Kirk Denton specializes in the fiction and literary criticism of the Republican period (1911-1949). He regularly teaches undergraduate courses in modern Chinese literature in translation, Asian American film, and Chinese film, as well as graduate courses and seminars on modern Chinese fiction, the writer Lu Xun, popular culture, Taiwan literature, and Chinese film. He is especially interested in the inception and formation of a discourse of modernity in the May Fourth period and how that discourse was to some degree informed and shaped by traditional concerns. Professor Denton's edited collection, Modern Chinese Literary Thought: Writings on Literature. 1893-1945, was published by Stanford University Press in 1996. Two years later, his The Problematic of Self in Modern Chinese Literature: Hu Feng and Lu Ling was also published by Stanford. He is associate editor of the Chinese section of The Columbia Companion to Modern East Literature (Columbia, 2003) and a coeditor of China: Adapting the Past, Confronting the Future (Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 2002). He is co-editor, with Michel Hockx, of Literary Societies in Republican China (Lexington, 2008). He also edited China: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Whereabouts, 2008). He has published several articles on museum culture, including in The China Quarterly and Japan Focus, and he is presently writing a book on the politics of historical representation in museums and memorial sites in Greater China entitled Exhibiting the Past: Historical Memory and the Politics and Ideology of Museums in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Denton is editor of the journal Modern Chinese Literature and Culture and manager of the online MCLC Resource Center, which hosts the MCLC LIST, a listserv devoted to scholarly discussion on the culture of modern and contemporary China. Denton has been a visiting professor at Harvard University and National Chung-hsing University.
- Modern Chinese literature
- Historical memory in Greater China
- Film and exhibitonary culture
- Ph.D., Modern Chinese literature, 1988, University of Toronto
- M.A. Chinese literature, 1983, University of Toronto