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Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Our People

Tan Ye

Title: Professor of Comparative Literature and Chinese (Emeritus)
Confucius Institute Director
Department: Languages, Literatures and Cultures
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: J. Welsh Humanities Bldg, 607
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Dr. Tan Ye studied Shakespeare under Northrop Frye at University of Toronto and Film History at NYU Cinema Studies. He received Ph.D. in Comparative Theater from Washington University in 1990.

 Having taught at Washington University and Vassar College, Dr. Ye joined USC in 1992.

His publications include the books, Common Dramatic Codes (1997), Theory and Practice of Screenwriting in China and America (2008), Historical Dictionary of Chinese Theater (2009), The A to Z of Chinese Theater (2011), and Historical Dictionary of Chinese Film (2012). He has written extensively essays and book chapters on Chinese cinema theater, and culture, including “Film: China,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World and “Hollywood and the Chinese Other” in Film Quarterly. 

The schools that have invited Dr. Ye to lecture include Beijing Film Academy, Tsinghua University, Peking University, National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, Shanghai Drama Academy, Beijing Normal University (as a “985 Scholar”), Shanghai Jiaotong University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Sun Yat-sen University, Shandong University, Ji’nan University, Yale University, Harvard University, Harverford College, National Taiwan University, National Taiwan Normal University, and Ming Chuan University.

Dr. Ye has served on organizing committees for many international conferences on Chinese cinema and Chinese film festivals, among which, the most recent ones include “Chinese Films in the US since 1979” (2010, conference chair), “Documenting China” (2011, conference chair), “Chinese Women Filmmakers” (2012, conference chair), “Teaching Chinese Language and Cultures Through Films” (2013, conference chair), “Ang Lee and His Arts” (organizer and chair of three panels at the 55th American Association for Chinese Studies, Rutgers, NJ).

In 2009, he played the key role in the establishment of the Chinese Film Collection at the USC, which is the largest collection of Chinese films outside China.

As art consultant, screenplay consultant, translator, or assistant director, Dr. Ye was evolved in the making of nine Chinese feature and documentary films.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.