75, no. 3, 2016, pp. 814-815.

  • Fiss, Géraldine. Review of Heather Inwood. Verse Going Viral: China’s New Media Scenes. University of Washington Press, 2014. The China Quarterly, vol. 223, 2015, pp. 846-847.

  • Fiss, Géraldine. Review of Alexa Huang. Weltliteratur und Welttheater: Ästhetischer Humanismus in der kulturellen Globalisierung. Transcript Verlag Bielefeld, 2012. Cahiers Élisabéthains, vol. 85, 2014, pp. 136-139.

  • Fiss, Géraldine. Review of Theodore Huters. Bringing the World Home: Appropriating the West in Late Qing and Early Republican China. University of Hawai’i Press, 2005. The Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature, vol. 60, no.2, 2006, pp. 71-74.

  • Fiss, Géraldine. Review of Patrick Hanan. Chinese Fiction of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. Columbia University Press, 2004. The Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature, vol. 60, no. 2, 2006, pp. 74-76.


New Courses Developed

  • EALC 499: Writing Women in Modern China, East Asian Languages and Cultures, The aim of this course is to elucidate feminine and feminist literary and cultural consciousness in modern China. So as to achieve this goal, we will analyze fiction, film and other media by both male and female authors who are concerned with the lives and realities of Chinese women. What do women wish to liberate themselves from, how do they enact this and to what end? How do some of the most influential men of modern Chinese letters understand and portray the situation of women? In what ways does the problem of gender complicate the ideological advent of modernity in China? And how does the contemporary situation of globalization impact Chinese women and their writings today? Throughout the course, we examine how several generations of intellectuals reconciled themselves to – and resisted – the expectations of women under Confucianism, Communism and Capitalism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries., Fall 2013   
  • EALC 499: The Fantastic in Modern East Asian Literature and Film, East Asian Languages and Cultures, This course examines the power of fantastic texts to illuminate, interrogate and subvert reality. It does so through readings and analyses of modern Chinese and Japanese short stories, novels and films. How can fantastic texts teach us to perceive problems in the cultural psyche from a more critical, insightful perspective? What is the cognitive function of fantastic fiction and film at the threshold of the modern and postmodern moments? How have modern Chinese and Japanese intellectuals and artists shaped the literary genre of the fantastic to fit their particular experiences? And how do these fantastic texts fit into the practice of modernism? So as to find answers to these questions, we will read key examples of the modern fantastic genre in conjunction with theoretical articles and other secondary materials., Fall 2011