Professor Wu’s research concerns the literary and intellectual history of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century China, particularly classical poetry written in a modern context. An examination of the works and activities of previously neglected poets who maintained their commitment to traditional aesthetic ideals, her first book Modern Archaics: Continuity and Innovation in the Chinese Lyric Tradition 1900-1937 (Harvard University Asia Center Press, 2013), illuminates the splendor of Chinese lyricism and highlights the mutually transformative power of the modern and the archaic. Complementing her passion for poetry (from the classical to the contemporary), her scholarly interests also include the relationship between image and text, questions of gender, and the issue of emotion. She is working on her second book project, which is tentatively titled “Emotion in Transit: Text and Image in Modern China.” Prior to joining the faculty of HKUST, Wu was an associate professor at Wesleyan University, where she taught for eight years. She was the receipt of an An Wang postdoctoral fellowship from the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, a Junior Scholar Grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.
Modern Chinese literature, the history of photography, image/text, and studies of emotion.
“1900, Summer and Fall: Fallen Leaves, Grieving Cicadas, and Poetic Mourning after the Boxer Rebellion”; “1909, November 13: A Classical Poetry Society through Revolutionary Times.” In David Der-wei Wang, ed. A New Literary History of Modern China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017), 167-172; 225-231.
“A Paper Mirror: Autobiographical Moments in Modern Chinese Poetry”, Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture, 3.2 (2016), 312-334.
“Chongceng de ziwo yingxiang: Shuqing chuantong yu xiandai meiji 重層的自我影像：抒情傳統與現代媒介,” Bulletin of the Department of Chinese Literature National Chengchi University 政大中文學報, No. 26 (Dec., 2016), 31-73.
“Ba canghai sangtian zuo yanying: Lu Bicheng haiwai ci zhong de qingyu kongjian he wenhua fanyi 把滄海桑田作艷吟：呂碧城海外詞中的情欲空間和文化翻譯,” Journal of Modern Chinese Studies 現代中文學刊，No.6 (Dec., 2016), 23-39.
“Xiangsi zhi ying: Qingmo Minchu zhaoxiang wenhua zhong de qinggai ditu相思之影：清末民初照相文化中的情感地圖”，in 旅行的圖像與文本：現代華語語境中的媒介互動 (Traveling Image and Text in Modern China) (Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2016), 127-158.
“Classical Poetry, Photography, and the Social Life of Emotions in 1910s China,” in Grace S. Fong ed., Paul Hsiang Lecture Series on Chinese Poetry, vol. 7 (2015), 1-42.
“亡國人·採珠者·有情的共同體：民初上海遺民詩社研究Poetry Societies in Early Republican Shanghai,” Zhongguo xiandai wenxue yanjiu congkan 中國現代文學研究叢刊 (no. 4, 2013): 46-61. Journal’s excellent paper award for 2013.
“Gendering the Nation: The Proliferation of Images of Zhen Fei (1876-1900) and Sai Jinhua (1872-1936) in Late Qing and Republican China," published in Nan nü: Men, Women, and Gender in China (vol.11, no.1, Spring, 2009): 1-64.
“‘Old Learning’ and the Re-Feminization of Modern Space in the Lyric Poetry of Lü Bicheng (1883-1943),” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 16, no. 2 (Fall 2004): 1-75.
Co-editor (with Ko Chia Cian), the special issue on “the Twentieth-century Chinese Classical-style Poetry and Culture 二十世紀的舊體詩詞與文化”， Modern Chinese Literature 中國現代文學，No. 31 (Spring, 2017).
Editor, 旅行的圖像與文本：現代華語語境中的媒介互動 (Traveling Image and Text in Modern China) (Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2016).
Co-editor (with Ko Chia Cian), 抒情傳統與維新時代：辛亥前後的文人、文學、文化 (Lyricism and the Reformist Era) (Shanghai: Shanghai Literature and Arts Publishing House, 2012).
Guest co-editor (with Mingwei Song) of the special issue, “‘The Obscure Decade:’ The Literary Imagination in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the PRC, 1949-1959五十年代的文學想像與政治文化：香港、台灣、中國大陸,” Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese 現代中文文學學報 (vol. 9.2, July, 2009) (bilingual).