Mingwei Song

Mingwei Song
Curriculum Vitae

(781) 283-3588
East Asian Languages & Cultures
B.A., Shandong University; M.A., Fudan University; Ph.D., Columbia University
On Leave 2015-16
GRH 336A

Mingwei Song

Professor of Chinese

Specialized in modern Chinese literature and intellectual history, film studies, science fiction, and youth culture

My research interests include modern Chinese literature and intellectual history from the late 19th century to the early 21st century, Chinese cinema, science fiction, and youth culture. I have published books and articles in both English and Chinese. My first monograph in English, titled Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959, was published by Harvard University Asia Center (2015). A synthesis of narrative theory and cultural history, it combines historical investigations of the origin and development of the modern Chinese youth discourse with close analyses of the novelistic construction of the Chinese Bildungsroman, which depicts the psychological growth of youth with a symbolic allusion to national rejuvenation.

A second monograph in English that I have completed, titled The Fear of Seeing: The Poetics and Politics of Chinese Science Fiction(Columbia University Press, forthcoming), is a study in the new wave of Chinese science fiction, with an emphasis on the subversive nature of the genre in the contemporary political and cultural context of China’s pursuit of wealth and power. I was among the first scholars to engage serious critical criticism of the new wave of Chinese science fiction, and I have published several research articles to examine the genre’s dynamism and its subversion of the genre convention as well as its cutting-edge experiment with the constructions of difference, as embodied in gender, race, class, nation, species, and artificial intelligence, etc. I guest edited three special journal issues on science fiction: Renditions 77/78 (2012), China Perspectives 1(2015), and Journal of Comparative Literature in China 100.3 (2015). The Renditions special issue (2012) features the English translations of science fiction stories and novel excerpts from China’s early twentieth century and early twenty-first century. An enlarged anthology of Chinese science fiction based on the Renditions special issue was published by Columbia University Press, titled The Reincarnated Giant: An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century of Chinese Science Fiction (co-edited with Theodore Huters, 2018).

For my work on science fiction in China, I received interviews by BBC, PRI, Deutscheland Radio, Wired, Boston Globe, New York Times, and Foreign Policy, and I appeared in a live talk show “World Insight” on China’s English International TV Channel in August 2015.

My Chinese books include Criticism and Imagination (Shanghai, 2013) and The Sorrows of a Floating World: a Biography of Eileen Chang (Taipei, 1996; Shanghai, 1998; Hong Kong, 2001). My edited books in Chinese include May Fourth@100: Culture, Thought, History (Taipei, 2019; Shanghai, 2019) and Science Fiction Stories for Children (Shanghai, 2018).

My research articles have appeared in such journals as Science Fiction StudiesChina Perspectives, China ScholarshipStudies of Modern China, Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, Shanghai CultureJournal of Comparative Literature in China, Twenty-First Century Monthly, and Dushu (China’s foremost intellectual journal).

Several articles I wrote about science fiction (in English or Chinese) have been translated and published in European academic journals or volumes (in German, French, or Italian).

I received a “Shanghai Literature Award” for literary criticism in 2003. My other major grants include a research grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange in 2010-2011, and the Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth Fellowship offered through the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) in 2016.

Since I joined the faculty of Wellesley College in 2007, I have designed, renovated, and taught a variety of courses covering the literature, film, and popular culture of modern China. My pedagogy emphasizes the balance between close reading and critical thinking, and evokes a sympathetic understanding with historical analysis and intercultural literacy. My courses are designed not only to enrich students’ knowledge of modern China, but more importantly to improve their awareness of multicultural values as well as to cultivate and strengthen their intellectual abilities of analysis, criticism, and self-development.

My course offerings are designed and updated to appeal to Wellesley students’ diverse interests in modern Chinese literature and culture in a wide range of themes, genres, and topics. Here are a few courses I offer regularly:

  • Writing Modern China
  • Chinese Cinema
  • The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film
  • Popular Culture in Modern China
  • Readings in Modern Chinese Literature
  • Eileen Chang
  • Science Fiction and the Future of China

In addition to my academic publications, I have also published short stories, novellas, essays, and poems in Chinese-language literary magazines in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Mainland China. I published two collections of my literary writings in 2007 and 2012, both from Shanghai Bookstore Press. I also served on a number of editorial boards for literary magazines, academic journals, and presses, such as Literature (Wenxue), Pathlight, and “Studies in Global Science Fiction” Book Series (Palgrave Macmillan). 

See my Publications page for additional information.

New Wave of Chinese Science Fiction: History,  Poetics, Text 中國科幻新浪潮:歷史,詩學,文本. Shanghai: Shanghai Literature & Arts Publishing House, 2020. 311 pages.


May Fourth@100: Culture, Thought, History. 五四@100: 文化,思想,歷史(co-edited with David Der-wei Wang).  Taipei: Linking Publishing Company, 2019. 335 pages.
The Reincarnated Giant: An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century Chinese Science Fiction (co-edited with Theodore Huters). Columbia University Press, 2018. 488 pages.
Science Fiction for Children. 給孩子的科幻故事. Shanghai: Oriental Publication Center. July 2018: 324 pages.
Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959. Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. 379 pages.
Criticism and Imagination 批評與想像. Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2013. 248 pages
Last Winter, a Rose in Plymouth: a New England Notebook 普利茅斯的冬日花朵:新英格蘭記. Shanghai: Shanghai Bookstore Publishing House, 2012. 191 pages.
Delmore’s Gift: a New York Notebook  德爾莫的禮物: 紐約筆記本.  Shanghai: Shanghai Bookstore Publishing House, 2007. 178 pages.
The Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century World Literature 二十世紀文學藝術明珠.  Haikou: Hainan Press, 1999. 174 pages
The Sorrows of a Floating World: a Biography of Eileen Chang 浮世的悲哀: 張愛玲傳. Revised & enlarged edition, Shanghai: Shanghai Literature & Arts Publishing House, 1998. 329 pages.
The Sorrows of a Floating World: a Biography of Eileen Chang 浮世的悲哀: 張愛玲傳. Taipei: Yeqiang Publishing House, 1996. 309 pages