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Paola Zamperini

Affiliated Faculty, Associate Professor of Chinese Literature

Professor Zamperini will be on leave for the entirety of AY 2016-17. In Fall 2016 she will begin her work as pre-modern China book review editor for the Journal of Asian Studies ( and will also conduct research in Europe. In Spring 2017 she will be a research fellow at the Humanities Research Center of Australian National University in Canberra ( Professor Zamperini will resume her regular teaching and advising duties in Fall 2017.

Paola Zamperini has a Ph.D. in Chinese Literature and Women and Gender Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature and the founding Chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at Northwestern University.

Her research and teaching interests span pre-modern Chinese Literature, Gender Studies, Chinese History, Fashion Theory, Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism, and contemporary Chinese Fiction, Cinema and Popular Culture. In particular, she has been studying and writing about the ways in which women and men in fiction deal with desire, love, and sexuality in late imperial novels, as reflected by her most recent book, “Lost Bodies: Prostitution and Masculinity in Late Qing Fiction" (Brill University Press, 2010).

To date, she has written and published extensively about prostitution, female suicide, fashion theory and practice, pornography and spiritual resonance in pre-modern Chinese literature.

Courses Taught

  • "Sexuality in Ming/Qing Lit"
  • "East Asian Masculinities"
  • "Sexual Subjects"
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