Charlie Yi Zhang

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  • Assistant Professor, Gender and Women's Studies
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Social Theory
  • Health, Society and Populations
208 Breckinridge Hall
Research Interests:

Ph.D., Gender Studies, Arizona State University, 2013

M.A., Communication Studies, Fudan University, 2007

B.A., English, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2002



Charlie Yi Zhang is an assistant professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Kentucky. He specializes in neoliberal globalization and its cultural and material articulations through gender, sexuality, race, and class in the Asia-Pacific region. His monograph, Dreadful Desires: The Uses of Love in Neoliberal China, is forthcoming with Duke University Press. It grapples with the dynamics between neoliberal economics and regulation and management of population in China’s socioeconomic transition and re-integration with the global economy. Through the lenses of feminist intersectionality, and queer of color analysis, this book project seeks to address the following questions: what is the mechanism that wires China into, but meanwhile disarticulates it from the neoliberalism-driven global system? Via China as an economic powerhouse with continental proportions, what can we learn of a larger picture to better understand the logic that has sustained and invigorated global neoliberalism? Given the current mechanisms and arrangements, what are the conditions in which alternative forms of living and socialities could emerge, survive and thrive? How can critical theories and scholars uncover and access potentialities of alternativities for a more humanitarian and equal futurity? Zhang's new research project centers on emerging modes of capitalism that appeal to and recreate people’s desires, feelings, emotions, and social relationships through venues of gender, race, and sexuality in the transpacific context, such as the reproductive industries in Thailand and South Korea, social-media-grounded gay enterprises in China and the US, and the growing pet industry in China. 

Zhang's teaching interests include social movements, gender across the world, feminist theory, queer theory and LGBT studies, masculinities studies, body, biopolitics and affect, queer of color analysis, transnational sexualities, gender and sexuality in East Asia.

Selected Publications: 



Charlie Yi Zhang. 2021. Dreadful Desires: The Uses of Love in Neoliberal China. Durham, NC: Duke University Press ("Thought in the Act" series). 

Articles and Book Chapters:

Charlie Yi Zhang. 2018. Teaching Feminism as Slow Activism. Feminist Formations 30 no.3: 198-208. 

Charlie Yi Zhang. 2018. Mapping the Will for Otherwise: Towards an Intersectional Critique of the Biopolitical System of Neoliberal Governmentality. In Biopolitical Governance: Gender, Race and Economy, edited by Hannah Richter. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 139-159.

Charlie Yi Zhang. 2017. Revisiting the Trumpland from Critical Perspectives on Body (invited) (从西方身体理论的发展看“特朗普现象”). Literature and Culture Studies (文学与文化) Vol.2: 54-62 (“Excellent Paper of the Year” Award by the journal).

—Reprinted in Information Center for Social Science of Renmin University of China, 2017 (《人大复印资料》全文转载, 2017).

Charlie Yi Zhang. 2017. When Feminist Falls in Love with Queer: Dan Mei Culture as a Transnational Apparatus of Love. Feminist Formations 29 no.2: 121-146. 

Charlie Yi Zhang. 2016. Queering the National Body of Contemporary China. Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies 37 no.2: 1-26.

Charlie Yi Zhang. 2014. Untangling the Intersectional Biopolitics of Neoliberal Globalization: Asia, Asian and the Asia-Pacific Rim. Feminist Formations 26 no.3: 167-196.

Charlie Yi Zhang. 2014. Deconstructing the Hypermasculine National and Transnational Hegemony in Neoliberal China. Feminist Studies 40 no.1: 13-38 (the 2012 Best Paper Award for Graduate Students).



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