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 appear in Journal of Chinese Cinemas, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Environmental History, and Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism. My dissertation earned Marston Anderson Prize for the best dissertation in East Asian department at Yale University. I am now revising it into a book, tentatively entitled Arboreal Nation: Trees and the Making of Modern China.

  • Modern Chinese Literature, Film, and Culture

  • Environmental Humanities (Ecocriticism & Environmental History)

  • Science Fiction

  • Subaltern Studies

  • Migration Studies

  • Environment and Society in Modern Chinese Literature and Visual Culture

  • Beyond Earth: Reaching into the Cosmos through Science, Science Fiction, and Language

  • Elementary Chinese

  • Intermediate Chinese

  • Advanced Chinese


  • 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