• KENNETH CHAN

    PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH AND FILM STUDIES

    DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

    UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN COLORADO

     

     

     

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    ABOUT ME

    KENNETH CHAN

    Kenneth Chan is Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Northern Colorado, where he has also served as the Director of Film Studies. He received his PhD degree in English from the University of Florida. His research and teaching interests include posthumanism, the fantastic in film, environmental and oceanic humanities, science fiction cinema, film remakes, transnational Chinese cinemas, Asians in Hollywood, gender and sexuality studies, queer cinemas, postcolonial studies, and Hollywood genre films. As an ardent figure skater and ice dancer, he is working toward taking the United States Figure Skating (USFS) tests and participates in local ice shows and competitions. He and his husband currently live in Greeley, CO, together with their golden retriever Bubbles.

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    RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS

    BOOKS

    (Edited Volumes and Single Authored Books)

    Sino-Enchantment:

    The Fantastic in Contemporary Chinese Cinemas

    Edinburgh University Press, 2021.

     

    Although Chinese film audiences have always maintained a foundational cultural interest in the fantastic, this trend has dramatically increased over the last decade. Sino-Enchantment is the first work in English to approach this recent explosion of fantastic film in Chinese cinemas, where each re-envisioning of the form is determined by cultural, economic, political and technological factors to produce fresh inventions and creative reinventions of familiar narratives, characters and tropes. With case studies of films such as The Assassin (2015), Monster Hunt (2015) and The Great Wall (2016), this novel approach uses the framework of "Sino-enchantment" as a new theoretical lens through which readers can engage with elements of the fantastic in Chinese cinema.

     

    "China's haunted screens boast a rich legacy of uncanny, bizarre, grotesque, horrific, mystical and paranormal tales dating back to the silent era. Emerging from a period in which the supernatural ran afoul of censors in the People's Republic of China, the resurgence of films rooted in 'superstition' merits serious critical attention. This anthology provides penetrating insight into this re-enchantment seen in films by auteurs such as Zhang Yimou (PRC), Hou Hsiao-hsien (Taiwan), and Tsui Hark (Hong Kong) as well as in reimagined classics such as Journey to the West in its multiple manifestations on screen." — Gina Marchetti, University of Hong Kong

    Yonfan's Bugis Street

    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

    Remade in Hollywood:

    The Global Chinese Presence in Transnational Cinemas

    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, not 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

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    BOOK CHAPTERS

    1. Chan, Kenneth. "Transforming Tripitaka: Toward a (Buddhist) Planetary Ethics in Stephen Chow's Adaptation of Journey to the West." Sino-Enchantment: The Fantastic in Contemporary Chinese Cinemas. Eds. Kenneth Chan and Andrew Stuckey. Edinburgh University Press, 2021. 222-244.
    2. Chan, Kenneth. "Tsui Hark's Detective Dee Films: Police Procedural Colludes with Supernatural-Martial Arts Cinema." Hong Kong Horror Cinema. Eds. Gary Bettinson and Daniel Martin. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018. 133-146.
    3. Chan, Kenneth. "Steampunked Kung Fu: Technologized Modernity in Stephen Fung's Tai Chi Films." Exploiting East Asian Cinemas: Genre, Circulation, Reception. Eds. Ken Provencher and Mike Dillon. New York: Bloomsbury, 2018. 15-31.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Chan, Kenneth. “Diasporic Desires: Narrating Sexuality in the Memoirs of Shirley Geok-lin Lim and Li-Young Lee.” China Abroad: Travels, Subjects, Spaces. Eds. Elaine Yee Lin Ho and Julia Kuehn. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009. 139-54.
    15. 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.
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    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.
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    OTHER PUBLICATIONS & MEDIA

    REPRINTS

    • Chan, Kenneth. “The Early Twenty-First-Century Wuxia Revival: Genre Remaking and the Hollywood Transnational Factor.” The Chinese Cinema Book. 2nd edition. Eds. Song Hwee Lim and Julian Ward. London: British Film Institute / Bloomsbury, 2020. 200-210. (Revised and updated. Originally published as: 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. 150-157.)
    • 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, 2016. 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.)
    • 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 43, no. 4 (2004): 3-17.)

    SHORT ESSAYS, ENCYCLOPEDIA ENTRIES, PUBLISHED INTERVIEWS

    PODCAST

    Interview (hosted by Erik Martin), "Talking Tigers, Dishing Dragons," Cineversary Podcast, CineVerse: Exploring the Universe of Cinema, May 18, 2020. (Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Ang Lee's film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.)

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    TEACHING

    TEACHING

    COURSES TAUGHT

    UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN COLORADO

    • 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: The Fantastic in Cinema
    • ENG 642 – Film Theory and Analysis: Screening Sexualities
    • FILM 120 – Introduction to Film
    • FILM 210 – History of Film I
    • FILM 211 – History of Film II
    • FILM 310 – Film Theory & Criticism
    • FILM 320 – Action Cinemas: Speed, Bodies, Spectacle
    • FILM 320 – Asians in Hollywood
    • FILM 320 – Contemporary Asian Cinemas 
    • FILM 330 – Classical Hollywood Directors: Arzner, Curtiz, Lubitsch, & von Sternberg
    • FILM 330 – Melodramas and Musicals
    • FILM 330 – Science Fiction Cinema
    • HUM 130 – Introduction to Cultural Studies
    • MIND 281 – Modernity in Asia
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    PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

    PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

    • 2020-present, Overseas Collaborator, Asian Cinema Research Lab.
    • 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, Member of the International Advisory Board; 2004-2009, Founding Member of the Board of Directors; Asian Film Archive, Singapore.

    HONORS AND AWARDS

    • 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.
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    AVOCATIONAL PURSUIT:

    FIGURE SKATING & ICE DANCE

    UNITED STATES FIGURE SKATING (USFS)

    FIGURE SKATING & ICE DANCE TESTS

    • October 25, 2019, Passed USFS Partnered Pattern Dance, Preliminary (Canasta Tango).
    • July 27, 2019, Passed USFS Partnered Pattern Dance, Preliminary (Dutch Waltz).
    • May 16, 2014, Passed USFS 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.

    COMPETITION

    • April 1, 2017, 2nd Place, Adult Bronze Free Skate, Fort Collins Classic, Fort Collins, CO.
    • July 18, 2015, 1st Place, Adult Pre-Bronze Free Skate, Vail Invitational Figure Skating Championships, Vail, CO.
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    INTERESTED IN WORKING TOGETHER? 

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