Learning from Shenzhen: China’s Post-Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City. Coedited with Winnie Wong and Jonathan Bach (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

Years of Sadness by Wang Anyi, translated with Lingzhen Wang (Cornell University Press: 2009).

Edited Collections

Forum: Transformation of Shen Kong Borderlands, co-edited with Jonathan Bach and Denise Ho (Made in China Journal, 2020).


“The Handshake 302 Village Hack Residency: Chicago, Shenzhen, and the Experience of Assimilation” reads Shenzhen’s history within and against Robert E. Park’s influential essay, “The City.” The City in China: New Perspectives on Contemporary Urbanism. Ray Forrest, Julie Ren & Bart Wissink, eds. chapter 7, Bristol University Press, 2019.

Heart of Shenzhen: The Movement to Preserve ‘Ancient’ Hubei Village explores the emergence of urban villages as heritage sites in Shenzhen. The New Companion to Urban Design, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris & Tridib Banerjee, eds. Routledge, 2019, 480-93.

Excavating the Future in Shenzhen tracks how different actors have constructed diverse and often contradictory futures in and as “Shenzhen.” Urban Asias: Essays on Futurity Past and Present, Tim Bunnell & Daniel P. S. Goh, eds., Berlin: JOVIS Verlag, 2018: 247-262.

In Shen Kong: Cui Bono, Viola WAN Yan and I take a look at how China’s central leadership has used the Sino-British border to achieve political and economic goals. Border Ecologies: Hong Kong’s Mainland Frontier, Joshua Bolchover & Peter Hasdell, eds., Basel: Birkhauser, 2016: 34-47.

The Urban Planning Imaginary: Lessons from Shenzhen is an interview with Huang Weiwen, former Director of the Shenzhen Design Center. Shenzhen: From Factory of the World to World City, Linda Vlassenrood, ed. Almere: International New Towns Institute, 2016.


Jonathan Bach and I think through the shifting meanings of “local identity” in Reclaiming the New, Remaking the Local: Shenzhen at 40, China Perspectives 2021/2.

From Bamboo Curtain to the Silicon Valley of Hardware tracks how liminality (and border crossings of all sorts) have been critical to the city’s development. e-flux Architecture, Software as Infrastructure, Aug 8, 2020.

Figuring Post-worker Shenzhen looks back on the first five years at Handshake 302. Made in China, vol. 3, issue 1, Jan-Mar 2018.

The Cultural Politics of Eating in Shenzhen explores how hometown food has been used to create generational identities in the SEZ. Gastronomica 10:2 (Spring 2010), 31-39.

The Ambiguous Possibilities of Self-transformation in Late Socialist Worlds, or, What the Fox Might have Said about Inhabiting Shenzhen discusses theater as a site where differences between first and second generation migrant urban identities have emerged. TDR: The Drama Review 50:4 (Winter 2006), 96-119.

Becoming Hong Kong, Razing Bao’an, Preserving Xin’an: An Ethnographic Account of Urbanization in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone argues that urbanization in Shenzhen was deployed to globalize the national economy. Cultural Studies: Special Issue on Hong Kong, 15:3/4 (2001), 419-43.

Path Breaking: Constructing Gendered Nationalism in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone traces how gendered nationalism facilitated the construction of Shenzhen. positions: east asian cultures critique 7:2 (Fall 1999), 67-99.

Situating the Northbound Imaginary looks at the importance of Hong Kong as model and aspiration in early Shenzhen, 1996.

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