Jian Chen

Associate Professor

They/them/their and he/him/his

Jian Neo Chen is associate professor of queer studies in the English department; director of Sexuality Studies; and affiliate faculty in Asian American Studies, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Film Studies at The Ohio State University. Their research focuses on transgender and queer counter-cultures in literature, visual culture and contemporary theory and their reimagining and reconstruction of social movements and bodies. Their first book, Trans Exploits: Trans of Color Cultures and Technologies in Movement, explores the displaced emergences of trans of color cultural expression and activism through performance, film/video, literature and digital media by the second decade of the twenty-first century, following fifty years of state managed minimal civil rights reforms and two decades of white-dominated transgender movements. Trans Exploits will be published by Duke University Press's ANIMA Series this fall 2018. Chen's research, teaching, writing and cultural organizing seek to collaborate with and contribute to movement building for gender, sexual, indigenous and racial self-determination and liberation across different sectors and territories in the transnational US political economy.

Chen serves on the editorial board of the Transgender Studies Quarterly. They were an invited visiting scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University in Spring 2012. Before joining Ohio State, they were assistant professor and postdoctoral fellow at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study from 2009 to 2011. Their curated transmedia projects have screened with the 6-8 Months Project, hosted by Kara Walker Studios 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. They 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. (Book received 2017 CUNY Center for LGBTQ Studies Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies.)
  • “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
  • PhD, Comparative Literature, University of California-Irvine, 2009
  • BA, Ethnic Studies and English, University of California-Berkeley, 1995

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502 Denney Hall
Columbus campus