Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Nicolai Volland

Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature
201G Old Botany
Office Phone: (814) 867-3422
N Volland


MA, University of Heidelberg, 2001
PhD, University of Heidelberg, 2004


Nicolai Volland is Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature. His research focuses on modern Chinese literature and culture in its transnational dimensions, including cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, translation and transculturation, as well as reception and cultural consumption. He is also interested in film and visual culture, as well as print culture in modern China and Southeast Asia. His book, Socialist Cosmopolitanism: The Chinese Literary Universe, 1945-1965 (Columbia University Press, 2017), revisits Chinese literature of the 1950s and 1960s, situating Chinese cultural production within the broader context of the socialist world and showing how Chinese socialist literature engages with global aesthetic debates. Other projects investigate the interaction of visuality and literariness in modern East Asia, and the Francophone/Francophile community in twentieth century China. He is co-editor of The Business of Culture: Cultural Entrepreneurs in China and Southeast Asia (UBC Press, 2014) and Comic Visions of Modern China (MCLC special issue, Fall 2008). Before coming to Penn State he taught at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and the National University of Singapore.

Research Interests:

Modern Chinese literature and culture, cosmopolitanism, translation and transculturation, print culture.