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 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 was born in Puglia, planet Earth. 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 in translation. Living in London, and working at SOAS has offered me the right environment for nurturing my research passions.

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 challenges dichotomous approaches to translation, and offers a new methodology of studying poetry through translation.

Another main strand of my research pertains to inter-arts transculturation, and aims at synthesizing and revising relational theories of literature and translation, so as to provide new tools for a critical understanding of the literary work and its environment.

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 literatures and translation studies.


Research interests

contemporary Chinese poetry
poetry performativity
translation studies
Chinese language art
bilingual migrant poetry 
intermedial poetry


PhD Supervision

Name Title
Chen Ma Negotiating with Ambiguity: The Reconstruction of Ecological Consciousness in post-2000 Chinese Science Fictions
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.
Dr Jessica Siu-yin Yeung Semiotics of Allegory: Queerness in Contemporary Taiwan and Hong Kong Novel and Cinema
Feifei Zhan Physical Pain and Mother-daughter Relationships in Post-1990 Chinese Literature


Contact Cosima