Peiyu Yang

Peiyu Yang

Peiyu Yang

Assistant Professor

Arabic: Modern Arabic literature; Nahda studies; translation studies; gender studies; Arabic-Chinese comparative literary and cultural studies

Peiyu Yang received her PhD from the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University in 2019, with a concentration in Modern Arabic Literature. Her current project relates to issues of transnational cultural influence and textual exchange, with a particular focus on Nahdawi translation practices. Her research brings together literature, journalism, visual culture, and political theory, and focuses on South-South relations, especially between Nahdawi society and China in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Prior to her appointment at George Mason University, she taught at the College of William and Mary for two years as a lecturer. At George Mason University, she teaches Arabic language courses and topic courses on various aspects of Middle Eastern and East Asian culture. 

Her article “Ghadat al-Sin: The Literary Trace of Arab-China Relations in the Nahda” was published by The Journal of Middle Eastern Literature in 2020; she has also written book reviews published in The Journal of Arabic Literature and Banipel: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature. Her monograph Triangular Translation: Gender, Politics, and the Making of the Postcolonial World between China, Europe, and the Middle East, 1880-1940 ​​offers the first full-lentgh study exploring how intellectuals during the Nahda (the period known as the Arab cultural renaissance) turned their attention to Chinese culture and its own anti-colonial struggle, constitutional revolution, and women’s rights. The book also proposes what Dr. Yang calls “triangular translation”: Arabic translations of European texts studying or translated from other colonized cultures. The book is forthcoming from Legena Press’s “Transcript” book series.

Current Research

Nahdawi literary texts dealing with China

Triangular Translation

Silk: The Poetics of a Textile

Selected Publications

Triangular Translation: Gender, Politics, and the Making of the Postcolonial World between China, Europe, and the Middle East, 1880-1940, Legenda Press’s "Transcript" book series, forthcoming

"Ghadat al-Sin: The Literary Trace of Arab-China Relations in the Nahda." Middle Eastern Literatures, vol. 22, no.2-3, 2021, pp. 65-82.


Ph.D., Islamic Studies (2019) McGill University. Dir. Michelle Hartman.

M.A., Arabic Studies (2013) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Certificate of Arabic Program (2010), Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt.

B.A., Arabic Language and Literature (2011), Shanghai International Studies University.

Recent Presentations

"An Imaginary Mirror Masculity and Otherness in Amin Zāwi’s Al-malikaa" (2021). MESA 2021 Annual Meeting. Montreal. 

“Silk: The Poetics of a Textile” (2021). ACLA Annual Meeting. 

“Ghadat al-Sin: Forgotten Ghadats during the Nahda Literary Scene” (2021). Arabic Literature Studies Association of China 2020 Annual Meeting. Peking University, Beijing.

Nahdat al-Sin: Translating Chinese Constitutional Revolution in Arabic Literary Journals” (2020). MESA 2020 Annual Meeting. 

Za’ir al-Sin: Translating a Chinese Anti-colonial Struggle for a Nahdawi Context” (2019). MESA 2019 Annual Meeting. New Orleans.

“Mapping the Evolution of Nahdawi Literary Production about China” (2019). The Cultural Turn in Arabic Literary Production: A Conference in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Journal of Arabic Literature. Columbia University, New York.

Ghadat al-Sin: ‘Triangular Translation’ in Nineteenth-Century Arabic Novels about China” (2019). ACLA Annual Meeting. Georgetown University, Washington DC.

“From Monster to ‘Comparable to Queen Victoria’: Triangular Translation in the Biography of the Empress Dowager Cixi” (2018). San Antonio.