Professor of Chinese & Comparative Literature and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Convener of Chinese

Spring 2024 Office Hours: Tue 12:30-2, Thur 3:30-5, STH 635 A


Petrus Liu is Professor of Chinese & Comparative Literature and of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (Chinese, German, and Latin) from UC Berkeley in 2005 and taught at Cornell University and Yale-NUS College before joining BU in 2017. His research interests lie at the intersection of queer theory and Marxist cultural criticism, which he explores through publications and courses on modern Chinese and comparative literature, digital media, capitalism and the novel, and new social movements in the global South.

Prof. Liu is the author of three scholarly monographs: Stateless Subjects: Chinese Martial Arts Literature and Postcolonial History (Cornell East Asia Series, 2011); Queer Marxism in Two Chinas (Duke University Press, 2015), winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize Honorable Mention and a finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Award; and The Specter of Materialism: Queer Theory and Marxism in the Age of the Beijing Consensus (Duke University Press, 2023), a work that offers a new approach to the political economy of sexuality through a decentered history of global capitalism’s latest mutations and queer bodies. Prof. Liu is also the coeditor (with Lisa Rofel) and cotranslator of Platinum Bible of the Public Toilet (Duke University Press, 2024), a collection of queer stories by the Chinese writer Cui Zi’en.

Prof. Liu’s other publications include “Beyond the Strai(gh)ts: Transnationalism and Queer Chinese Politics,” a coedited special issue of the journal positions: asia critique that received the Modern Language Association’s Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) Award for Best Journal Special Issue of 2010; three collections of film commentaries simultaneously published in English, Chinese, Spanish, and French; and journal articles in Social Text; South Atlantic Quarterly; Modern Language Quarterly; GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies; Feminist Studies; positions: asia critique; The Funambulist; Asian Exchange; Modern Chinese Literature and Culture; Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature; Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies; Inter-Asia Cultural Studies; Genre en Action; Kaos Queer+; Sexuality Policy Watch; Router: A Journal of Cultural Studies; Refeng xueshu; and The China Journal. His works have been translated into Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Turkish, and Russian.

Prof. Liu is a core editorial member of the journal Critical Times: Interventions in Global Critical Theory, a member of the editorial collective of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, a member of the international advisory board of Router: A Journal of Cultural Studies, and a standing review board member of Hong Kong’s Research Grants Council.

Prof. Liu has been the recipient of a Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship, a National Humanities Center Summer Fellowship, a Cornell Society for the Humanities Fellowship, an Institute for Cultural Inquiry Berlin Visiting Fellowship, a J Y Pillay Global-Asia Programme Fellowship, a Telluride House Faculty Fellowship, and two multiyear research grants from the Ford Foundation. In 2023, he received Boston University’s Gitner Award for Distinguished Teaching.