Michael Berry is Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Previously, he was Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies and Director of the East Asia Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and his areas of research include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, Chinese cinema, popular culture in modern China, and translation studies. He also holds affiliate appointments with Comparative Literature, Film and Media Studies, and Asian American Studies.

Berry is the author of A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film (Columbia University Press, 2008), which explores literary and cinematic representations of atrocity in twentieth century China; Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers (Columbia University Press, 2005), a collection of dialogues with contemporary Chinese filmmakers including Hou Hsiao-hsien, Zhang Yimou, Stanley Kwan, and Jia Zhangke; the monograph, Jia Zhang-ke’s Hometown Trilogy: Xiao Wu, Platform, Unknown Pleasures (British Film Institute, February 2009), which offers extended analysis of the films Xiao Wu, Platform, and Unknown Pleasures, and a forthcoming book-length collection of interviews with the award-winning film director Hou Hsiao-hsien. He is currently working on a monograph that explores the United States as it has been imagined through Chinese film, literature, and popular culture, 1949-present. He is also a contributor to numerous books and periodicals, including recent chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas (Oxford, 2013) and A Companion to Chinese Cinema (Blackwell, 2012).

Last Updated: April 5, 2021



Can China Expand its Beachhead in Hollywood?

Stanley Rosen, Ying Zhu & more
With The Great Wall, a classic army vs. monsters tale, director Zhang Yimou has brought America the most expensive Chinese film ever created. The movie may be backed by a Hollywood studio and it may star no less an American icon than Matt Damon, and...



Censorship and Publishing in China

Andrew J. Nathan, Zha Jianying & more
This week, a new PEN American Center report “Censorship and Conscience: Foreign Authors and the Challenge of Chinese Censorship,” by Alexa Olesen, draws fresh attention to a perennial problem for researchers, scholars, and creative writers trying to...



Xi Jinping’s Culture Wars

Stanley Rosen, Michael Berry & more
Given China’s tightening restrictions on film, TV, art, writing, and journalism, and the reverberations from President Xi Jinping’s recent speech on culture, we asked contributors why they think Beijing has decided to ramp up its involvement in the...



Can China’s Leading Indie Film Director Cross Over in America?

Jonathan Landreth, Michael Berry & more
Jonathan Landreth:Chinese writer and director Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of Sin won the prize for the best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Though the dialogue and its fine translation and English subtitles by Tony Rayns are exemplary, I...



A Shark Called Wanda—Will Hollywood Swallow the Chinese Dream Whole?

Stanley Rosen, Jonathan Landreth & more
Stanley Rosen:Wang Jianlin, who personally doesn’t know much about film, made a splash when he purchased America’s No. 2 movie theater chain AMC at a price many thought far too high for what he was getting.  A number of knowledgeable people...