Paola Zamperini

zamperini-paolaPaola Zamperini is an Associate Professor of Asian Languages and Civilizations (Chinese) and Women’s and Gender Studies and Chair of Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College.  Her interests span traditional and contemporary Chinese literature, popular culture, romance, sexuality, gender, film studies and cinema.  Recent works include Lost Bodies: Prostitution and Masculinity in Late Qing Fiction (Brill University Press, 2010) andSpellbound. Gambling in Chinese Fiction, which looks at fictional and non-fictional representations of gambling.  Other interests include how fashion is represented in pre-modern and contemporary Chinese fiction and visual culture.

Below are syllabi from several of her courses as well as readings on a variety of topics.   Video of her Title VI presentation “Spellbound: The Maze of Gambling in Late Imperial Chinese Fiction” from the workshop Chinese Histories in a Global Context will be posted soon.


ASLC 29 2011 Fashion Matters

ASLC 240 12 Flowers in the Mirror – Writing Women in Chinese Literature

ASLC235 2012 – Chinascapes. An Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Cinema

xyj 2013 – The Novel in Pre-Modern China

Short Stories

A story for today that involves the supernational, identity, and family caught up in the ancient world of cricket gambling: The Cricket

An excellent anthology of contemporary short chinese fiction is The Pearl Jacket and Other Stories: Flash Fiction from Contemporary China by Shouhua Qi (Editor), Publisher: Stone Bridge Press; 1st edition (October 3, 2008).

A review states:  “Hugely popular in China, flash fiction is poised to be the most exciting new development in contemporary Chinese literature in a decade. Integrating both vernacular and contemporary styles while embracing new technologies such as text messaging (SMS) and blogging, contemporary Chinese flash fiction represents the voice of a civilization at the brink of a startling and unprecedented transformation. This collection features 120 short-short stories (from 100 to 300 words each), written by some of China’s most dynamic and versatile authors. Dong Rui’s “The Pearl Jacket” offers a glimpse of the real and surreal in human evolution, Chen Qiyou’s “Butterfly Forever” brings an ancient Chinese literary motif into a startling modern context, while Liu Jianchao’s “Concerned Departments” mocks the staggering complexity of life in the new urban China. Traditional, experimental, and avant-garde, The Pearl Jacket and Other Stories will reinvigorate the position of young Chinese writers as a major presence in contemporary literature. Their voices breathe new energy into modern Chinese literature, leaving the literary and societal stagnation of the Cultural Revolution behind as a distant memory.”


Study done on superstitious beliefs on gambling in Macau:  Donning Red Underwear to Play Mahjong

Suicide and Gambling: An Analysis of Suicide Rates in U.S. Counties and Metropolitan Areas

Examination of Chinese Gambling Problems through a Socio-Historical-Cultural Perspective

Deep China : the moral life of the person, what anthropology and psychiatry tell us about China today by Arthur Kleinman … [et. al.]  Berkeley : University of California Press, c2011.