Carnegie Mellon University

Cheng Li

Cheng Li

Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies

  • 242
341 Posner Hall
Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Education: Ph.D., Yale University (2022)


I am a literary scholar and cultural historian of modern China. My main research engages with modern Chinese environmental literature (ecocriticism), film, and history. My research interests also include science fiction, migration studies, and Sino-African relations. My publications have appeared or are forthcoming in Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature, Chinese Literature and Thought Today, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Environmental History, and Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism. My dissertation earned the Marston Anderson Prize for the best dissertation in East Asian department at Yale University in 2022. My first book Trees and the Making of Modern China is under contract with Stanford University Press.

  • Modern Chinese Literature, Film, and Culture

  • Environmental Humanities (Ecocriticism & Environmental History)

  • Science Fiction

  • Subaltern Studies

  • Migration Studies

  • Falk Research Grant, Carnegie Mellon University, 2023
  • Marston Anderson Prize, the best dissertation in East Asian department at Yale, 2022

  • East Asian Prize Fellowship, Yale University, 2021-2022

  • Environmental Humanities Certificate, Yale University, 2020

Department Member Since 2022