• Kenneth Chan

    Professor of English | Director of Film Studies

    Department of English

    University of Northern Colorado

    Kenneth Chan is Professor of English and Director of Film Studies in the Department of English at the University of Northern Colorado. He received his PhD degree from the University of Florida. His research and teaching interests include transnational Chinese cinemas, Asians in Hollywood, Asian American film, Singapore cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, queer cinemas, and contemporary film genres such as melodramas, musicals, action films, and science fiction. He is the author of two books: Yonfan's Bugis Street (Hong Kong University Press, 2015) and Remade in Hollywood: The Global Chinese Presence in Transnational Cinemas (Hong Kong University Press, 2009). He has also published more than twenty full-length peer-reviewed essays, which have appeared in various book-length collections and academic journals, including Cinema Journal, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, Asian Cinema, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Mediascape, Discourse, and Camera Obscura. Chan's latest project is on cosmopolitanism, ethics, and contemporary science fiction cinema. Dr. Chan sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Chinese Cinemas and is the Managing Editor of The CEA Critic. He further volunteers as the Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Asian Film Archive, Singapore. Professor Chan represented UNC as a network partner of the international project "Chinese Cinemas in the 21st Century: Production, Consumption, Imagination," which was funded by the Leverhulme Trust's International Networks scheme. The project spanned two years (2012-2013), where the seven network partners and other invited scholars in the field of Chinese cinema studies met in Exeter (UK), Amsterdam, Singapore, and Taipei, for conferences, symposia, roundtables, and research. Chan received the College Scholar award in 2010-2011 from UNC's College of Humanities and Social Sciences. As an ardent figure skater, he has attained the USFS (United States Figure Skating) Adult Bronze Moves in the Field level.

  • Books

    Chan, Kenneth. Yonfan's Bugis Street. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2015.

    Bugis Street was famous (or notorious) for being a haunt of transgender prostitution in the early decades of postcolonial Singapore. Since then the site has been a source of touristic obsession and local cultural anxiety. In his 1995 film Bugis Street, director Yonfan brings the short lane back to vivid cinematic life. By focusing on the film's representations of queer sexualities and transgender experience, this book contends that the under-appreciated Bugis Street is a significant instance of queer transnational cinema. The film's playful yet nuanced articulations of queer embodiment, spatiality, and temporality provide an unexpected intervention in the public discourses on LGBT politics, activism, and cultures in Singapore today. This book's arrival at a much more complicated and contradictory picture of the discursive Bugis Street, through the examination of Yonfan's film and a range of other cultural and literary texts, adds a new critical dimension to the ongoing historical, geographical, sociological, ethnographic, and artistic analyses of this controversial space.

     

    "Grounded in rigorous research that places the film in nuanced historical and cultural contexts, this adventurous study of Bugis Street brings timely attention to an iconic yet persistently under-appreciated film. Superbly written in a clear and personable style, this engaging book will be welcome by scholars and film buffs alike." — Helen Hok-Sze Leung, author of Undercurrents: Queer Culture and Postcolonial Hong Kong and Farewell My Concubine: A Queer Film Classic

     

    (Hong Kong University Press is distributed in the United States by Columbia University Press.) Available also on Amazon.

    Chan, Kenneth. Remade in Hollywood: The Global Chinese Presence in Transnational Cinemas. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009.

    The dramatic surge in Chinese visibility in Hollywood has been spurred by Sino-chic talents such as directors Ang Lee, John Woo, Wong Kar-wai, Wayne Wang, and Zhang Yimou, and stars such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi, and Michelle Yeoh. Analyzing well-known films by Chinese stars and crew, and the influence they have had on Hollywood directors, Kenneth Chan describes how post-1997 notions of Chinese identity and cultural genres have been reinvented and repackaged by major US studios. Highlighting numerous contradictions and cultural anxieties evident in transnational Hollywood films, Chan suggests that many Chinese stars and directors have made painful compromises to get their films successfully launched into the global capitalist stream of cultural commodities.

     

    "Remade in Hollywood impressively updates the cross-cultural flow of capital, cast, and crew between cinemas to highlight the global Chinese presence in post-1997 American films. Erudite and sophisticated in its analysis, this book is a timely contribution, no only as a study of Chinese cinemas in an era when the People's Republic of China is poised to become the next global superpower, but also as an understanding of Hollywood as a magnet that continues to attract talent from abroad and, in the process, facilitates a global cultural flow that runs in many directions between locales. This accessible volume will be valuable resource for scholars and students in film studies, cultural studies, and Asian-American studies." — Song Hwee Lim, author of Celluloid Comrades: Representations of Male Homosexuality in Contemporary Chinese Cinemas

     

    (Hong Kong University Press is distributed in the United States by Columbia University Press.) Available also on Amazon.

  • Essays

    Book Chapters

    1. Chan, Kenneth. "The Chinese Cinematic Remake as Transnational Appeal: Zhang Yimou's A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop." ​Transnational Film Remakes. Eds. Iain Robert Smith and Constantine Verevis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017. 87-102.
    2. Chan, Kenneth. "'Absurd Connections,' or Cosmopolitan Conviviality in The Map of Sex and Love." Postcolonialism, Diaspora, and Alternative Histories: The Cinema of Evans Chan. Ed. Tony Williams. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2015. 41-56.
    3. Chan, Kenneth. “Colliding Fact and Fiction: Techno-Orientalism and Violence of the Ethical Other in Chen Shi-Zheng’s Dark Matter.” American and Chinese-Language Cinemas: Examining Cultural Flows. Routledge Advances in Film Studies Series. Eds. Lisa Funnell and Man-Fung Yip. New York: Routledge, 2015. 204-218.
    4. Chan, Kenneth. “Melodrama as History and Nostalgia: Reading Hong Kong Director Yonfan’s Prince of Tears.” Melodrama in Contemporary Film and Television. Ed. Michael Stewart. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 135-152.
    5. Chan, Kenneth. “Queerly Connecting: The Queer Sinophone Politics of Tsai Ming-liang’s I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone.” Queer Sinophone Cultures. Eds. Howard Chiang and Ari Larissa Heinrich. New York: Routledge, 2014. 160-175.
    6. Chan, Kenneth. “Bad Boys Need Love, Too: The Cinematic Negativity of Gay Romance in I Love You Phillip Morris.” Queer Love in Film and Television: Critical Essays. Eds. Pamela Demory and Christopher Pullen. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 23-32.
    7. Chan, Kenneth. “Impossible Presence: Toward a Queer Singapore Cinema, 1990s-2000s.” Queer Singapore: Illiberal Citizenship and Mediated Cultures. Eds. Audrey Yue and Jun Zubillaga-Pow. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2012. 161-174.
    8. Chan, Kenneth. “‘Asia’ as Global Hollywood Commodity.” The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film, Vol. IV: 1976 to the Present. Eds. Cynthia Lucia, Roy Grundmann, and Art Simon. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 406-26.
    9. Chan, Kenneth. “Heroes’ Internationalism: Toward a Cosmopolitical Ethics in Mainstream American Television.” Investigating Heroes: Essays on Truth, Justice and Quality TV. Ed. David Simmons. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2012. 144-55.
    10. Chan, Kenneth. “The Contemporary Wuxia Revival: Genre Remaking and the Hollywood Transnational Factor.” The Chinese Cinema Book. Eds. Song Hwee Lim and Julian Ward. London: British Film Institute / Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 150-57.
    11. Chan, Kenneth. “Diasporic Desires: Narrating Sexuality in the Memoirs of Shirley Geok-lin Lim and Li-Young Lee.” China Abroad: Travel, Subjects, Spaces. Eds. Elaine Yee Lin Ho and Julia Kuehn. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009. 139-54.
    12. Chan, Kenneth. “Cultural Misrecognition: A Post-9/11 Rereading of Timothy Mo’s Sour Sweet.” British Asian Fiction: Framing the Contemporary. Eds. Neil Murphy and Wai-chew Sim. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2008. 237-54.

    Journal Articles

    1. Chan, Kenneth. "Maid to Serve: Representations of Female Domestic Workers in Singapore Cinema." Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings 10, no. 1 (2010): 56-70.
    2. Chan, Kenneth. "The Shaw-Tarantino Connection: Rolling Thunder Pictures and the Exploitation Aesthetics of Cool." Mediascape: UCLA's Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (Fall 2009).
    3. Chan, Kenneth. "Rice Sticking Together: Cultural Nationalist Logic and the Cinematic Representations of Gay Asian-Caucasian Relationships and Desire." Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 28, no. 2/3 (2006): 178-96. (Copyrighted and published in 2008.)
    4. Chan, Kenneth. "Tactics of Tears: Excess/Erasure in the Gay Chinese Melodramas of Fleeing by Night and Lan Yu." Camera Obscura 68, vol. 23, no. 2 (2008): 141-66.
    5. Chan, Kenneth. "Gay Sexuality in Singaporean Chinese Popular Culture: Where Have All the Boys Gone?" China Information 22, no. 2 (2008): 305-29.
    6. Chan, Kenneth. "Goodbye, Dragon Inn: Tsai Ming-liang's Political Aesthetics of Nostalgia, Place, and Lingering." Journal of Chinese Cinemas 1, no. 2 (2007): 89-103.
    7. Chan, Kenneth. “Mimicry as Failure: Jackie Chan in Hollywood.” Asian Cinema 15, no. 2 (2004): 84-97.
    8. Chan, Kenneth. “The Global Return of the Wu Xia Pian (Chinese Sword-Fighting Movie): Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Cinema Journal 43, no.4 (2004): 3-17.
    9. Chan, Kenneth. “Cross-Dress for Success: Performing Ivan Heng and Chowee Leow’s An Occasional Orchid and Stella Kon's Emily of Emerald Hill on the Singapore Stage.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 23, No. 1 (2004): 29-43. (Special issue “Where in the World Is Transnational Feminism?” guest edited by Shirley Geok-lin Lim.)
    10. Chan, Kenneth. “The Construction of Black Male Identity in Black Action Films of the Nineties.” Cinema Journal 37, no.2 (1998): 35-48.

    Short Essays, Encyclopedia Entries, Published Interviews

    1. Chan, Kenneth. "Bishonen." Directory of World Cinema: China 2. Ed. Gary Bettinson. Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2015. 200-2.
    2. Chan, Kenneth. "Peony Pavilion." Directory of World Cinema: China 2. Ed. Gary Bettinson. Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2015. 212-14.
    3. Chan, Kenneth. "Yonfan." Directory of World Cinema: China 2. Ed. Gary Bettinson. Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2015. 113-17.
    4. Chan, Kenneth. “Queer Identity and Politics.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature. Ed. Guiyou Huang. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2009. 811-14.
    5. Chan, Kenneth. “Singapore Shorts Vol. 2: The Singapore Short Film and Its Emerging Cultural Significance.” Review Essay for the DVD Singapore Shorts Vol. 2 Website (2008).
    6. Chan, Kenneth. “Drag and the Politics of Identity and Desire in Singapore Theater: A Conversation with Ivan Heng.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 23, No. 1 (2004): 121-34. (Special issue “Where in the World Is Transnational Feminism?” guest edited by Shirley Geok-lin Lim.)

    Reprints

    1. Chan, Kenneth. "'Asia' as Global Hollywood Commodity." American Film History: Selected Readings. Vol. II. Eds. Cynthia Lucia, Roy Grundmann, and Art Simon. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. 408-22. Originally published in The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film, Vol. IV: 1976 to the Present. Eds. Cynthia Lucia, Roy Grundmann, and Art Simon. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 406-26.
    2. Chan, Kenneth. "The Global Return of the Wu Xia Pian (Chinese Sword-Fighting Movie): Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Chinese Cinema. Vol. III. Ed. Chris Berry. Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies (Routledge Series). London: Routledge, 2012. Originally published in Cinema Journal 37, no.2 (1998): 35-48.
  • Teaching

    Spring 2017 Courses

    • ENG 642 – Film Theory and Analysis: The Fantastic in Cinema
    • FILM 320 – Asians in Hollywood

    Summer 2017 Course

    • FILM 120 – Introduction to Film

    Fall 2017 Courses

    • FILM 120  – Introduction to Film
    • FILM 211 – History of Film II
    • MIND 281 – Modernity in Asia

    Courses Previously Taught

    • ENG 131 – Introduction to Literature
    • ENG 495 – Advanced Cultural Studies: Queer Theory
    • ENG 495 – Advanced Cultural Studies: Theorizing Gender and Sexuality
    • ENG 600 – Introduction to Graduate Study
    • ENG 642 – Film Theory and Analysis: Screening Sexualities
    • FILM 310 – Film Theory and Criticism
    • FILM 320 – Action Cinemas: Speed, Bodies, Spectacle
    • FILM 320 – Contemporary Asian Cinemas
    • FILM 330 – Melodramas and Musicals
    • FILM 330 – Science Fiction Cinema
    • HUM 130 – Introduction to Cultural Studies

    Read news article about the Science Fiction Cinema course in the UNC Mirror.

  • Bio

    Education

    (Graduate Degrees)

    • 1999, PhD, Department of English, University of Florida.
    • 1995, MA, Department of English, Clemson University.

    Professional Experience

    • 2016-present, Professor of English (Tenured), University of Northern Colorado.
    • 2011-2016, Associate Professor of English (Tenured), University of Northern Colorado.
    • 2008-2011, Assistant Professor of English (Tenure-Track), University of Northern Colorado.
    • 2004-2008, Assistant Professor of English (Tenure-Track), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).
    • 2000-2004, Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track), National University of Singapore.

    University Service

    (University of Northern Colorado)

    • 2016-2019, Member, Faculty Research and Publications Board, University of Northern Colorado.
    • 2016-2017, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of English, University of Northern Colorado.
    • 2015-2017, AA/EO Coordinator, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Northern Colorado.
    • 2013-present, Director of Film Studies, Department of English, University of Northern Colorado.
    • 2012-2014, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English, University of Northern Colorado.
    • 2010-present, Member, Asian Studies Advisory Board, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Northern Colorado.
    • 2010-present, Member, Life of the Mind Advisory Board, University College, University of Northern Colorado.

    Professional Associations

    • 2015-Dec 2016, Managing Editor, The CEA Critic.
    • 2012-2015, Editorial Board Member, The CEA Critic.
    • 2006-present, Editorial Board Member, Journal of Chinese Cinemas.
    • July 7-9, 2005, Member, International Advisory Committee, “Sexualities, Genders and Rights in Asia: An International Conference of Asian Queer Studies,” in Bangkok, Thailand.
    • 2004-present, Chair of the International Advisory Board; 2004-2009, Member of the Board of Directors; Asian Film Archive, Singapore.

    Honors and Awards

    • 2016 Fall Semester, Faculty Reassignment Award for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Works (RSCW), College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Northern Colorado.
    • 2013 Spring Semester, Faculty Reassignment Award for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Works (RSCW), College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Northern Colorado.

    Honors and Awards

    (continued)

    • January 2012-December 2013, Network Partner, “Chinese Cinemas in the 21st Century: Production, Consumption, Imagination,” The Leverhulme Trust – International Networks Grant, United Kingdom. (The grant paid for travel and accommodation for a series of workshops, conferences, symposia, and research work held in four different locations: Exeter in July 2012, Amsterdam in January 2013, Singapore in June 2013, and Taipei in December 2013.)
    • 2010-2011, College Scholar, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Northern Colorado.
  • Figure Skating & Ice Dancing

    • June 4, 2016, Competition Judge (Basic Skills), Front Range Invitational, Greeley, CO.
    • July 18, 2015, 1st Place, Adult Pre-Bronze Free Skate, Vail Invitational Figure Skating Championships, Vail, CO. (See story on University of Northern Colorado news website.)
    • May 16, 2014, Passed USFS (US Figure Skating) Adult Pre-Bronze Free Skate Test.
    • April 11, 2014, Passed USFS Adult Bronze Moves in the Field Test.
    • March 1, 2013, Passed USFS Adult Pre-Bronze Moves in the Field Test.
  • Contact Me

    Dr. Kenneth Chan

    Professor of English

    Director of Film Studies

    Managing Editor, The CEA Critic

    Department of English

    University of Northern Colorado

    Campus Box 109, Ross Hall 1120C

    Greeley, CO 80639

    Email: kenneth.chan@unco.edu

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