(Emma) Yu Zhang’s research interests include modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture, the Chinese diaspora, socialism and postsocialism as well as the intersection of technology and modern culture. As a fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Hong Kong, she is working on a project focusing on the cultural practices and representations of “going to the countryside” in China (1915-1965). This spatial move refers to the ways in which intellectuals, reformers, revolutionaries, and idealistic youth crossed an urban-rural divide, geographically and culturally. With the increasing gap between the city and the countryside, “going to the countryside” brought new experiences of space and time, initiated new ways of human communication and interaction, generated new forms of cultural production, and ultimately created a new cultural, social, and political landscape. While at HKU, Zhang is also developing a new project examining the flows of overseas literature, intellectual writings, films, and TV dramas from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore into mainland China (late 1970s–early 1990s).
Yu Zhang received her Ph.D. from the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University. Her essays have appeared in such journals as Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Twentieth-Century China, and Journal of Chinese Cinemas. Her research has been supported by a junior scholar grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and other fellowships. Dr. Zhang is currently the Assistant Professor at the Department of Chinese Culture, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (https://www.polyu.edu.hk/cc/en/people/academic-staff/dr-zhang-yu).