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.
RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS
BOOKS(Edited Volumes and Single Authored Books)
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
OTHER PUBLICATIONS & MEDIA
SHORT ESSAYS, ENCYCLOPEDIA ENTRIES, PUBLISHED INTERVIEWS
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.)
UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN COLORADO
HONORS AND AWARDS
UNITED STATES FIGURE SKATING (USFS)
FIGURE SKATING & ICE DANCE TESTS