Jason McGrath

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Asian & Middle Eastern Studies .
220 Folwell Hall
9 Pleasant St. SE

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • PhD: East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, 2004.
  • M.A.: East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, 2001.
  • BA: Asian Studies/Chinese, University of Texas, Austin, 1993.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Chinese and international cinemas
  • Modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture
  • Taiwan cinema and cultural studies
  • Ecocritical theory and film studies
  • Digital cinema, CGI, and animation
  • Realism in fiction, film, and theory
  • Convention and intertextuality in film theory
  • Chinese and Western Marxisms
Courses Taught
  • MIMS 8001 - Theories of the Moving Image
  • ALL 8001 - Critical Approaches to Asian Literary and Cultural Studies
  • ALL 5359 - Early Shanghai Film Culture
  • ALL 5358 - Chinese Revolutionary Cinema
  • ALL 5356 - Gender and Sexuality in Chinese Film
  • ALL 5351 Chinese New Media
  • ALL 3920 Topics - End Times: Narrating Extinction and Apocalypse
  • ALL 3356W - Chinese Film
  • ALL 3337 - Chinese Literature and Popular Culture Today
  • ALL 3336 - Revolution and Modernity in Chinese Literature and Culture
  • HSEM 3014H - Classical Cinema as Global Vernacular
  • ALL 1906 - Early Film: Story and Spectacle
Research & Professional Activities


  • Inscribing the Real: Realism and Convention in Chinese Fiction Film from the Silent Era to the Digital Age: An examination of various key moments and trends in Chinese cinema history, with a focus on the rhetorics of realism in filmmaking, film theory, and cultural criticism. Special attention paid to issues of convention and intertextuality, particularly as they interact with and often mitigate claims for realist representation.
  • Postsocialist Modernity: Chinese Cinema, Literature, and Criticism in the Market Age (completed): Book-length study of Chinese cinema and culture since the culture industry's transition to a market economy in the early 1990s. Original research funded by a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship.
  • Anthology of Chinese Film Theory and Criticism: Co-editing with Prof. Guo-Juin Hong (Duke U) an anthology of Chinese writings on film, covering the cinemas of Republican China, the PRC, Hong Kong, and Taiwan from eary film to the present.
  • Maoist Laughter. McGrath, Jason, Ping Zhu & Zhuoyi Wang, Hong Kong University Press, Co-Editor, 2019. LinkImage
  • Apocalypse, or, the Logic of Late Anthropocene Ruins: McGrath, Jason, Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, no. 10 , 2014. Link
  • McGrath, Jason Carl. "Acting Real: Cinema, Stage, and the Modernity of Performance in Chinese Silent Film." The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas (2013): 401-420. Link
  • McGrath, Jason Carl. "The Urban Generation: Underground and Independent Films from the PRC." The Chinese Cinema Book (2011): 167-75. Link
  • McGrath, Jason Carl. "Cultural Revolution Model Opera Films and the Realist Tradition in Chinese Cinema." The Opera Quarterly 26 (2010): 343-76. Link
  • McGrath, Jason Carl. "Communists Have More Fun! The Dialectics of Fulfillment in Cinema of the People‚Äôs Republic of China." World Picture 3 (2009): Link
  • McGrath, Jason Carl. Postsocialist Modernity: Chinese Cinema, Literature, and Criticism in the Market Age. Stanford University Press, 2008. LinkImage
  • McGrath, Jason Carl. "The Cinema of Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam in Feature Film and Video." Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art (2008): 33-46. Link
  • McGrath, Jason Carl. "The New Formalism: Mainland Chinese Cinema at the Turn of the Century." China's Literary and Cultural Scenes at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century (2008): 207-221. Link
  • McGrath, Jason Carl. "Black Cannon Incident: Countering the Counter-espionage Fantasy." Chinese Films in Focus II (2008): 25-31. Link
  • McGrath, Jason Carl. "The Independent Cinema of Jia Zhangke: From Postsocialist Realism to a Transnational Aesthetic." The Urban Generation: Chinese Cinema and Society at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century (2007): 81-114. Link
  • McGrath, Jason Carl. "Metacinema for the Masses: Three Films by Feng Xiaogang." Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 17.2 (Fall 2005): 90-132. Link
  • McKnight Land Grant Professorship, University of Minnesota, 2008 - 2010
  • Institute for Advanced Study Fellow, University of Minnesota, spring 2007
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, 2002 - 2003