84A Dwinelle

Yu-Kai Lin

Chinese Program

Yu-Kai Lin completed his Ph.D in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California. His dissertation investigates the historical and discursive condition in which “Chinese literature” (zhongguo wenxue) emerges as a concept indicating a world literary system. Contrary to existing scholarship that emphasizes “the modern” in exploring Chinese literary modernism but sees “Chinese literature” as a given and ahistorical concept, his work explores this compound itself, revealing how it became an independent knowledge category that implies a global literary world. By understanding “Chinese literature” as an overdetermined concept that develops out of a complex network, his work demonstrates that Chinese intellectuals had assimilated and negotiated with various social, ideological, and scientific concepts, from ancient China, modern Western countries, and Japan, to imagine and articulate a universal idea of literature in Chinese terms.His second project examines the spread of social Darwinism in China. In this research, he aims to reveal how Chinese writers appropriated the concept of evolution to rewrite Chinese literary history and argued for a literary reform that emphasizes the use of the vernacular language for literary production.His articles can be found in Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, Journal of the History of Ideas in East Asia (forthcoming), Contemporary Monthly (Dangdai), and Cultural Studies Bimonthly.