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Roy Chan is a literary comparatist who specializes in modern Chinese and Russian literatures. His book, The Edge of Knowing: Dreams, History, and Realism in Modern Chinese Literature (University of Washington Press, 2017), examines the rhetoric of dreams and reality and its relationship to issues of literature, modernity, and revolutionary utopianism in modern Chinese fiction. His second project explores modern Chinese literature's speculative relationship to Russia and the world. He is preparing a third monograph project on law and the perennial crisis of normativity in modern Chinese-speaking cultures. Research interests include modern literature, realism, narrative, the imperial imagination, and popular culture, among others. Theoretical concerns include Marxism, post-Hegelian philosophy, gender and sexuality, formalism, and sociolinguistics. 

Moreover, Prof. Chan enjoys working with students with interests and experience in literary theory, critical theory, and/or intellectual history. He has successfully advised completed doctoral theses on such topics as: revolutionary melodrama in modern Chinese culture; Manchukuo literature and film; Sino-French literary engagements in the late-Qing era; children and eugenics in Republican-era literature. He has also advised MA theses on topics such as: Sino-Ukrainian literary relations; representations of masculinity in queer Chinese cinema; gender and the discursive representation of interiority in May 4th confessional literature.