Jue Hou

Cohort Year: 2017
Research Interests: Modernism (esp. Japanese, English, French, Chinese), semiotics and philology, critical theory, translation, ethics, STS
Education: B.A. in English Literature & Humanities, Tsinghua University, 2017

Jue Hou came to Chicago to pursue a joint PhD degree in Social Thought and Comparative Literature after obtaining his B.A. from Tsinghua University in 2017. His interests revolve around modernist literature, critical theory, signs/mediation, and cultural and intellectual exchanges between East Asia and Europe.

His current research, tentatively titled “One Who Lives, or How to Do Things with the I-Novel,” examines the autobiographical literary form known in Japan as the “I-novel” (shishōsetsu) from a transnational perspective. Challenging conventional literary histories that focus on the Naturalist influence and the form’s origins in the Taishō period, the project probes the I-novel’s intersection with other contending genres, thoughts, and movements, ranging from the avant-garde to proletarian literature and from queer literature to postwar debates over Japan’s political subjectivity, while situating the evolution of the I-novel in a world literature context by comparing Japanese authors with their contemporaries in English, Chinese, and French literatures.

Other interests and projects include an examination of how the rise of computer science helped reimagine the Chinese character as a techne of writing in China, Japan, and Korea; a study of the morphing of kinship in Japan’s “season of politics”; a rethinking of the relationship between Joyce’s Portrait and Ulysses in terms of the coming-of-age story and its undoing.



Peer-Reviewed Articles

Edited Journal Issue



  • Main: Japanese (training in classical Japanese & Kuzushiji, JLPT N1), Chinese (modern & classical), French (DALF C2), English
  • Limited Reading: Italian, Korean, Greek