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William Schaefer

Assistant Professor of Chinese
Arts, Sciences, and Engineering

Department of Modern Languages And Cultures

Areas of expertise: Modern Chinese literature and cultural studies, Chinese visual culture, art and critical theory, modernism in art and literature, history of photography, questions of landscape and place

Press contact:
Valerie Alhart

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William Schaefer, Assistant Professor, received his Ph.D. from The University of Chicago. He has previously taught at the University of Minnesota and the University of California, Berkeley. His research and teaching interests include modern Chinese visual culture and literature; histories and theories of photography in China; image and medium theory and history; modernism; landscape representation and geographies of literature; and comparative studies of literary, ethnographic, and historical narrative. He recently completed a book manuscript, “Shadow Modernism: Photography, Writing, and Space in Shanghai, 1925-1935.” His most recent publications are "Poor and Blank: History’s Marks and the Photographies of Displacement" (Representations 109 [Winter 2010]), “Shadow Photographs, Ruins, and Shanghai’s Projected Past” (PMLA 122:1 [2007], and “Shanghai Savage” (Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique 11:1 [2003]). He is also the guest editor of a special issue, “Photography’s Places,” of Positions (18:3 [2010]). His new research concerns the intersection of documentary, abstraction and the historicity of surfaces in contemporary Chinese photography, and Chinese photography and image theories during the 19th and early 20th centuries.