Petrus Liu is an associate professor of Chinese and comparative literature and of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Boston University, where he teaches transnational queer theory, Marxist cultural criticism, and the literatures and digital media of Cold War cultures. He is the author of Stateless Subjects: Chinese Martial Arts Literature and Postcolonial History (Cornell East Asia Series, 2012) and Queer Marxism in Two Chinas (Duke University Press, 2015), winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award Honorable Mention and a studies category finalist for the 2015 Lambda Literary Award.
At Radcliffe, Liu is working on his third monograph, “The Specter of Materialism: Queer Theory and Marxism in the Age of the Beijing Consensus,” which explores the ways queer theory and Marxist literary criticism have been transformed by their encounter with China’s uneven subsumption within global capitalism. Showing that progressive queer theory’s “materialist turn” from questions of representation and performativity to precarity, dispossession, and the maldistribution of life chances is inevitably absorbed into the liberal project of diversity management, Liu calls for a stronger form of queer Marxism anchored in a historical understanding of China’s socialist and postsocialist transformations.
Liu received his PhD in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley. He has been the recipient of a Cornell University Society for the Humanities Fellowship, an ICI Berlin Visiting Fellowship, a J Y Pillay Global-Asia Programme Fellowship, a National Humanities Center Summer Residency, a Telluride House Faculty Fellowship, and two multiyear research grants from the Ford Foundation.