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Lorraine Wong Image

Senior Lecturer – Chinese Programme

Office Arts 3S10

Tel +64 3 556 5323

Lorraine C.M. Wong received her BA in English from the University of Hong Kong, MPhil in Sociology from Cambridge University and PhD in Comparative Literature from New York University.

Based on her interdisciplinary training, Lorraine's research focuses on the history of script reforms in modern China and this history's relation to the emergence of modern Chinese literature and literary criticism, as well as to language rights within and outside China in today's world.

Currently she is working on a book tentatively entitled "Script and Revolution in China's Long Twentieth Century." This book tells the story of the transformation of the Chinese script: how it was viewed, transliterated, and eventually remolded by the Chinese communist revolution. Crucially, the book also explores how the revolution itself was actualized and redefined through such script changes. Through addressing the perennial role of writing in Chinese history, as well as its modern transformations, Lorraine analyzes the shifting positions of Chinese script in relation to notions of phonocentrism and logocentrism in philosophy, as well as the use of script as a political tool in history and as a vehicle for new aesthetics in literature.

Aside from her research into China's script politics from a comparative perspective, Lorraine also explores the forgotten stories of literary Esperantists of Chinese and non-Chinese origins. She has contributed to the Interlinguistics Symposium organised by Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland by presenting her work on the cross-cultural encounter between Esperanto and Chinese.

Lorraine also works on the culture and history of Hong Kong by breaking away from the colonial and national frameworks of analysis. She specifically welcomes postgraduate research in this area.

Postgraduate Supervision

  • Yu Zhang, “Chinese Spatial Poetics and Global Space from Liang Qichao to Gary Snyder” (PhD thesis, completed in 2023, co-supervision)
  • Xiaomin Chen, “The Networks of Contemporary Chinese Long Poems: Scale, Tradition, and World Literature” (PhD thesis, completed in 2021; co-supervision)
  • Anne-Sophie Miyuki Shogimen. “Representing Taiwanese National Identity and the Japanese Colonial Past: Wei Te-Sheng's Cape No. 7 and Kano.” (Honours dissertation, completed in 2020; primary supervision)
  • Hannah Pedgrift. “Writing on The Threshold: Edith Eaton and Chinese Women in North America in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries.” (MA thesis, completed in 2019; solo supervision)
  • Suzanne Zexuan, Sun. “Paradoxical Paradises: The Poetic and Lived Utopias of James K. Baxter and Gu Cheng.” (PhD thesis, completed in 2019; co-supervision)

Teaching interests

Lorraine teaches CHIN 334 and CHIN 335, CHIN 243/343 and CHIN 244. In the coming semesters, she will incorporate various special topics into CHIN 243/343 and CHIN 244 such as urban and rural imaginations in Chinese literary discourses, youth culture and gender politics in modern and contemporary China, print media and technological changes, socialist culture as well as world literature.

She welcomes applications from research students who wish to work in the following areas:

Chinese Studies

  • History and Culture of the Chinese Scripts
  • Film and Popular Cultures (mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Chinese Diaspora)    Sinophone Literature; Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature
  • Modern Chinese History

Comparative Literature

  • The Idea of China in Western Intellectual Discourses
  • Linguistics in western Marxism
  • Romanizations and Script Reforms in non-western worlds


Wong, L. (2024). Poetics of loss in Esperanto: Mao Zifu writes in his wheelchair. In C. S. G. Lau & K. K. Y. Chan (Eds.), The poetics of grief and melancholy in East-West conflicts and reconciliations. (pp. 117-135). Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-99-9821-0_8 Chapter in Book - Research

Wong, L. (2022, November). Entering history through translation: Qu Qiubai and the Chinese script. New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation Jean Anderson Annual Lecture, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. [Research Presentation]. Other Research Output

Wong, L. (2022, December). Esperanto, modern communication, and translation. Verbal presentation at the Australasian Modernist Studies Network (AMSN) Conference, Auckland, New Zealand. Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Wong, L. (2022, September). Becoming history: Qu Qiubai and the Chinese script. Chinese Studies Centre, University of Sydney webinar. [Invited Presentation]. Other Research Output

Wong, L. (2021). Encounters between Esperanto and Chinese: Julio Baghy, Ba Jin, and Armand Su. In I. Koutny, I. Stria & M. Farris (Eds.), The intercultural role of Esperanto [Interkultura rolo de Esperanto / Międzykulturowa rola esperanta]. (pp. 49-64). Poznań, Polland: Wydawnictwo Rys. doi: 10.48226/978-83-66666-31-3 Chapter in Book - Research

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