Associate Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
My research revolves around two major themes: Japanese empire studies and popular culture studies. In Becoming Japanese: The Politics of Identity Formation in Colonial Taiwan, I argue that Taiwanese consciousness emerged during the Japanese colonial period as a response to the failure of mainland China as a viable political alternative. The emphasis is on the fractured identity that triangulates between China, Japan and Taiwan. My forthcoming work, Anti-Japanism: The Politics of Sentimentality in Postcolonial East Asia, argues that anti-Japan sentiments in the region today should be grasped in the context of the larger shift from a Japan-centric to a Sinocentric system. Anti-Japan sentiments embody the contradictions and unresolved issues of this transition. My current project, Trans-imperial Characters: Popular Culture and its Discontents, brings the two themes together and argues that characters in popular culture are important sites of desire and fantasy projections, especially during times of imperial transitions. I teach the following courses: Nightmare Japan, Minor Japan, Pop Japan, East Asian Cultural Studies, and Games and Culture.
His research interests include colonial discourse studies, postcolonial theory, Japanese mass culture, and theories of globalization and regionalism. He has published in boundary 2, positions and Public Culture.
Ching, Leo. Anti-Japan: The Politics of Sentiment in Postcolonial East Asia. Duke University Press, 2019. Open Access Copy
Ching, L. "Cheng wei ’ribenren’" (Becoming ’Japanese’). Rye-Field Publishing, 2006.
Ching, L. Becoming “Japanese”: Colonial Taiwan and the Politics of Identity Formation. University of California Press, 2000.
Maitra, A., and R. Chow. “What’s“in”? Disaggregating Asia through new media actants.” Routledge Handbook of New Media in Asia, 2016, pp. 17–27. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9781315774626. Full Text
Ching, L. “"Japan in Asia".” Blackwell Companion to Japanese History, edited by William Tsutsui, Blackwell, 2006.
Ching, L. “Savage Construction and Civility Making: Japanese Colonial Discourse and Taiwanese Aborigines.” Japan and Cultural Imperialism, edited by Gennifer Weisenfeld, 2000, pp. 795–818.
Ching, L. “"Shiko fukanosei toshite no Mushajiken” (The Musha Rebellion as Unthinkable).” “Kioku Suru Taiwan” (Taiwan Remembers: Encountering Empire), edited by Wu Mitsa et al., Tokyo University Press, pp. 103–29.
Ching, L. “'Japanese Devils': The conditions and limits of anti-Japanism in China.” Cultural Studies, vol. 26, no. 5, Sept. 2012, pp. 710–22. Scopus, doi:10.1080/09502386.2012.697728. Full Text
Ching, L. “Champion of justice: How asian heroes saved Japanese imperialism.” Pmla, vol. 126, no. 3, May 2011, pp. 644–50. Scopus, doi:10.1632/pmla.2011.126.3.644. Full Text
Ching, L. “Inter-Asia cultural studies and the decolonial-turn.” Inter Asia Cultural Studies, vol. 11, no. 2, June 2010, pp. 184–87. Scopus, doi:10.1080/14649371003616102. Full Text
Ching, L. “’Give Me Japan and Nothing Else!’: Postcoloniality, Identity, and the Traces Colonialism” in Millennial Japan: Rethinking the Nation in the Age of Recession.” South Atlantic Quarterly, edited by Harry Harootunian and Tomiko Yoda, 2000, pp. 763–88.
Leo Ching, K. K. “Regionalizing the Global; Globalizing the Regional: Mass Culture and Asianism in the Age of Late Capital.” Public Culture, vol. 12, no. 1, 2000, pp. 233–57.