Jian Chen

Jian Chen

Jian Chen

Associate Professor


308B Dulles Hall

Office Hours

Wednesdays, 2-3pm (Zoom)

Areas of Expertise

  • Transgender and queer studies
  • Asian/Pacific/American studies
  • Comparative racial analysis
  • Literary, cultural, and social theories
  • Film, performances, digital media and visual studies
  • Post-semiotic literary and visual forms
  • Transnational approaches


  • PhD, Comparative Literature, University of California - Irvine, 2009
  • BA, Ethnic Studies and English, University of California - Berkeley, 1995

Pronouns: They/them/their and He/him/his

Jian Neo Chen is associate professor of queer studies in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English departments; former director of the Sexuality Studies program (2017-2018); and affiliate faculty in the Asian American Studies and Film Studies programs at The Ohio State University. Their research focuses on transgender and queer aesthetics and embodied practices in literature, visual culture, and contemporary theory and their reimagining of social relationships and movements. Their first book, Trans Exploits: Trans of Color Cultures and Technologies in Movement, explores the displaced emergences of trans of color cultural expression and activism through performance, film/video, literature and digital media by the second decade of the twenty-first century, following fifty years of minimal civil rights reforms and renewed state and social technologies of racial gendering. Trans Exploits will be published by Duke University Press's ANIMA Series in fall 2019. Chen's research, teaching, writing, and cultural organizing seek resonances with movements for gender, sexual, indigenous, and racial liberation across different sectors and territories of the transnational US empire.

Chen serves on the editorial board of the Transgender Studies Quarterly. They were an invited visiting scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University in Spring 2012. Before joining Ohio State, they were assistant professor and postdoctoral fellow at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study from 2009 to 2011. Their curated transmedia projects have screened with the 6-8 Months Project, hosted by Kara Walker Studios in New York City; the New York MIX 24 Queer Experimental Film Festival; the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus; and the NYU Asian/Pacific/ American Institute. Before graduate studies, Chen developed and organized a popular literacy, workplace rights program for Asian immigrant women working in informal garment, electronics, hotel and restaurant economies in Oakland. They also produced community events and raised funds to counter hate, interpersonal, and state violence impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Selected Publications

  • “Trans Futures” special issue (co-editor), Transgender Studies Quarterly, vol. 6, no. 4 (forthcoming fall 2019).
  • Trans Exploits: Trans of Color Cultures and Technologies in Movement. Durham: Duke University Press (ANIMA series), forthcoming fall 2019.
  • “Trans Riot: Transmasculine of Colour Expressions and Embodiments in the Films of Christopher Lee.” Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, vol. 4, no. 3, 2018, pp. 297-312.
  • “#BlackLivesMatter and the State of Asian/America.” Journal of Asian American Studies, vol. 20, no. 2, June 2017, pp. 265-271.
  • “Asian American Queer and Trans Activisms.” The Routledge Handbook of Asian American Studies, edited by Cindy I-Fen Cheng. New York: Routledge, 2016. pp. 318-327.
  • “TRANScoding the Transnational Digital Economy.” Trans Studies: Beyond Hetero/Homo Normativities, edited by Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel and Sarah Tobias. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2016. pp. 83-100. (Book received 2017 CUNY Center for LGBTQ Studies Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies.)
  • “Transmedia.” In "Postposttranssexual: Terms for a 21st Century Transgender Studies," Transgender Studies Quarterly, vol. 1, no. 1-2, May 2014, pp. 245-248.


Dr. Chen's book, Trans Exploits