Chenshu Zhou

Chenshu Zhou
Global Perspectives on Society Postdoctoral Fellow

Chenshu Zhou is a scholar and teacher of modern Chinese cinema, literature, media and culture. She received her PhD from the East Asian Languages and Cultures department at Stanford University. Her current research project is a book entitled Cinema Off Screen: Moviegoing in Socialist China, 1949-1992, which rethinks the cinematic medium through a reappraisal of the film exhibition process. Centering on the ways in which films were shown and watched in the People’s Republic of China before the deepening of market reforms in the early 90s, the book illustrates how exhibition can produce meaning and shape cinematic experience independent from the films being shown. 

In her teaching, Zhou emphasizes empowering students to learn in ways that are personally meaningful to them. Prior to joining the Global Perspectives on Society program, she has taught courses in film, literature, media studies, creative writing, and cultural studies as a postdoctoral teaching fellow in Stanford’s Thinking Matters program. 

Research Interests

  • Chinese Literature
  • Chinese Cinema
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Reception and Spectatorship
  • Visual Culture


Select Publications

  • Cinema Off Screen: Moviegoing in Socialist China, 1949-1992 (under contract with California University Press)
  • “Shiqinian nongcun dianying fangying zai shenshi: fangyingyuan yu zuowei meijie de shenti” 十七年农村电影放映再审视:放映员与作为媒介的身体 (“Revisiting Rural Film Exhibition of the Seventeen Years: The Projectionist’s Body as Medium”). Dangdai dianying 当代电影 (Contemporary Cinema), no.10 (2019): forthcoming
  • “The Versatile Film Projectionist: How to Show Films and Serve the People in the Seventeen Years Period.” Journal of Chinese Cinemas 10, no.3 (2016): 228-246



  • PhD, Chinese
    Stanford University