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Dr. Melody Li

Melody Yunzi Li, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Chinese Studies in CLASS. She holds a doctorate degree in comparative literature from Washington University in St. Louis, a master’s degree in translation studies from the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong, and bachelor’s degree in English/translation studies from Sun Yat-sen University, China.  

Li’s research interests include Asian diaspora literature, modern Chinese literature and culture, migration studies, translation studies and cultural identities. Li recently published a manuscript titled, “Transpacific Cartographies: Narrating the Contemporary Chinese Diaspora in the U.S.,” which examines post-1980s Sinophone and Anglophone Chinese American literary and media productions by or about first-generation Chinese immigrants in the U.S. She has published articles in various journals including Pacific Coast Philology, Telos and others. 

Li teaches East Asian cultures, Chinese literature, popular cultures and Chinese language. She is a passionate teacher and has won some distinguished teaching awards and grants including 2021 Provost’s Teaching Excellence Award-Innovation in Instructional Technology, 2019-2020 Teaching Innovation Program grant, 2019 ATIP grant and others. With her dedication to teaching, Li hopes to bring out students’ potential and facilitate their intellectual growth by teaching them skills in reading, critical thinking and collaboration. 

Besides her expertise in Chinese and Asian American cultures and literatures, Li also loves dancing (particularly Chinese dance and Latin dance), movies, cooking and photography. She has been invited to give a series of talks, dance workshops and performances of Chinese dance in liberal arts colleges over the country. During graduate school, she picked up Latin dancing (salsa, bachata) and has trained and performed with a dance company for several years in Latin dance congresses. She loves taking pictures and cooking for her family as well. 

Li joined the Faculty-in-Residence Program in 2021, and values being able to connect with the students in both academic and social spaces. She is driven to improve students’ cultural awareness in and out of classrooms by offering film, cultural, dance programs from various cultures. Li looks forward to providing programming activities that will help Cougar Village I residents with their academic and career planning.