Department of English Language & Literature and the College
Richard Jean So specializes in modern American literature in an international context. He focuses on the Asia-Pacific world, which spans American, Asian American, and East Asian cultures. He currently examines patterns of political and literary exchange between American and Chinese writers and intellectuals during the interwar period. His other interests include modern U.S. democratic theory, Chinese Communist cultures, translation studies, theory of the novel, race and diaspora studies, and “cultural transnationalism” as it continues to evolve as a conceptual category.
So’s publications include “Fictions of Natural Democracy: Pearl Buck, The Good Earth, Asian America” Representations (110, no. 2, 2010); “Collaboration and Translation: Lin Yutang and the Archive of Asian American Fiction,” Modern Fiction Studies (56, no. 1 (spring 2010): 40–62); and “Chinese Exclusion Fiction and Global Histories of Race: H. T. Tsiang and Theodore Dreiser,” Genre: Forms of Discourse (39, no. 4 (fall 2008): 1–25), republished in Realism’s Others (forthcoming from Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010).
So completed his PhD in comparative literature at Columbia University, specializing in modern U.S. and Chinese literatures, and received his BA from Brown University in English literature. He studied Chinese at Middlebury College, Princeton University, National Taiwan University (International Chinese Language Program), and Qinghua University (Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies), and studied Japanese at the University of California, Berkeley, and Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama.
So joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2010.