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Michael Berry

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Professor, Asian Languages & Cultures

Department: Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
Royce 246B
Email: berry@humnet.ucla.edu

Keywords: China, Asia, Film, Literature

Michael Berry’s areas of research include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, Chinese cinema, popular culture in modern China, and literary translation. Berry’s approach is transnational and his work addresses the richness and diversity of Chinese art and culture as it has manifested itself in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Sinophone communities. After earning a PhD in East Asian Languages & Cultures at Columbia University, Berry taught at UCSB for 13 years before joining UCLA in 2016.

Michael Berry is the author of A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film, which explores literary and cinematic representations of atrocity in twentieth century China, Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers a collection of dialogues with contemporary Chinese filmmakers including Hou Hsiao-hsien, Zhang Yimou, Stanley Kwan, and Jia Zhangke, and the monograph, Jia Zhang-ke’s Hometown Trilogy, which offers extended analysis of the films Xiao Wu, Platform, and Unknown Pleasures. He is the author of a full-length interview books with award-winning film director Hou Hsiao-hsien, Boiling the Sea: Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Memories of Shadows and Light (in Chinese), and a forthcoming volume of conversations with Jia Zhangke. Berry is currently completing a monograph that explores the United States as it has been imagined through Chinese film, literature, and popular culture, 1949-present. He is also the co-editor of Divided Lenses: Screen Memories of War in East Asia, Modernism Revisited: Pai Hsien-yung and the Taiwan Literary Modernism Movement and a forthcoming volume on the 1930 Musha Incident in Taiwan.

Also an active literary translator, Berry has translated several important contemporary Chinese novels by Yu Hua, Ye Zhaoyan, and Chang Ta-chun. His co-translation with Susan Chan Egan of Wang Anyi’s Song of Everlasting Sorrow was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2009 MLA Lois Roth Award for an outstanding translation of a literary work. In 2016, his translation of To Live was selected for the NEA’s “The Big Read”program. His most recently published translation is Wu He’s (Dancing Crane) award winning novel Remains of Life (Yu sheng), a fascinating literary exploration of the 1930 Musha Incident, which was honored with a NEA Translation Grant and shortlisted for the Best Translated Books Award (BTBA). Current literary translation projects include the modern martial arts novel The Last Swallow of Autumn (Xia yin) by Wenyi Chang.

In addition to his academic writing, Berry extends the scope of his work through various media consultant positions, popular writings and jury service. He has frequently been featured in various mainstream media outlets in the US and China, including NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the China Daily, and The People’s Daily. He is a contributor to the ChinaFile and his popular essays in Chinese have been published in the weekly Friday supplement of The Beijing News. He has served as a jury member for the Golden Horse Film Festival, Fresh Wave Film Festival, Los Angeles International Culture Film Festival and the Dream of the Red Chamber Literary Award.

His work has received generous support from a variety of organizations, including the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, The Weatherhead Foundation, the China Times Cultural Foundation, and the National Endowment of the Arts.


白睿文(Michael Berry)1974年於美國芝加哥出生。美國哥倫比亞大學現代中國文學與電影博士。現職美國加州大學洛杉磯分校(UCLA)亞洲語言文化教授兼中國研究中心主任,主要研究領域為當代華語文學、電影、流行文化和翻譯學。


著作包括 Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers(哥倫比亞大學出版社,2005),《光影言語:當代華語片導演訪談錄》(麥田,2007;廣西師範大學出版社,2008),A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Fiction and Film(哥倫比亞大學出版社,2008),《痛史:現代華語文學與電影的歷史創傷》(麥田,2016),Jia Zhangke’s Hometown Trilogy(British Film Institute, 2009),《鄉關何處:賈樟柯的故鄉三部曲》(廣西師範大學出版社,2010),《煮海時光:侯孝賢的光影記憶》(印刻2014,廣西師範大學2015)、《電影的口音:贾樟柯談贾樟柯》(廣西師範大學出版社,即將出版)。編著包括《重返現代》(麥田,2016;學林,2019)、Divided Lenses (夏威夷大學出版社,2016)、《霧社事件:歷史和文化讀本》(麥田,即將出版)。