Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Dr Cosima Bruno

Key information

Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures Reader in Chinese Literature Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies Member of the Steering Committee Centre for Translation Studies Member China Institute Member
BA (Venice) PhD (London)
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
+44(0) 20 7898 4421
Support hours
Wednesdays, 11:00–12:00.


I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. I worked for almost a decade as a translator and interpreter from Chinese, before coming to SOAS at the turn of the millennium to undertake doctoral research on contemporary Chinese poetry and its translation. I have always believed in the power of literature, like all arts, to bring us closer to possible worlds, and I am particularly interested in contemporary poetry and in translation as ways of experiencing and understanding the world. 

My research to date has been focusing on the role of translation and other forms of cultural mediation in the evolution, contestation and renegotiation of literary authority and power.  My first monograph, Between the Lines: Yang Lian’s Poetry through Translation (Brill, 2012) challenges dichotomous approaches to translation and offers a new methodology of studying poetry through translation.  

My co-edited The Bloomsbury Handbook of Modern Chinese Literature in Translation (2023) collects more than thirty authors’ contributions to the study of modern Chinese literature from the perspective of its translation.  Another main strand of my research pertains to inter-arts transculturation and aims at synthesizing and revising relational theories of literature and translation, to provide new tools for a critical understanding of the literary work and its environment. 

I also published essays on ecopoetics and on sound poetry. 

What I hope to do in my lectures is to ask questions about China and use literature to examine how we go about answering them. 

I welcome PhD applications in modern and contemporary Chinese and Sinophone literature and translation studies. 

Research interests

  • contemporary Chinese poetry
  • poetry performativity
  • translation studies
  • ecopoetics
  • bilingual migrant poetry 
  • intermedial poetry 
  • sound studies 


PhD Supervision

Name Title
Dr Mia Chen Ma Risk, Failure, and Liquid Modernity: Ecocriticism in Chinese Science Fiction
Dylan K. Wang Unto Myself Reborn: Self-Translation in Modern Chinese Literature
Miss Magdalena Wojcik The Community, Voice and Contributions of the Other Tang (618–907) Women Poets in the Early Modern (16th–18th c.) Anthologies of Poetry.
Feifei Zhan Physical Pain and Mother-daughter Relationships in Post-1990 Chinese Literature


Contact Cosima