Keru Cai


  • Lecturer in Chinese Studies, Chinese
  • KY16 9PH

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research overview

I specialise in modern Chinese appropriations from Russian, English, and French literatures. My first book project, From Russia, with Squalor: Poverty in Modern Chinese Realism, will show how Chinese intellectuals drew upon Russian literature to write about poverty, in a bid to enrich Chinese culture by creating a syncretic new realism. Other current projects include the transformation of the Russian “superfluous man” into the Chinese “superfluous woman”; Ba Jin's appropriations from Chekhov; Xiao Hong's aesthetics of displacement and defamiliarisation; Bi Gan's adaptation of Soviet science fiction; Sino-British literary relations; and the paradigm of trans-Eurasian studies. I have published articles in journals such as Comparative LiteratureModern Chinese Literature and CulturePrism: Theory and Modern Chinese LiteratureConcentric: Literary and Cultural Studies, and Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, and Reviews.

Academic/Professional Qualification

Before joining the University of St Andrews, I was Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University (2022-3), and a Fellow by Examination (JRF) at Magdalen College, University of Oxford (2020-2). I earned my PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Master of Arts in Regional Studies: East Asia from Harvard University (as a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow) and a MSt in English Literature from University of Oxford (as a Von Clemm Fellow). My Bachelor of Arts (Summa cum laude, with highest departmental honors) was in English Literature at Harvard.

Research interests

Sino-Russian literary relations, modern Chinese literature and film, gender and sexuality, intertextuality, trans-Eurasian studies, literary realisms, world literature, medical humanities

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Arts, Harvard University

Master of Arts, Harvard University

Doctor of Philosophy, UC Berkeley

Master of Studies, University of Oxford


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