Melissa Chan is a PhD candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Southern California. She is also currently a USC Mellon Digital Humanities PhD Fellow and pursing a Digital Media and Culture Graduate Certificate. She has earned Visual Studies Graduate Certificate and is affiliated with the Visual Studies Research Institute at USC.
She holds an MA in Asian Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara with an emphasis in Chinese Cinema, Television, and Media Studies. Her master’s thesis focused on the reimagination of Bruce Lee’s life in the media of the People’s Republic of China and the Bruceploitation phenomenon. She has also previously interned with China Digital Times aggregating news articles relating to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Currently, her dissertation research focuses on how visualizations of the body in performative movement in Sinophone sites, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, are forms of language when spoken language is obstructed by censorship or other factors, such as linguistic difference among others. Her project articulates how bodily language in the visual form is a site where counter-narratives to overgeneralizations of ethnic and national identity occur. Melissa is also currently working on a project that looks at the cultural and cinematic industries of ethnically Han Chinese groups in Myanmar (Burma) and their Sinophone networks of production and circulation.
Her broader research interests include Sinophone Studies, Chinese cinema and literature, Korean Studies, translation theory, gender studies, digital media, popular culture, and pedagogy.