Dr Xin Peng is an Assistant Professor in Film and Screen Studies. She works primarily on early- to mid-20th century American film history, media technologies (especially telecommunications), and racialised labour. She’s published on talkies and early Asian American movie stars Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa; early Technicolor and Hollywood Orientalism; 1930s Busby Berkeley musical and racial capitalism; film historiography in relation to newsreel outtakes and lost silent film; and the “first” Chinese film actress, Yan Shanshan. She is now writing a book-length media history of San Francisco’s Chinatown telephone exchange (c. 1894-1949) and its operators.

She has served as the book reviews editor of Early Popular Visual Culture, managing editor for Feminist Media Histories, and assistant editor for the Journal of Chinese Cinemas. She received her PhD from the University of Washington in Seattle, having previously studied for an MA at the University of Chicago and BA at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Selected published works

“Outtakes and Lost Film: The Fragmentary Encounter Between ‘Newsreel’ Wong and the ‘Chinese Colleen Moore.’” Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 63, no. 3 (Winter 2024): 170-176. https://doi.org/10.1353/cj.2024.a927693

“That Expensive Oriental Flesh: The Racial Form of a New Deal Musical.” The Velvet Light Trap, no. 93 (Spring 2024): 40-51. https://doi.org/10.7560/VLT9305

“Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa: Racial Performance, Ornamentalism, and Yellow Voices in Daughter of the Dragon (1931).” Camera Obscura 37, no. 2 (2022): 1-29. https://doi.org/10.1215/02705346-9786986

“Colour-as-Hue and Colour-as-Race: Early Technicolor, Ornamentalism and The Toll of the Sea (1922).” Screen 62, no.3 (Autumn 2021): 287-308. https://doi.org/10.1093/screen/hjab041

“Yan Shanshan.” In Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds. Women Film Pioneers Project. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2020. https://doi.org/10.7916/d8-sb7c-ww77

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