This article attempts to conceptualize and encourage an already extant conceptual turn right now taking place in China studies: a turn toward poetry composition, in which transcultural critical scholars also compose their own original poetry. The reason for the phenomenon, the article argues, is the interimperial position of China scholars in English, forced to study texts from one imperial culture in the contexts of another. The article reads poems by Ni Zhange, Wang Pu, and Yang Xiaobin, among others, by using Laura Doyle's theorization of interimperiality as an often-gendered form of labor through which subjects negotiate the “everyday ethical challenge” of survival under multiple imperial structures. The construction and positioning of transimperial subjects in the creative work of China scholars resists forms of imperial power that serve to marginalize, erase, and invalidate the cross-cultural, experiential knowledge at the heart of China studies. By making scholarly betweenness legible and visible, the work of scholar-poets takes steps toward an interimperial style in both poetry and criticism, a meeting place in language that can accept in migration from many directions and build solidarity among diverse thinkers united by the needs of survival under empire.

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