Andrea Bachner



My research explores comparative intersections between Sinophone, Latin American, and European cultural productions in dialogue with theories of interculturality, sexuality, and mediality. My first book, Beyond Sinology: Chinese Writing and the Scripts of Cultures (Columbia University Press, 2014), analyzes how the Chinese script has been imagined in recent decades in literature and film, visual and performance art, design and architecture, both within Chinese cultural contexts and in different parts of the “West.” I am the co-editor (with Carlos Rojas) of the Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures (2016) and have published articles in Comparative Literature, Comparative Literature Studies, Concentric, German Quarterly, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Taller de Letras as well as in several edited volumes. My second book, The Mark of Theory: Inscriptive Figures, Poststructuralist Prehistories (forthcoming from Fordham University Press in 2017) provides a genealogy of the concept of inscription that probes the media imaginaries of poststructuralist theory. I am currently working on two projects: the first, Against Comparison? Latin America and the Sinophone World, reflects on the limits of comparison through an exploration of the rich history of cultural contact, exchange, and affinity between Latin American and Chinese cultures from the late nineteenth century to today; the second, Membranicity, constitutes a critique of the deployment of surface metaphors in contemporary theory.  



Research Focus

Theory broadly defined, though always understood in its cultural specificity:

Theories of cultural and ethnic difference, interculturality, theories of cultural comparison and transculturality

Critical genealogies of theoretical movements

Media studies with a special interest in visuality and textuality, questions of corporeality and embodiment, and the links between media (and media studies) and politics

Theories of gender and sexuality, transcultural queer theory 

Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies with a focus on contemporary and modern transcultural, diasporic, and minor literary and medial expressions:

Sinophone cultures: Mainland China and its regional and ethnic differences, Taiwan and Indigenous Taiwanese cultures, Chinese Malaysia, Hong Kong, diasporic Sinophone writing in Europe and the Americas

Latin American cultures (in Spanish and Portuguese)

Major European cultures and their (post)colonial legacies (England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal) and minor European cultures (Catalonia)



The Mark of Theory: Inscriptive Figures, Poststructuralist Prehistories (forthcoming from Fordham University Press 2017).

Beyond Sinology: Chinese Writing and the Scripts of Culture (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014).

Edited Volumes and Special Issues

The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures, co-edited with Carlos Rojas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

“Between Asia and Latin America: New Transpacific Perspectives,” Special Issue of Verge: Studies in Global Asias (University of Minnesota Press), co-edited with Pedro Erber (forthcoming 2017).

Journal Articles 

“Editors’ Introduction: Remapping the Transpacific: Critical Approaches between Asia and Latin America” (with Pedro Erber) (forthcoming in Verge: Global Asias, 2017).

“Nexus,” (forthcoming in Verge: Global Asias, 2017) (part of the collective article “Fieldtrip: Between Asia and Latin America—A Critical Renga”).

“Violent Media, Chinese Fantasies: Salvador Elizondo’s ‘Execution by Shooting in China’,”(forthcoming in Verge: Global Asias, 2017).

“Hymenologics: Membrane Politics and the (Un)Making of Difference” (article for a special issue of Theory@Buffalo on “Difference: Cultural/Sexual/Universal,” forthcoming 2017).

“Cannibal Translations: Culture and Alterity in Early Modern China and Latin America” (forthcoming in Journal for Early Modern Studies, 2017, special issue on China edited by David Porter).

“Cultural Margins, Hybrid Scripts: Bigraphism and Translation in Taiwanese Indigenous Writing,” Journal of World Literature 1 (2016): 226-244; special issue on “Scriptworlds and World Literature.”

“Theses on the Translation of (Chinese) Architecture.” Verge: Global Asias 2: 1 (Spring 2016): 106-140; special issue on “Asian Urbanisms.”

What Original? Origin Stories, Script Teratologies, and Leibniz’s Hexagrammatology.” Comparative Literature. Special issue: “Original Languages.” 65: 1 (Winter 2013): 26-35.

“Graphic Germs: Mediality, Virulence, Chinese Writing.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 23: 1 (Spring 2011): 197-225.

“The Remains of History: Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain and Wuhe’s The Remains of Life.” Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies 37: 1 (March 2011): 99-122.

“La corrosión del sentido: Quebrada de Guadalupe Santa Cruz” (“The Corrosion of Sense: Quebrada by Guadalupe Santa Cruz”). Taller de Letras 47 (November 2010): 69-88.

“‘Chinese’ Intextuations of the World.” Comparative Literature Studies 47: 3 (2010): 318-345.

“Thomas Hettche’s Wound Ethics.” The German Quarterly 82: 2 (Spring 2009): 212-230.

“Cinema as Heterochronos: Temporal Folds in the Work of Tsai Ming-liang.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 19: 1 (Spring 2007): 60-90.

“New Spaces for Literature: Can Xue and Hélène Cixous on Writing.” Comparative Literature Studies 42: 3 (2005): 155-182.

“Anagrams in Psychoanalysis: Retroping Concepts by Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Jean-François Lyotard.” Comparative Literature Studies 40: 1 (2003): 1-25. (Winner of the 2002 Owen A. Aldridge Prize).

Book Chapters

“Globally Queer? Taiwanese Homotextualities in Translation”in Queer in Translation. Ed. B.J. Epstein and Robert Gillett. London and New York: Routledge, 2017. 77-86.

“Chinese Literatures in Conjunction.” The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures. Ed. Andrea Bachner and Carlos Rojas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 866-80.

“The Secrets of Language: Chen Li’s Sinographic Anagrams.” The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese. Ed. Andrea Bachner and Carlos Rojas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 112-30.

“Between the Visual and the Sonic: Rewriting Rilke’s ‘Urgeräusch’.” Un/translatables. Ed. Bethany Wiggins and Catriona MacLeod. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2016. 229-39.

“Concretely Global? Visual Poetry against Translation.” Globalizing Literary Genres: Literature, History, Modernity. Ed. Jernej Habjan and Fabienne Imlinger. London and New York: Routledge, 2016. 155-168.

“1899: Oracle Bones, that Dangerous Supplement…” (forthcoming in A New Literary History of Modern China, edited by David Wang, Harvard University Press, March 2017).

“1986: The Writer and the Mad(wo)man.” (forthcoming in A New Literary History of Modern China, edited by David Wang, Harvard University Press, March 2017).

“Queer Affiliations: Mak Yan Yan’s Butterfly as Sinophone Romance.” Queering Sinophone Studies. Ed. Ari Larissa Heinrich and Howard Chiang. London and New York: Routledge, 2013. 201-220.

“Found in Translation: Gao Xingjian’s Multi-Medial Sinophone.” Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader. Ed. Brian Bernards, Shih Shu-mei, and Tsai Chien-hsin. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. 364-374.

“Reinventing Chinese Writing: Zhang Guixing’s Sinographic Translations.” Globalizing Modern Chinese Literature: Critical Essays on Sinophone and Diasporic Writings. Ed. Jing Tsu and David Wang. Leiden and Boston: BRILL, 2010. 177-195.

“De/signar: Grafías paradójicas en la obra de Diamela Eltit” (“De/signar: Graphic Paradoxes in the Work of Diamela Eltit”). Diamela Eltit: Redes locales, redes globales. Ed. Rubí Carreño. Madrid and Frankfurt/Main: Iberoamericana and Vervuert, 2009. 273-281.

“Re/coiling Inscription: Incisive Moments in Diamela Eltit and Jacques Derrida.” Democracy in Latin America: The Legacy of September 11, 1973. Ed. Silvia Nagy-Zekmi and Fernando Leiva. Brighton, Portland: Sussex University Press, 2005. 202-213.


Translation of Salvador Elizondo, “Execution by Shooting in China” (“Fusilamiento en China”), forthcoming in Verge: Global Asias 3:2 (2017) (Spanish to English).

Translation of Mei Chia-ling, “Voice and the Quest for Modernity in Chinese Literature” The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures. Ed. Andrea Bachner and Carlos Rojas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 149-171. (Chinese to English).

Translation of Chen Pingyuan, “The Story of Literary History.” The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures. Ed. Andrea Bachner and Carlos Rojas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 92-111. (Chinese to English).

Translation of Ji Jin, “Modern Chinese Literature and Literature in Translation” The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures. Ed. Andrea Bachner and Carlos Rojas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 521-30. (Chinese to English).

Translations of “草莓果园” (“Strawberry Fields”) by Liao Weitang, “音乐山谷” (“Valley of Music”) by Song Lin, “古相思曲” (“An Ancient Lovesong”) by Xi Murong, and “星期日独唱” (“Solo on a Sunday”) by Yi Lei, Chinese to German, for “Time Shadows: Music” Goethe-Institute Washington, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, and the Chinatown Community Cultural Center in Washington, DC, February 23, 2012.

Translations of “Danza del alacrán” (“Scorpion Dance”), “Serpiente de vidrio” (“Glass Serpent”), and “Autorretrato de la mujer invisible” (“Self-Portrait of the Invisible Woman”) by Julia Piera, Spanish to English. The Poetry Ireland Review. 91 (2007): 62-64.

Translation of “洋蔥” (“Onion”) by Yesi (Leung Ping-kwan), Chinese to Spanish. ABC Cultural Supplement, Spain. 752 (July 1st, 2006): 20.

Reviews, Shorter Pieces, and Interviews

Review of Young China by Mingwei Song for Canadian Review of Comparative Literature.

Review of Homesickness by Carlos Rojas for Frontiers of Literary Studies in China; Chinese translation by Li Juan forthcoming in Xuewen.

Interview with Carla Nappi on Beyond Sinology for New Books in East Asian Studies,

Interview with Ilon Huang on Beyond Sinology for the weekend magazine of Radio Taiwan International, August 2, 9, and 16, 2014 (in German).

Review of A Common Strangeness by Jacob Edmond. CLEAR 53 (2013): 240-242.

Review of Lin Shu, Inc. by Michael Hill. Chinese Literature Today 3: 1/2 (2013): 168-170.

Review of Perfect Worlds: Utopian Fiction in China and the West by Douwe Fokkema. The Comparatist 37 (May 2013): 319-321.

Review of Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora by Jing Tsu, MCLC Resource Center., Summer 2011.

Review of Ideographic Modernism by Christopher Bush, MCLC Resource Center., Spring 2011.

Review of Sinographies. Ed. Eric Hayot, Haun Saussy, and Steven Yao. China Review International. 16: 3 (2009): 341-344.

“另類書寫系統:張貴興《猴杯》和黃錦樹〈魚骸〉裡的肉體銘刻” (“Corporeal Inscription in Zhang Guixing’s Simian Cup and Ng Kim-chew’s ‘Fish Bones’”). Trans. Tsai Chien-hsin. SinChew Daily, Literary Supplement, August 27, 2006.

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