Prof. Xu's research and teaching interests include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, film and media studies, transnational modernisms, Asian American literature, theories of world literature and translation, aesthetics, and critical theory. For his work on global disability studies, he received the Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies (Honorable Mention) in 2020. He is working on two book projects, namely, Broken Bodies as Agents: Disability Aesthetics and Politics in Modern Chinese Culture and Literature; The Event of Chinese Literature: On the Politics of World literature. He has published peer-reviewed articles on such topics as the politics of world literature, translation, transnational discourses of humanism, global queer cinema, and eco-criticism in Chinese and global contexts. He teaches a regular graduate seminar: CHIN 263: World Literature and Modern China. His public-facing work has appeared in the University of California Television and BBC.