Jih-Fei Cheng

Assistant Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Department: FGSS
Office Address: Vita Nova 116 (enter through Vita Nova 115 foyer)
Personal Website:
Jih-Fei Cheng

Academic History

  • Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity, with emphasis in Visual Studies, University of Southern California
  • M.A. in Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • B.A. in Communication with minors in Chinese Studies and General/World Literatures, University of California, San Diego

Areas of Expertise

Jih-Fei Cheng’s research examines the intersections between science, media, surveillance, and social movements. His first book project, tentatively titled "Queer Code: AIDS and Reproductive Labor in the Time of Virology," examines the science, media, and politics of late twentieth and early twentieth-first century AIDS activism in relation to the colonial history of virology. He is also at work on a second project that engages how the colonial histories of virology and genetics have structured global industries, white supremacy across the Atlantic and the Americas, and Han Chinese ethnosupremacy across Asia Pacific.

Selected Research and Publications

Journal Articles

  • Cheng, Jih-Fei (2019) “AIDS, Black Feminisms, and the Institutionalization of Queer Politics.” GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, Vol 25, No 1: 169-177.
  • Cheng, Jih-Fei (2016) "AIDS and Its Afterlives in Popular Media." Women's Studies Quarterly, Vol 44, No 1 & 2: 73-92.
  • Cheng, Jih-Fei (2015) "El tabaco se ha mulato: Globalizing Race, Viruses, and Scientific Observation in the Late Nineteenth Century." Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, Vol 1, No 1:
  • Cheng, Jih-Fei (2006) "HIV, Immigrant Rights, and Same-Sex Marriage." Amerasia Journal, Vol 30, No 1: 99-108.
  • Yoshikawa, H., Wilson, P. A., Chae, D., Cheng, J. (2004) "Do Family and Friendship Networks Protect Against the Influence of Discrimination on Mental Health and HIV Risk among Asian and Pacific Islander Gay Men?" AIDS Education and Prevention: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol 16, No 1: 84-100.


Volume Contributions

Roundtable Discussions

Art Exhibitions & Reviews

  • Chen, Mel Y. and Jih-Fei Cheng (2020) “A (Post-)Apocalyptic Call to Knowledge and Action.” Candice Lin, A Hard White Body, eds. Lotte Arndt and Yesomi Umolu. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Cheng, Jih-Fei and Candice Lin (2018) “Correspondence Between Candice Lin and Jih-Fei Cheng.” On Violence, eds. Sharon Kivland and Rebecca Jagoe. Berlin: MA BIBLIOTHÈQUE.
  • Cheng, Jih-Fei (2017) “'El tabaco se ha mulato’: Colonial Race and Virus Discovery in the Late Nineteenth-Century.” Candice Lin: A Hard White Body/Un corp blanc exquis (English and French translations), eds. Lotte Arndt and Lucas Morin. Bétonsalon: Center for Art and Research, December 23.

Book Reviews

  • Cheng, Jih-Fei (2019) Review of Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic by Richard A. McKay. The Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol 28, No 2: 311-313.
  • Cheng, Jih-Fei (2015) Review of Love and Money: Queers, Class, and Cultural Production, by Lisa Henderson Class. Feminist Media Studies, Vol 15, No 3: 541-543.
  • Cheng, Jih-Fei (2007) Review of Queer Migrations: Sexuality, U.S. Citizenship, and Border Crossings, eds. Eithne Luibhéid and Lionel Cantú Jr. Amerasia Journal, Vol 33, No 3: 154-156.
  • Cheng, Jih-Fei (2005) Review of Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America, eds. Quang Bao and Hanya Yanagihara. Amerasia Journal, Vol 30, No 3: 118118-120.

Digital Commons

Awards and Honors

  • Professional Development Networks Grant at The Claremont Colleges, 2019-2020
  • Diversity Teaching Award Nominee, The Claremont Colleges, 2018
  • EnviroLab Asia Research and Conference Award, The Claremont Colleges, 2017-2018
  • Lavender Graduation Award for providing safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQIA students, Queer Resource Center, The Claremont Colleges, 2016
  • Professional Development Networks Grant at The Claremont Colleges, 2016-2017
  • Research Fellow, Summer Institute for the Center for Historic American Visual Culture at the American Antiquarian Society, 2014
  • Visual Studies Summer Research Award, USC Visual Studies Graduate Institute, 2014
  • New Directions Fellow, USC Center for Feminist Research, 2011-2012
  • Tritia Toyota Fellowship, 2001-2002


Jih-Fei Cheng previously worked in HIV/AIDS social services, managed a university cultural center, has been involved in arts and media production and curation, and has participated as a board or steering committee member for various queer of color grassroots and community-based organizations in Los Angeles and New York City. His organizing work has addressed the issues of queer and transgender health, immigration, gentrification and youth homelessness, police harassment and brutality, and prison abolition. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at the HIV League ( From 2010-2013, Jih-Fei served as the managing editor for American Quarterly, the official publication for the American Studies Association. He has taught courses at the University of California, Los Angeles and Hunter College.

Office Locator