Jian Chen

Jian Chen

Jian Chen

Associate Professor, Departments of English and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Affiliated Faculty, Film Studies Program


502 Denney Hall
164 Annie and John Glenn Ave
Columbus, OH 43210

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They/them/their and he/him/his

Jian Neo Chen is associate professor of queer studies in the departments of English and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Chen is affiliate faculty in the Film Studies program and former director of Sexuality Studies (2017-2018). Their research focuses on transgender and queer aesthetics and embodied practices in literature, visual culture and contemporary theory and their reimagining and reconstruction of social relations and movements. Their first book, Trans Exploits: Trans of Color Cultures and Technologies in Movement (Duke University Press, 2019), 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 minimal civil rights reforms and renewed state and social technologies of racial gendering. Chen's research, teaching, writing and cultural organizing seek resonances with movements for gender, sexual, indigenous and racial liberation across different sectors and territories of the transnational US empire.

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 state, public and interpersonal violence impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Selected Publications

  • “Trans Futures” special issue (co-editor), Transgender Studies Quarterly, vol. 6, no. 4 (November 2019).

  • Trans Exploits: Trans of Color Cultures and Technologies in Movement. Durham: Duke University Press (ANIMA series), November 2019. (2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in LGBTQ Studies).

  • “Trans Riot: Transmasculine of Colour Expressions and Embodiments in the Films of Christopher Lee.” Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, vol. 4, no. 3, 2018, pp. 297-312.

  • “#BlackLivesMatter and the State of Asian/America.” Journal of Asian American Studies, vol. 20, no. 2, June 2017, pp. 265-271.

  • “Asian American Queer and Trans Activisms.” The Routledge Handbook of Asian American Studies, edited by Cindy I-Fen Cheng. New York: Routledge, 2016. pp. 318-327.