Keru Cai

Chinese, Russian, French, Classical Chinese

Research Areas

Modern Chinese literature, film, and media. Russian realism.


I joined UC Berkeley’s Comparative Literature PhD Program in 2014. My research focuses on modern Chinese reworkings of realism(s) from Russia, England, and France. My dissertation is entitled "Poverty and Squalor in Modern Chinese Realism." Writers I work on include Lu Xun, Lao She, Li Jieren, Mao Dun, Ba Jin, Xiao Hong, Ding Ling, Zhang Ailing, Leonid Andreyev, Leo Tolstoy, Maxim Gorky, and Emile Zola. Previously, I received my Bachelors in English Literature from Harvard University, followed by a Master of Studies in English Literature (19th century) at the University of Oxford (on the Von Clemm Fellowship), as well as a Masters in the Harvard University Regional Studies: East Asia program.