Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2018

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Comparative Literature

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Situated at the intersection of Sinophone and Diaspora Studies and focusing on the rhetoric of “home,” my dissertation explores the ways in which Chinese immigrant Sinophone writers and Anglophone writers in the U.S. construct “imaginative homes” in response to the absence of their physical homes. Through detailed analysis of works by Yu Lihua (Again the Palm Trees, 1967), Yan Geling (The Criminal Lu Yanshi, 2011; A Woman’s Epic, 2006), Pai Hsien-yung (Taipei People, 1971), Shi Yu (New York Lover, 2004), Chen Qian (Listen to the Caged Bird Sing, 2010), Rong Rong (Notes of a Couple, 2004) and Ha Jin (A Free Life, 2007; A Map of Betrayal, 2014), I explore the shifting dynamics of roots and routes by examining how Chinese diasporic subjects formulate their identities in negotiations between their homeland and the adopted land. Far from being an either/or binary, Chinese diasporic subjects often experience home and homelessness, uprooting and re-rooting simultaneously. This dissertation also delineates that, from a historical perspective, diasporic Chinese’s experience of home has shifted from being nationally affiliated in 1960s–70s overseas Chinese student writings to being personally oriented in post-1980s Chinese immigrant writings. This study of “home” in diasporic Chinese writings bridges Chinese diaspora and Sinophone studies, and further highlights the heterogeneity and complexity of the notion of “home."


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Lingchei Letty Chen

Committee Members

Lingchei L. Chen, Robert E. Hegel, Lynne Tatlock, J. D. Brown,


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