Jian Chen

Associate Professor, Department of English


They/them/their and he/him/his

Jian Neo Chen is associate professor of English and affiliate faculty of Sexuality Studies; Asian American Studies; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Film Studies at The Ohio State University. Chen's research explores trans and queer cultural practices in literature, film, performance, digital media and theory and their re-imagining of social relationships and political movements within contemporary contexts of U.S. technologies of gender, sexuality, race and empire. His first monograph Trans Exploits: Trans of Color Cultures and Technologies in Movement focuses on trans of color cultures and movements as they emerge in the twenty-first century, having survived the effects of transnational U.S. state racism and capitalism and life on the edges of multiple communities. The book is forthcoming in 2018 with Duke University Press's ANIMA Series. Chen's research, writing, teaching, and cultural organizing seek to amplify trans and queer of color movements for liberation across different sectors in the transnational US political economy.

Chen serves on the editorial board of the Transgender Studies Quarterly. He was an invited visiting scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University in Spring 2012. Before joining Ohio State, he was assistant professor and postdoctoral fellow at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study from 2009 to 2011. His curated transmedia projects have screened with the 6-8 Months Project, hosted by Kara Walker Studies in New York City; the New York MIX 24 Queer Experimental Film Festival; the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus and the NYU Asian/Pacific/ American Institute. Before graduate studies, Chen developed and organized a popular literacy, workplace rights program for Asian immigrant women working in informal garment, electronics, hotel and restaurant economies in Oakland, CA. He also produced community events and raised funds to counter hate, intimate and state violence impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Selected Publications

  • “#BlackLivesMatter and the State of Asian/America.” In Journal of Asian American Studies 20.2 (June 2017): 265-271.
  • “Asian American Queer and Trans Activisms.” In The Routledge Handbook of Asian American Studies, edited by Cindy I-Fen Cheng. New York: Routledge, 2016. pp. 318-327.
  •  “TRANScoding the Transnational Digital Economy.” In Trans Studies: Beyond Hetero/Homo Normativities, edited by Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel and Sarah Tobias. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2016. pp. 83-100.
  •  “Transmedia.” In Postposttranssexual: Terms for a 21st Century Transgender Studies, Transgender Studies Quarterly 1:1-2 (May 2014): 245-248.
Areas of Expertise
  • Transgender and queer studies
  • Asian/Pacific/American studies
  • Comparative racial analysis
  • Literary, cultural and social theories
  • Film, performance, digital media and visual studies
  • Post-semiotic literary and visual forms
  • Transnational approaches
  • Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine
  • B.A., Ethnic Studies and English, University of California, Berkeley

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