Lydia H Liu
Modern Chinese literature and culture; critical translation theory; postcolonial theory; global history, and media studies.
Professor Liu’s scholarship is focused on cross-cultural exchange in global history; the movement of words, theories, and artifacts across national boundaries; the philosophy of language; and the evolution of writing, textuality, and technology.
She is the author of The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious (University of Chicago Press, 2010); The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making (Harvard University Press, 2004); Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity (Stanford University Press,1995). She is the co-editor of The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Feminism with Rebecca Karl and Dorothy Ko, a book published by Columbia University Press in the Weatherhead Books on Asia series (2013). This book is listed as one of the Essential Reads on Feminism by New York Public Library. She is also the editor of Tokens of Exchange: The Problem of Translation in Global Circulations (Duke University Press, 1999) and Writing and Materiality in China co-edited with Judith Zeitlin (Harvard University Asia Center, 2003).
Her newly co-edited book, Global Language Justice (with Anupama Rao and Charlotte Silverman), which provides fresh perspectives on the worldwide loss of linguistic diversity in ongoing ecological crises, was published by Columbia University Press in 2023.
Professor Liu's other publications include an edited volume in Chinese called Origins of the Global Order: From the Meridian Line to the Standard of Civilization (2016) as well as Natural Justice & Equity, the first annotated complete edition of major radical anarchist journals of the early 20th century (in two volumes) co-edited with Wan Shiguo (2016). Her articles include “Wittgenstein in the Machine,” Critical Inquiry, 47.3 (Spring 2021): 425-455. "The Incalculable: Thoughts on the Collapse of the Biosecurity Regime," Critical Inquiry, 47.S2 (Winter 2021):110-114. “Das Digitale in der psychischen Maschine” in Technosphäre, edited by Katrin Klingan and Christoph Rosol (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2019); “The Gift of a Living Past” in Ashis Nandy: A Life in Dissent, eds. Ramin Jahanbegloo and Ananya Vajpeyi (Oxford University Press, 2018); “The Battleground of Translation: Making Equal in a Global Structure of Inequality” (An interview) published in Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, 38 (2018); “La probabilité du sens dans la machine hypermnésique” in Le sujet digital with Bernard Stigler and Katherine Hayles, edited by Claire Larsonneur, et al (2015); “Scripts in Motion: Writing as Imperial Technology,” PMLA, 130.2 (March 2015); “Shadows of Universalism: The Untold Story of Human Rights Around 1948,” Critical Inquiry, Summer 2014. Her new article "After Turing: How Philosophy Migrated to the AI Lab" is forthcoming in Critical Inquiry in Fall 2023.
As creative writer, she published The Nesbit Code (in Chinese) with Oxford University Press in Hong Kong in 2013. The book received the 2014 Hong Kong Book Award and its new 2023 edition was published by Sanlian in Beijing.
She has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin (2004-2005). In 2018-2019, she was a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
Professor Liu received her PhD from Harvard University. Before joining Columbia, she had taught at the University of Michigan and at UC Berkeley.
Lydia H. Liu, The Nesbit Code (in Chinese) (Sanlian Publisher, Beijing, 2023).
Lydia H. Liu, The Nesbit Code (Oxford University Press China, 2013).
Lydia H. Liu, Dorothy Ko, and Rebecca Karl, editors, The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory (Columbia University Press, 2013).
Lydia H. Liu, The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious (University of Chicago Press, 2010).
Lydia H. Liu, The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making (Harvard University Press, 2004).
Lydia H. Liu and Judith Zeitlin, editors, Writing and Materiality in China: Essays in Honor of Patrick Hanan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2003).
Lydia H. Liu, editor, Tokens of Exchange: The Problem of Translation in Global Circulations (Duke University Press, 2000).
Lydia H. Liu, Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity—China, 1900-1937 (Stanford University Press, 1995).
“Schatten des Universalismus: Die unerzählte Geschichte der Menschenrechte um 1948,” book chapter in Chunchun Hu, Odila Triebel, and Thomas Zimmer, eds., Im Spannungsverhältnis zwischen Selbst- und Fremdverstehen Globale Herausforderungen und deutsch-chinesische Kulturbeziehungen (Springer VS, 2023)
“Alphabetarchy,” in the London Review of Books, 2022.