Lisa Xu

Teaching Fellow in Chinese and Translation Studies

  • Chinese and Translation Studies
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
  • The University of Edinburgh

Contact details



4.06, 40 George Square

Newington, Edinburgh
Post code


  • Office Hours:
    Monday 15:00-15:30 (Translation Studies)/15:30-16:00 (Chinese Studies)


Lisha Xu is currently a Teaching Fellow in Chinese and Translation Studies at the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures at The University of Edinburgh. She recently obtained her Ph.D. in Translation from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her research interests are in theatre translation and literary translation in general, especially translating xiqu for the Anglophone stage and the study of Chinese translators of the early 20th-century diaspora. She has been invited by editors to contribute book chapters to academic essay collections to be published by Routledge and by Hodder & Stoughton (Hachette). She has been commissioned to edit a special issue of JoSTrans on theatre translation, to be published in 2024-25, and is currently preparing a research monograph on the topic of xiqu translation.


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October 2017 – January 2021

PhD in Translation Studies

Centre for Translation and Interpreting, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom


September 2014 – July 2017

MA in Translation Theory and Practice:

School of Foreign Studies, Minzu University of China, Beijing, China


August 2015 – May 2016

Exchange Programme in Creative Writing:

College of Arts and Sciences, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL, United States


September 2010 – July 2014

BA in English Language and Literature

School of Foreign Studies, Minzu University of China, Beijing, China


Responsibilities & affiliations

Teaching Fellow (UE07) in Chinese Studies and Translation Studies

Undergraduate teaching

Foundation English-Chinese Translation

Postgraduate teaching


Portfolio of Written Translation Exercises in Chinese

Research in Translation Studies

Translating the Sacred: Concepts, Texts and Transmission of Religions

Translation Studies 1/2

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

I am interested in investigating wider issues related to literature translation, translation for performance (xiqu translation) and the specific presence of Chinese translators in post-colonial literature.

Current research interests

Theatre Translation: Translation and Representation on the Contemporary Stage; Translating Classical Chinese Culture: Translation and Culture Anxiety - translation of Classical Chinese Operas for new audiences; Diaspora translators; Translation and Advocacy

Past research interests

My PhD research looks at how Peking Opera, one of the most widely-staged forms of Classical Chinese Opera in China today, might be translated for performance in the English-speaking world. In this regard, my thesis analyses Lady Precious Stream, the first English-language production of Peking Opera on the London stage (1934) by a Chinese translator (S.I. Hsiung), which serves as an extended case study in this regard. Through the case study, I analyse Hsiung’s strategies for negotiating the formal and narrative codes that bind Peking Opera performance into its characteristically unified harmonious aesthetic. In other words, translation for performance is considered in my research as a form of writing that both recognizes the demands of spectatorship, as well as the rights and interests of the original.