Ph.D., New York University
B.A., Beijing Foreign Studies University
Gaoheng Zhang is Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at the University of British Columbia. He is a humanities scholar of migration, mobilities, multiculturalism, media, rhetoric, ethics, masculinity, and meaning-making. His most recent research seeks to provide a road map for analyzing how movements and communications created networks with enough cultural resources to frame non-fiction and fiction narratives about entrepreneurship, politics, and gender. His case studies pertain to Italy’s global networks, which are created through migration, colonialism, and business and leisure travel during the 19th-21th centuries.
Gaoheng is a leading cultural critic of Chinese migration to Italy, which has generated considerable debate in the Italian, Chinese migrant, and international media because of migrants’ economic clout. This is the subject of his first book titled Migration and the Media: Debating Chinese Migration to Italy, 1992-2012 (University of Toronto Press, 2019), which is the first detailed media and cultural study of the Chinese migration from both Italian and Chinese migrant perspectives, as well as one of the few book-length analyses of migration and culture. The research for the book was supported by Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities (now the USC Society of Fellows) at the University of Southern California, and its publication was funded by Awards to Scholarly Publications Program and The Schoff Publication Fund Award. Previously he has published several key articles on gender and ethics in cinematic and literary depictions of migrants, and of men, in Italy.
His new book project, tentatively titled “Mobilities and Cultures: Italy, China, North America” will offer an innovative critical framework to address Italian-Chinese relationships, —the longest-standing European-Chinese exchanges in written record—, by analyzing the mobile and discursive methods and effects of exiles, colonizers, (political) pilgrims, tourists, and migrants in cultural production. He has received a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for this project.
Gaoheng spearheaded and co-organized two conferences focused on Italy, China, and East Asia: “Italy and China: Centuries of Dialogue” (University of Toronto, April 2016) and “Italy and East Asia: Exchanges and Parallels” (Stony Brook University, October 2018). He serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies (2014-Present) and on the Publications Committee of the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program for Canada’s Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2017-20).
At UBC, Gaoheng is an Affiliated Faculty at the Institute for European Studies and at the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies program, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Migration Cluster.
Before joining UBC, Gaoheng held positions as Assistant Professor of Italian Cinema at the University of Toronto and as a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities (now the USC Society of Fellows) at the University of Southern California. He was educated at Beijing Foreign Studies University (B.A.) and at New York University (M.A., Ph.D.).
To learn more about Gaoheng’s publications, visit https://ubc.academia.edu/GaohengZhang.
SELECTED FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
SSHRC Insight Development Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Government of Canada, 2018-2020.
Visiting Professor, Department of Languages, Literatures and Intercultural Studies, University of Florence, May 2018 and May 2019.
Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2018.
The Arts Undergraduate Research Award (AURA), University of British Columbia, 2017.
The International Work Learn Award, University of British Columbia, 2017.
UBC Hampton Fund Research Grant – New Faculty Award, 2016-18.
The Schoff Publication Fund Award, The University Seminars, Columbia University, 2016.
Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholarship in the Humanities (now The USC Society of Fellows), University of Southern California, 2012-14.
Full scholarship from the Refresher Program for Teachers of Italian Abroad, University for Foreigners in Perugia, 2008.
- Italian Studies
- Cultural Studies
- Migration Studies
- Mobility Studies
- Gender Studies
- Masculinity Studies
- Ethnic and Racial Studies
- Media and Film Studies
- Rhetoric and Communication Studies
- Ethics and Morality
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
(University of Toronto Press, 2019. Funded by the Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program in the Humanities at the University of Southern California, the Schoff Publication Fund Award at Columbia University, and Awards to Scholarly Publications Program by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.)
(In progress. Funded by UBC Hampton Fund Research Grant – New Faculty Award, 2016-18, The Arts Undergraduate Research Award and The International Work Learn Award, UBC, 2017, and SSHRC IDG 2018-20.)
INVITED STAND-ALONE TALKS AND LECTURES
“Made in Italy by Chinese Migrants,” ElderCollege Delta, British Columbia, 2019.
“Chinese Food Cultures in Italy,” University of California, Irvine, 2019.
“Media Framings of Made in Italy Fast Fashion by Prato’s Chinese Migrants,” University of California, Irvine, 2019
“The Chinaman and the cinesina: Gendering Chinese Migrants in Italian Culture,” University of Florence, 2018.
“Made in Italy or Made in China? Chinese-Italian Cultural Identities in the Age of Migration and Globalization,” Villa La Pietra, New York University in Florence, 2018.
“Made in Italy or Made in China?” University College Cork, 2017 and The Dante Alighieri Society of British Columbia, 2017.
“I cinesi che non muoiono mai. Viaggio tra film, libri e mass media, tra luoghi comuni e (s)commode verità a proposito dell’immigrazione cinese in Italia,” Biblioteca Dergano-Bovisa, Milan, Italy, 2017.
“Recent Italian-Chinese Cultural Relations,” Richard Nasti Lecture Series, The Center for Italian Studies, Stony Brook University, 2016.
“Italian Cinema Looks East,” Department of Italian Language and Literature, Smith College, 2016.
“Contemporary Chinese Immigration to Italy: Encounters and Representations,” University Seminar, Studies in Modern Italy, Columbia University, 2013.
Migration and the Media: Debating Chinese Migration to Italy, 1992-2012 (University of Toronto Press, 2019).
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
“Insegnare la lingua e la cultura italiane agli studenti di origine cinese in Nord America: nuove risorse didattiche per un approccio multiculturalista,” Cultura & Comunicazione, 6:9 (2016), pp. 23-25.
Peer-reviewed Book Chapters
“Chinese Migrants and the ʻChinese Mafia’ in Contemporary Italian Culture,” in Transcending Borders: Selected Papers in East Asian Studies, edited by Valentina Pedone and Sagiyama Ikuko, pp. 67-86. Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2016.
“Comedy Film and Immigration to Italy: Reading Masculinity, Hybridity, and Satire in Lezioni di cioccolato (2007), Questa notte è ancora nostra (2008), and Into Paradiso (2010),” in The Cinemas of Italian Migration: European and Transatlantic Narratives, edited by Sabine Schrader and Daniel Winkler, pp. 263-279. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.
“The Three Riddles in Puccini’s Turandot: Masculinity, Empire, and Orientalism,” in Der musikalisch modellierte Mann: Interkulturelle und interdisziplinäre Männlichkeitsstudien zur Oper und Literatur des 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhunderts, edited by Ester Saletta and Barbara Hindinger, pp. 397-416. Vienna: Praesens, 2012.
“Global Routes: China, Italy, Toronto” (co-curated with Paolo Frascà and Jennifer Lau), an exhibition at the John M. Kelly Library at the University of Toronto (May-June, 2016), at the Carrier Gallery at Columbus Centre in Toronto (July, 2016), and at UBC Robson Square. (Funded by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, 2016.)
“Italy and China, Europe and East Asia: Centuries of Dialogue,” Corriere Canadese, April 5, 2016, p. 16.
“Caffè, by Cristian Bortone (2016),” Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, 6/2 (2018), pp. 252-254.
“My Reincarnation, by Jennifer Fox (2011),” Italian American Review, 3/2 (2013), pp. 151-153.
“La Fuga/Escape” by Francesca Bellino, Journal of Italian Translation, VI:1&2 (2011), pp. 100-115.
FREN512A Studies in Literary Criticism - LIT CRITICISM Sections
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SPAN501A Literary and Cultural Theory - LIT CULT THEORY Sections
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ITST110 "Made in Italy" Sections
Where do Italy's glamour, lifestyle, traditions come from? This course introduces Italy's multifaceted ways of being and the cultural creations of the peninsula in their context.
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ITST432 Italian Cinema and Its Cultural Background Sections
Films with English subtitles. Precludes credit for ITAL 430. Course content will vary. May be taken twice for a total of 6 credits.
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ITST232 Introduction to Italian Culture II: From the Modern to the Post-Colonial Age Sections
The debate around nation vs. empire vs. republic, from the Napoleonic age to our days, as captured in Italy's microcosm, condensing and often anticipating issues that have later become global.
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