Rachel is a multi-award winning specialist in East Asian affairs, and has been recognized for excellence in research and writing. She has published original work on a range of topics including modern Chinese literature, cultural history, social movements, postmodernity, diaspora, gender rights, migrant issues, and environmental policy in book volumes, peer-reviewed university and professional journals, and magazines.
Her work has been cited by numerous scholars in highly regarded publications, including the Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture (2016) and The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture (2020).
Rachel is also a skilled freelance writer, cotent creator, editor, proofreader and translator with experience at leading organizations including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Hiroshima Prefectural Government, Japan National Travel Organization (JNTO), Hankyu Travel, Harvard University Press, Duke University Press, and the Harvard University Asia Center. She has experience working on diverse topics and industries, creating top-quality content for websites, articles, press releases, blog posts, manuscripts, and much more.
- Winner of the 2012 Robert F. Durden Prize, 2013 Lowell Aptman Prize, and 2015 Joseph Fletcher Memorial Award (Honorable Mention) for excellence in research and writing.
- Freelance writer and content creator for a diverse range of clients including prefectural and city governments, local businesses (including medical, phamaceutical, AI/IoT, tech, consulting industries), tour companies, financial institutions, etc.
- Freelance editor, proofreader, and translator with over 10 years of experience working with authors to shape and revise their work for publication. (Languages: English, Chinese, Japanese.)
2010~2017: Author of numerous book chapters, journal, and magazine articles published by world renown educational institutions such as Harvard University, Duke University, Princeton University, Yale University, and professional academic organizations.
- Academia.edu profile: https://harvard.academia.edu/RachelLeng
- ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rachel_Leng/
- Social Psychology Network profile: https://www.socialpsychology.org/member/rachel-leng
Thus far, my life has been founded upon multicultural hybridity and movement. I am a half-Cantonese, half-Teochew Singaporean woman who was raised in Shanghai but attended an international high school; my childhood classmates named me the “Nanyang Girl” – too foreign for some, too Asian for others. For as long as I can remember, the only constant way to describe me has been through my relationship with the liminal “other.”
Throughout my university years in the U.S., interactions with people from clearer roots have made me keenly aware of this ambiguous status. When asked about my personal upbringing, I find myself filtering my experiences to appear more comprehensible. Although this conscious screening often makes me feel isolated, it enables me to empathize with representations of “otherness” in the stories of fringe communities that I encounter in my studies. When I first started research and writing, however, I was not conscious that my topics concerned manifestations of Sinitic displacement. Across my East Asian studies and Public Policy majors, my intellectual interests continually returned to Sinitic-region affairs. What drew me to these issues was the desire to better understand the Sinophone languages, cultures, and identities subjected to transnational flows. I now realize that my personal migratory experiences give me a nuanced, but inextricable, perspective on the multiple meanings of diasporic sojourn vis-à-vis Chinese roots. To date, my essays published in student journals have addressed America’s Chinatown immigrants, Asian American feminism, national identity politics in Taiwanese literature, and others. My own sense of displacement inspires these disparate interdisciplinary interests, focusing my attention on communities similarly marked by transnational influences.
“Queer Reflections and Recursion in Comrade Bildungsroman,” in Ghost Protocol: Development and Displacement in Global China. Edited by Carlos Rojas and Ralph Litzinger. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, (2016). [Duke University Press catalogue]
- Won Honorable Mention for the 2015 Joseph Fletcher Memorial Award.
“Tongzhi Tales: Male Subjectivities in Online Comrade Literature from Mainland China,” Dukespace Publications (Apr 2013).
- Received Distinction with Highest Honors in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese).
- Won 2013 Lowell Aptman Award for Excellence in Honors Thesis Research, Duke University.
- Cited by Fran Martin in Chapter 23 "Queer Pop Culture in the Sinophone Mediaphere" of the Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture (2016)
“Chinese Comrade Literature, Queer Political Reality and the Tongzhi Movement in the People’s Republic of China,” Dukespace Publications (Dec 2012).
- Received Distinction with Highest Honors in Public Policy Studies (International Policy).
“Gender Relations in Chinese Comrade Literature: Redefining Heterosexual and Homosexual Identity as Essentially the Same yet Radically Different,” DukeSpace Publications and Repository for the Scholarly Output of the Duke Research Community, (Spring 2012).
- Won 2012 Robert F. Durden Prize for Excellence in Research, Duke University.
[Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles]
"The Circulation of Ghostly Women and Li Yongping's Affective Sinophone Malaysian Identity," South East Asian Research (SEAR), Vol. 25, Iss. 2, (June 2017, First Published Online April 24, 2017), 1-17. ISSN: 2166-0832. [PDF]
"Kuo Pao Kun’s Zheng He Legend and Multicultural Encounters in Singapore," Southeast Asian Studies (SEAS), Vol. 5, No 2, (August 2016). ISSN: 2186-7275. [PDF]
"Japan’s Civil Society from Kobe to Tohoku: Impact of Policy Changes on Government-NGO Relationship and Effectiveness of Post-Disaster Relief," electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies (ejcjs), Vol. 15, Iss. 1, (Spring 2015). [PDF]
“Eileen Chang’s Feminine Chinese Modernity: Dysfunctional Marriages, Hysterical Women, and the Primordial Eugenic Threat,” Quarterly Journal of Chinese Studies, Vol. 2, No. 3, (March 2014), 13-34. ISSN: 2224-2716. Available in Journal PDF and at the Harvard DASH Repository. [PDF]
“The Subaltern Voice in Dream of Ding Village: Speaking to the Myth of Consanguinity through China’s Blood Crisis,” Duke East Asia Nexus (DEAN): Journal of East Asian Affairs, (Fall 2013), 35-44. [PDF]
“Military Tongzhi Fiction from Mainland China: Homosocial(ist) Soldiers in the Chinese Army,” Princeton Journal of East Asian Studies (PJEAS), (Fall 2013), 25-48. [PDF]
“Defining (Chinese) Americanness: Ethnic and Racial Identity in Maxine Hong Kingston’s Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book,” China Hands Journal, (Dec 2013). [PDF]
“The Need for Asian American Feminism,” Visions and Revisions: New Scholars and New Interpretations, (Fall 2013), Edinboro University of Pennsylvania: 26-39. [PDF]
“Gender, Sexuality, and Cosplay: A Case Study of Male-to-Female Crossplay,” The Phoenix Papers: First Edition, (Apr 2013), 89-110. ISSN: 2325-2316. [PDF]
“Calling All ‘Dragon Ladies,’ ‘China Dolls,’ and ‘Lotus Blossoms,’” Unzipped: Duke’s Journal of Gender and Sexuality, Vol. 3, Issue 1, (Spring 2013), 15-26. [PDF]
“Memories of Chinatown: Manhattan’s Ethnic Enclave,” Yellow Pages: Duke’s Journal of Asian American Studies, (2012), 11-12. [PDF]
“Taiwanese Queer Literature: The Development of National Identity Politics,” Duke East Asia Nexus (DEAN): Journal of East Asian Affairs, (2012), 27-37. [PDF]
“Taiwanese Queer Identity Politics in the Literary Realm: Interpreting Fictions of Homosexuality in Crystal Boys and Notes of a Desolate Man,” Unzipped: Duke’s Journal of Gender and Sexuality, Vol. 2, Issue 1, (Spring 2012), 65-72. [PDF]
“David Foster Wallace’s Postmodern Method in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men,” Eruditio: Duke University’s Humanities Journal, Vol. 31, (Fall 2011), 54-61. [PDF]
"The Impacts of Cultural Eutrophication on Lakes: A Review of Damages and Nutrient Controls." Deliberations, Vol. 11, (Fall 2010), 33-39. [PDF]
Writer for Life in Tokyo website to support foreigners living in Tokyo, Japan. Operated by the Tokyo International Communication Committee (TICC) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG).
「Life in Tokyo」は、東京都と東京都国際交流委員会が運営している外国人の東京生活をサポートするためのウェブサイト。
"Find Vintage Treasures at Antique Markets in the Suburbs of Tokyo! " 02.25.2019.
"Interview with the Ambassador of Ukraine to Seoul: H.E. Vasyl Marmazov." Global Politics Review Vol. 2, Issue 1, (Spring 2016), forthcoming. ISSN 2464-9929. [PDF]
"The Theatre and U.S.-China Relations: An Interview with Claire Conceison." China Focus. August 13, 2015. [as PDF]
As Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Asia Quarterly 16.3
“Interview with Ara Wilson: On Queer Political Economy in Thailand and Transnational Feminism in Southeast Asia.” Harvard Asia Quarterly 16.3, (April 2015), 6-9. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Asia Center. [Available on Academia.edu.]
“Interview with Svati Shah: political economy of sexuality, migration, and urbanization in India.” Harvard Asia Quarterly 16.3, (April 2015), 71-74. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Asia Center. [Available on Academia.edu]
"The Future of the Chinese Script - Review of Beyond Sinology: Chinese Writing and the Scripts of Culture by Andrea Bachner." China Hands Vol. 4, Issue I, (Fall 2015), 47. Yale University. [as PDF]
[Quoted in Academic Works]
- Quoted by Philip Carrigan in "Women! Rock the Boat and Get Promoted," Pharma Japan (Sept 22, 2017). [Web Column] || [Journal PDF]
- Quoted by Fran Martin in "Queer Pop Culture in the Sinophone Mediasphere," Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture (2017). Edited by Koichi Iwabuchi, Eva Tsai, and Chris Berry. Oxon, OX and New York, NY: Routledge. [Routledge Website]
“Interview de Rachel Leng: la «littérature des camarades», reflet de leur quotidien?” Interviewed for opinion on Online Comrade Literature as reflection of Chinese LGBT community for the project, LA « LITTÉRATURE DES CAMARADES » EN CHINE: REFLET DE LA CONDITION HOMOSEXUELLE? at Université Paul-Valéry – Montpellier III. May 15, 2017 in Montpellier, France
- Foreword: Dans le cadre de ses recherches, le signataire a eu la possibilité d’échanger avec l’auteur de la thèse “Tongzhi Tales in Mainland China: Chinese Gay Male Subjectivities in Online Comrade Literature,” à savoir Rachel Leng. Diplômée à la fois de l’Université d’Harvard et de Duke, elle a généreusement accepté de répondre à quelques questions. Qu’elle en soit dûment remerciée pour cela.