Research interests: premodern Chinese literature; lyric poetry; comparative poetics; Chinese drama of the 16th and 17th centuries
Stephen Owen is a sinologist specializing in premodern literature, lyric poetry, and comparative poetics. Much of his work has focused on the middle period of Chinese literature (200-1200), however, he has also written on literature of the early period and the Qing. Owen has written or edited dozens of books, articles, and anthologies in the field of Chinese literature, especially Chinese poetry, including An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911 (Norton, 1996); The Making of Early Chinese Classical Poetry (Harvard Asia Center, 2006); and The Late Tang: Chinese Poetry of the Mid-Ninth Century (827-860) (Harvard Asia Center, 2006). Owen has completed the translation of the complete poetry of Du Fu, which was published as the inaugural volumes of the Library of Chinese Humanities series, featuring Chinese literature in translation. Owen earned a B.A. (1968) and a Ph.D. (1972) in Chinese Language from Yale University. He taught there from 1972 to 1982, before coming to Harvard. In acknowledgment of his groundbreaking work that crosses the boundaries of multiple disciplines, Owen was awarded the James Bryant Conant University Professorship in 1997. He has been a Fulbright Scholar, held a Guggenheim Fellowship, and received a Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award (2006) among many other awards and honors.