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Gregory B. Lee

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Subject: Peking University, Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques, Duo Duo, Dai Wangshu
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Gregory B. Lee

Gregory B. Lee
LEE in Malmo 2013
Chinese 利大英

Gregory B. Lee (born 1955) is an academic, author, and broadcaster. Lee is Professor of Chinese and Transcultural Studies at the University of Lyon (Jean Moulin) where he a member of the IETT and MC3M. Lee was previously Chair Professor of Chinese and Transcultural Studies at City University of Hong Kong where he established and was the first Director of the Hong Kong Advanced Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Studies (2010–2012). He also served as Dean of City University's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and prior to that was First Vice-President of Jean Moulin University Lyon 3 from 2007 to 2010.[1] In 2010, Lee was made a Chevalier (Knight) in the French Order of Academic Palms Ordre des Palmes Académiques. In 2011, he was elected Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities.

Academic career

Lee received his undergraduate degree in modern and classical Chinese at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1979, and his PhD from the same institution in 1985. He also studied political economy and Chinese literature at Peking University (1979–1981, 1982–83) as a British Council Scholar, and was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences's Institute of Literature in 1985–86.

Lee formerly taught in the United Kingdom at the University of Cambridge and later the University of London, before occupying posts as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago (1990–1994) and assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong (1994–1998), where he taught comparative literature. A specialist in Chinese and comparative literary and cultural studies, his more recent work is in the realm of comparative cultural history, specifically in the fields of Chinese diaspora and transcultural studies. He joined the University of Lyon in 1998.


In tune with the 1980s academic tendency towards the single-author monography,[2] Lee's first book analysed the work and career of an important but, until then, neglected poet. Dai Wangshu: The Life and Poetry of a Chinese Modernist, published by the Chinese University Press (Hong Kong, 1985), was singled out for its "fastidious scholarship".[3] His second book Troubadours, Trumpeters, Troubled Makers: Lyricism, Nationalism and Hybridity in China and Its Others was published by C. Hurst & Co (London) and Duke University Press (1996). In addition to exploring the imbrication of poetry and politics, the book revealed Lee's interest in breaking down the notion of Chineseness. His continued interest in, and interrogation of, "Chinese identity" is evident in the title and substance of his third book Chinas Unlimited: Making the Imaginaries of China and Chineseness (Routledge and Hawai'i UP, 2003).[4] His most recent book in English is China's Lost Decade: The Politics and Poetics of the 1980s (Tigre de Papier, 2009; 2011);[5] an American, revised, edition of China's Lost Decade was recently published by Zephyr Press. His Un Spectre hante la Chine : Les fondements de la contestation actuelle was published in April 2012 (Tigre de Papier, 2009; 2011).[6]

Other activities

Lee has also been a frequent radio broadcaster on China and the Chinese diaspora. His radio appearances include an hour-long interview on Take Five (Interviewer/Producer: Will Batchelor) City Talk Radio (UK) on 9 October 2009. He was also interviewed on the subject Should we be afraid of China ? on The Roy Basnett Show (Producer: Will Batchelor) City Talk [7](UK) on 11 August 2009 and in 2008 (1 April) on the question of "China-Bashing and Tibet" on the Duncan Barkes Show.[8] In 2005 he wrote and presented BBC Radio 3's Sunday Feature "Liver Birds and Laundrymen"[9](2005) in which he revisited the story of Europe's oldest Chinatown, in Liverpool (UK), and interrogated dominant British perceptions of the Chinese. He has also translated works of a variety of Chinese works, including those of contemporary poet Duo Duo (Looking Out From Death Bloomsbury, 1989; The Boy Who Catches Wasps Zephyr, 2002),[10] Dai Wangshu, and Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian ("Fugitives", a controversial 1989 play). Duo Duo was awarded the 2010 World Literature Today's Neustadt International Prize for Literature ("widely considered to be the most prestigious international literary prize after the Nobel Prize in Literature") and Lee's role recognised with an invitation to introduce the poet's work at the award ceremony in Oklahoma in October 2010.

Additionally, until 2010 Lee served as director of the Institute for Transtextual and Transcultural Studies[11] and is editor of the Institute's journal Transtext(s)s-Transcultures.[12]


  1. ^ L'équipe présidentielle, University of Lyon, retrieved 15 April 2008 
  2. ^ David Der-wei Wang, "A Report on Modern Chinese Literary Studies in the English-Speaking World," Harvard Asia Quarterly,Vol. IX, Nos. 1 & 2. Winter/Spring 2005
  3. ^ Allen, Joseph R.; Lee, Gregory (December 1991), "Dai Wangshu: The Life and Poetry of a Chinese Modernist by Gregory Lee", Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Review (Chinese Literature_ Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR)) 13: 166–168,  
  4. ^ "One Englishman's story of Chinese identity". Taipei Times. 7 August 2014. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "City Talk 105.9 FM". 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "(none) – Sunday Feature – Liver Birds and Laundrymen. Europe's Earliest Chinatown". BBC. 13 March 2005. 
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ "IETT". 
  12. ^ "Trans Trans". 

External links

  • Personal homepage
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