Skip to main content


Chia Johnson

Melody Yunzi Li
Assistant Professor of Chinese

Office: Agnes Arnold Hall Room 659
Email: mli40@Central.UH.EDU

Education | Teaching | Selected Publications | Book ReviewsAffiliations | Links |

Dr. Melody Yunzi Li holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, an MPhil degree in Translation Studies at the University of Hong Kong, and a BA in English/Translation Studies from Sun Yat-sen University, China. She taught at Transylvania University and Lenoir-Rhyne University before joining the University of Houston as an Assistant Professor in August 2018. Dr. Li also was a visiting scholar at Harvard University 2015-2016. Her research interests include Asian diaspora literature, modern Chinese literature and culture, migration studies, translation studies, cultural identities and performance studies. She is the author of Transpacific Cartographies: Narrating the Contemporary Chinese Diaspora in the U.S. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2023) and the co-editor of Remapping the Homeland: Affective Geographies and Cultures of the Chinese Diaspora. (London: Palgrave McMillan, 2022). She has published in various journals including Pacific Coast PhilologyTelos and others. Besides her specialty in Chinese literature, Dr. Li is also a Chinese dancer and translator.


PhD in Comparative Literature, Washington University in St.Louis
MPhil in Translation Studies, University of Hong Kong
BA in English (Translation), Sun Yat-sen University, China


CHNS 3344  Global Chinese Literature
CHNS/WCL 3342  Tales of East Asian Cities
CHNS/WCL 3343  Chinese Popular Culture
CHNS 3302  Advanced Mandarin Chinese II
CHIN 2311  Intermediate Mandarin Chinese
CHIN 4301  Public Speaking in Chinese

Selected Publications


Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • Singing-and-Dance Hall as a Contested Space in late 1980s-early 1990s China.” Comparative Literature and World Literature, Vol. 7, No. 2 (2022): 22-42"
  • “Remapping New York’s Chinatowns in the Works of Eric Liu and Ha Jin’.” Remapping the Homeland:Affective Geographies and Cultures of the Chinese Diaspora, edited by Melody Yunzi Li and Rob T. Tally Jr., Palgrave McMillan, 2022. 115-133.
  • “Reorienting Sinophone America through ‘Sinophone Orientalism’.” Orientalism and Reverse Orientalism in Literature and Film: Beyond East and West, edited by Sharmani Patricia Gabriel and Bernard Wilson, London: Routledge, 2021.
  • “‘We are Not a Virus’: Challenging Asian/Asian American Racism in the 21st Century.” U.S. Studies Online: Forum for New Writing, March 22, 2021.
  • Rebuilding Home Around Hardened Borders.British Journal of Chinese Studies, Vol. 10, July 2020.
  • “Translating Waiting-A Study of ‘Chineseness’ in Translation.” (翻譯等待——翻譯中漢語性的研究) 文學論叢12 (2019): 41-52.
  • “Nightclub as a Liminal Space: Space, Gender, and Identity in Lisa See’s China Dolls.” Humanities 2018, 7 (4): 126.
  • “At Home in the World: Hong Kong as a Cosmopolitan City in The Unwalled City.” Telos 180 (Fall 2017): 67-86.
  • “Home and Identity En Route in Chinese Diaspora - Reading Ha Jin’s A Free Life.” Pacific Coast Philology 49.2 (2014): 203-220.
  • “The Voice of Otherness in Ha Jin’s Waiting.” 하 진 (哈金) 의 『기다 (Waiting) 에 나타난 타자성의 목소리 Yonmin hakchi 연민학지 (潤民學志). Journal of the Yon Min Classical Literature Association 연민학회 (潤民學會) 16 (2011): 403-463.

Book Reviews

  • (forthcoming) “Review on Transnational Chinese Theatres, by Rossella Ferrari.” Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews
  • “Review on Gu Hongming’s Eccentric Chinese Odyssey, by Chunmei Du.” PRISM 18.1 (2021): 300-303.
  • “Review on Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy, by Emily Wilcox.” Wen Xue 2021: 276-280.
  • “Writing the South Seas: Imagining the Nanyang in Chinese and Southeast Asian Postcolonial Literature by Brian Bernards.” Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities 中山人文學報41(July 2016): 117-121.


Southwest Asian Studies Association
Modern Language Association
American Comparative Literature Association  


Youtube Channel