SOAS University of London

China & Inner Asia Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

Dr Cosima Bruno

BA (Venice) PhD (London)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Cosima Bruno
Dr Cosima Bruno
Email address:
+44(0) 20 7898 4421
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
2021-22 On leave term 1


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.


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Chen Ma, Negotiating with Ambiguity: The Reconstruction of Ecological Consciousness in post-2000 Chinese Science Fictions
  • Feifei Zhan, Physical Pain and Mother-daughter Relationships in Post-1990 Chinese Literature
  • Jessica Siu-yin Yeung, Semiotics of Allegory: Queerness in Contemporary Taiwan and Hong Kong Novel and Cinema
  • 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.


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


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • East Asia
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Bruno, Cosima (2012) Between the Lines: Yang Lian's Poetry through Translation. Leiden: Brill.


Bruno, Cosima (2022) 'Animal Talk: The Sentient and the Sensible in Contemporary Chinese Poetry'. Transpositiones, (1) 1, pp 149-164.

Bruno, Cosima (2018) 'Thinking Other People's Thoughts: Brian Holton's Translations from Classical Chinese into Scots'. Translation & Literature, (27) 3, pp 306-318.

Bruno, Cosima (2018) 'Dog Barking at the Moon: Transcreation of a Meme in Art and Poetry'. Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, (14) 2, pp 161-186.

Bruno, Cosima (2017) 'Breaking Language Down: Taiwan Sound Poetry and its Ways of Saying'. Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies, (43) 2, pp 33-56.

Bruno, Cosima (2017) 'Writing in London. Home and Languaging in the Work of London Poets of Chinese Descent'. Life Writing, (14) 1, pp 37-55.

Bruno, Cosima (2013) 'Contemporary Poetry from Macau'. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, (16) 5, pp 750-769.

Bruno, Cosima (2012) 'The Public Life of Contemporary Chinese Poetry in English Translation'. Target: International Journal of Translation Studies, (24) 2, pp 253-285.

Bruno, Cosima (2006) 'Chinese Literary Trends in the Last Quarter of a Century'. Black Mountain Review, (14) Autumn, pp 103-111.

Bruno, Cosima (2005) 'Sulla conoscenza deittica di un'altra cultura [On the Deictic Knowledge of Another Culture]'. Itinerari d’impresa. Management diritto formazione 6, pp 189-198.

Bruno, Cosima (2003) 'Yang Lian shige zhong de zhuguanxing. [Subjectivity in Yang Lian's Poetry]'. Shi tansuo [Poetry Exploration], (49-50), pp 208-222.

Bruno, Cosima (1999) 'Leggendo Qu Youyuan Ouyang Jianghe Xi Chuan Yu Jian [Reading Ouyang Jianghe Xi Chuan Yu Jian Qu Youyuan]'. In Forma di parole 1, pp 263-270.

Edited Books or Journals

Bruno, Cosima and Tarocco, Francesca, (eds.), (2008) Made in China: nuovi scrittori. Milano: Mondadori.

Book Chapters

Bruno, Cosima (2022) 'Shared Sensibilities: The experience of nature in contemporary Chinese poetry'. In: Moratto, Riccardo and Pesaro, Nicoletta and Chao, Di-kai, (eds.), Ecocriticism and Chinese Literature. Imagined Landscapes and Real Lived Spaces. London: Routledge.

Bruno, Cosima (2020) 'Yang Lian'. In: Lupke, Christopher and Moran, Thomas, (eds.), Dictionary of Literary Biography: Chinese Poets since 1949. Michigan: Gale, pp 233-242.

Bruno, Cosima (2019) 'Translation Poetry: The Poetics of Noise in Hsia Yü’s Pink Noise'. In: Reynolds, Matthew, (ed.), Prismatic Translation. Cambridge: Legenda.

Bruno, Cosima (2018) 'Burning words: Deng Dafei’s Dark Utopia 2'. In: Berg, Daria and Strafella, Giorgio, (eds.), China's Avant-Garde, 1978-2018. London: Routledge. [Forthcoming]

Bruno, Cosima (2018) 'Experimental and Opaque Poetry: Bei Dao, Shu Ting, Gu Cheng, and Others'. In: Gu, Ming Dong, (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Modern Chinese Literature. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, pp 491-501.

Bruno, Cosima (2012) 'Words by the Look: Issues in Translating Chinese Visual Poetry'. In: St. André, James and Peng, Hsiao-Yen, (eds.), China and Its Others. Knowledge Transfer through Translation, 1829-2010. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, pp 245-276.

Bruno, Cosima (2006) 'English/Chinese – Chinese/Chinese. On Reading Poetry through Translation'. In: Hermans, Theo, (ed.), Translating Others. Manchester: St Jerome Publishing, pp 219-235.

Bruno, Cosima and Xi, Chuan (2004) 'Xi Chuan fang tanlu: da Mina wen'. In: Du, Xi and Hua, Guo, (eds.), Xianfeng shige dang'an. Chongqing: Chongqing chubanshe, pp 94-97.


Bruno, Cosima (2012) 'Translations of 3 visual poems: Chen Li's "A War Symphony", Xu Bing's "A Book from Heaven" (excerpt)' Kuangye daore's "Windows"..

Bruno, Cosima (2008) '"Tempo" by Liu Yichang; "Il caso Mary" and "Mirabilia dalla citta' fluttuante" by Xi Xi' .

Bruno, Cosima and Yang, Lian (2005) 'Alla ricerca di una difficoltà radicale' Itinerari d'impresa. Management diritto formazione 7, pp 185-194.

Bruno, Cosima (2004) 'Translation into Italian of six poems by Yang Lian' .

Bruno, Cosima and Ouyang, Jianghe (1999) 'La poesia cinese dopo 1989' In forma di parole : un'altra Cina : poeti e narratori degli anni novanta, pp 257-262.

Bruno, Cosima (1999) 'Translation into Italian of 23 contemporary Chinese poems by Yu Jian; Ouyang Jianhe; Xi Chuan; Qu Youyuan' .

Book Reviews

Bruno, Cosima (2017) 'Review of: The pushing-hands of translation and its theory: in memoriam of Martha Cheung, 1953-2013.'. The Translator, (22) 3, pp 348-352.

Bruno, Cosima (2013) 'A Common Strangeness'. China Quarterly, (214), pp 497-498.

Bruno, Cosima (2010) 'Review of: 'Voices in Revolution. Poetry and the Auditory Imagination in Modern China' by John A. Crespi'. The China Quarterly, (202), pp 456-458.

Bruno, Cosima (2006) 'Unreal City. A Chinese Poet in Auckland'. The China Quarterly, (187), pp 810-812.

Bruno, Cosima (2005) 'Leaving the World to Enter the World: Han Shaogong and Chinese Root-Seeking Literature'. The China Quarterly, (184), pp 981-983.

Bruno, Cosima (2005) 'The Invention of a Discourse: Women's Poetry from Contemporary China'. The China Quarterly, (183), pp 719-721.

Bruno, Cosima (2003) 'Book review of 'Transpacific Displacement. Ethnography, Translation, and Intertextual Travel in Twentieth-Century American Literature' by Huang Yunte'. The China Quarterly 173, pp 242-244.


Bruno, Cosima (2003) Contemporary Chinese Poetry in Translation. PhD thesis. SOAS, University of London. [Unpublished]


This list was last generated on Tuesday, 16th August 2022, 20:38 Europe/London.