Department of International Studies
College of Liberal Arts
Jun Lei’s research focuses on the history of sexuality and gender issues represented in twentieth-century Chinese literature, film, and visual media. She is currently developing a monograph—Cosmopolitan Masculinity in China, 1880s-1930s—which will systematically examine what is at stake in the paradigm shift of masculinity when China was “besieged” by more advanced powers and transitioned from a dynastic system to a modern nation state. The purpose is three-fold: First, the book will address the imbalance of scholarly attention to femininity and masculinity in China studies, where gender has almost become synonymous with woman; second, it will address the paucity in scholarly treatments of Chinese men keenly felt in studies of the world gender order, and re-conceptualize R.W. Connell’s influential theory on hegemonic masculinity; last, the book will rethink the influential hybridity model proposed by Homi Bhabha in researching formation of subjectivity in semi-colonial settings.
Lei plans to use her Arts & Humanities Fellowship to secure a book contract by the end of 2017 and to complete the manuscript by the summer of 2018.
In 2015, Lei received her doctorate in comparative literature and Chinese literature from the University of California, San Diego, with concentrations in twentieth century Chinese literature and visual media, Chinese films, and gender studies. She was a Fulbright scholar in Taiwan (doing research in Taipei and Shanghai) during 2011-12.
She joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor and received a faculty research fellowship from the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research in 2016.
Lei has published two refereed articles in scholarly journals and made six conference presentations and invited lectures. She co-authored two books in 2014: First Step: An Elementary Reader for Modern Chinese and First Step: Workbook for Modern Chinese. Lei has contributed entries to the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Asia/Oceania Pop Culture Encyclopedia.