Professor of Chinese Literature
Xiaofei Tian (田晓菲) is Professor of Chinese Literature and Chair of the Regional Studies East Asia program. Her primary field of research is the Middle Period Chinese literature and culture, although she has also taught and published on Chinese literature from the late imperial and modern periods. She is the author of Tao Yuanming and Manuscript Culture: The Record of a Dusty Table (named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2006), BeaconFire and Shooting Star: The Literary Culture of the Liang (502-557), Visionary Journeys: Travel Writings from Early Medieval and Nineteenth-century China, and The Halberd at Red Cliff: Jian’an and the Three Kingdoms. Her translation of a late nineteenth-century memoir, The World of a Tiny Insect: A Memoir of the Taiping Rebellion and Its Aftermath, was awarded the inaugural Patrick D. Hanan Prize by Association for Asian Studies in 2016. She is the co-editor and contributing author of TheOxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000BCE-900CE) and of A New Literary History of Modern China, and the editor of Reading Du Fu (712-770): Nine Views (currently under review). Currently she is working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Writing Empire, Writing Self: Cultural Transformations in Early Medieval China, as well as a project on Tang tales. Her teaching and research interests include manuscript culture, court culture, premodern Chinese travel writings, the Cultural Revolution period (1966-1976), as well as the writings of violence and trauma.
Books and Monographs
- The Halberd at Red Cliff: Jian’an and the Three Kingdoms. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2018. Chinese edition: 赤壁之戟: 建安與三國. Beijing: SDX Joint Publishing (Sanlian shudian), 2022.
- Visionary Journeys: Travel Writings from Early Medieval and Nineteenth-century China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2011. Chinese edition: 神遊: 早期中古時代與十九世紀中國的行旅寫作. Beijing: SDX Joint Publishing (Sanlian shudian), 2015; rpt., 2022.
- Beacon Fire and Shooting Star: The Literary Culture of the Liang (502–557). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2007.
- Tao Yuanming (365?–427) and Manuscript Culture: The Record of a Dusty Table. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2005.
- Translated, with critical introduction and notes, Family Instructions for the Yan Clan and Other Works by Yan Zhitui (531–590s). Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021. xliii, 585 pp.
- Translated, with introduction and notes, The World of a Tiny Insect: A Memoir of the Taiping Rebellion and Its Aftermath by Zhang Daye. Translated with notes and a critical introduction. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014.
- Co-edited, with Christopher M.B. Nugent and Sarah M. Allen, The Poetry of Li He (790–816), trans. Robert Ashmore. Forthcoming from De Gruyter.
- Co-edited with Sarah M. Allen and Jack W. Chen. Reading Text and World: Literary History in and beyond China. Forthcoming from Harvard Asia Center Press.
- Edited, with introduction, Reading Du Fu: Nine Views. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2020.
- Edited, The Poetry of Ruan Ji, trans. Stephen Owen, in The Poetry of Ruan Ji and Xi Kang. The Library of Chinese Humanities Series. Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017: 1–251.
- Co-edited with Wiebke Denecke and Wai-yee Li, The Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE-900 CE). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
- Co-edited, as a member of the Editorial Board, A New Literary History of Modern China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017.
- 影子與水文: 秋水堂自選集(Shadow and Ripples: Selected Articles by Qiushuitang). Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe, 2020.
- 七發 (Seven Stimuli). Nanjing: Yilin chubanshe, 2019.
- 留白: 秋水堂論中西文學 (Blank: Essays on Literature and Culture). Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 2009; 2014 rpt. o New edition, with a new Afterword, published as Blank: Essays on Literature and Culture 留白: 秋水堂文化隨筆 by Lixiangguo, 2019.
- 赭城 (Red Fort: A Literary Travelogue of Andalusia). Nanjing: Jiangsu renmin chubanshe, 2006. o New edition published by Lixiangguo, 2019.
- “薩福”: 一個歐美文學傳統的生成 (“Sappho”: The Making of a European and American Literary Tradition). Beijing: Joint Publishing, 2004; rpt. 2019.
- 秋水堂論金瓶梅 [On The Plum in the Golden Vase]. Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 2003, 2005 (revised edition), 2014 rpt.
Recent Articles and Chapters
- “Empire’s Blue Highways: Li Daoyuan’s Commentary on the River Classic.” Asia Major (June 2022).
- “Medieval Literary Anthologies.” In Literary Information in China: A History, ed. Jack W. Chen et al. New York: Columbia University Press, 2021: 215–23.
- “Migration, Identity, and Colonial Fantasies in a Fifth-century Story Collection.” Journal of Asian Studies 80.1 (February 2021): 113–27.
- Co-authored with Wen-Yi Huang, Introduction to the Forum on Migration in Early Medieval China, in Journal of Asian Studies, 80.1 (February 2021): 95– 97.
- “The Cultural Politics of Old Things in Mid-Tang China.” Journal of American Oriental Studies 140.2 (2020): 45–71.
- “Tao Yuanming’s Poetics of Awkwardness.” In A Companion to World Literature, Volume 1: Third Millennium BCE to 600 CE. John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2020: 529–40.
- “Chinese Travel Writing.” In The Cambridge History of Travel Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019: 175–90.
- “Each Has Its Own Moment: Nie Gannu and Modern Chinese Poetry.” Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. 12.3 (2018): 485–525.
- “A Chinese Fan in Sri Lanka and the Transport of Writing.” In Territories and Trajectories: Cultures in Circulation. Durham: Duke University Press, 2018: 68–87.
- “Yu Xin’s ‘Memory Place’: Writing Trauma and Violence in Early Medieval Chinese Aulic Poetry.” In Memory in Medieval Chinese Text, Ritual, and Community. Leiden: Brill, 2018: 124–57.
- “Castrating for the People: The Politics of Revision and the Structure of Violence in Hao Ran’s Short Stories.” In The Making and Remaking of China’s Red Classics: Politics, Aesthetics and Mass Culture. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2017: 93–111.
- “Two Chinese Poets Are Homeless at Home.” In A New Literary History of Modern China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017: 91–96.
- “Mao Zedong Publishes Nineteen Poems and Launches the New Folk Song Movement.” In A New Literary History of Modern China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017: 625–30.
- Co-authored, “Chinese Verse Going Viral: ‘Removing the Shackles of Poetry.’” In A New Literary History of Modern China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017: 895–900.
- “Literary Learning: Encyclopedias and Epitomes,” and “Collections (Ji),” in Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE–900 CE). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017: 132–46, 219–234.
- “Woman in the Tower: ‘Nineteen Old Poems’ and the Poetics of Tian CV 4 Un/concealment.” In The Rhetoric of Hiddenness in Traditional Chinese Culture. Albany: SUNY Press, 2016: 79–97.
- “Remaking History: The Shu and Wu Perspectives in the Three Kingdoms Period.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 136.4 (2016): 705–31.
- “Representing Kingship and Imagining Empire in Southern Dynasties Court Poetry.” T’oung Pao 102: 1-3 (2016): 1–56. o Translated by He Weigang and Lei Zhibo as 南朝宮廷詩歌裏的王權 再現與帝國想像. In Zhongguo wenzhe yanjiu tongxun 中國文哲研究通 訊 30.1 (2020): 141–82.
- “Hao Ran and the Cultural Revolution.” In The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures. Oxford University Press, 2016: 356–71.
- “Slashing Three Kingdoms: A Case Study in Fan Production on the Chinese Web.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 27.1 (2015): 224–77.
- “Material and Symbolic Economies: Letters and Gifts in Early Medieval China.” In A History of Chinese Letters and Epistolary Culture. Leiden: Brill, 2015: 135–86.
- “Fan Writing: The Cultural Transactions between North and South from the Third through Sixth Century.” In Southern Identity and Southern Estrangement in Medieval Chinese Poetry. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2015: 43–78.
- “Six Poems from a Liang Dynasty Princely Court,” and “Book Collecting and Cataloguing in the Age of Manuscript Culture: Xiao Yi’s Master of the Golden Tower and Ruan Xiaoxu’s Preface to Seven Records.” In Early Medieval China: A Sourcebook. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014: 256–66, 307–232.
- “Tales from Borderland: Anecdotes in Early Medieval China.” In Idle Talk: Gossip and Anecdote in Traditional China. University of California Press, 2013: 38–54.
- Forthcoming. “幽明之間: 一部公元五世紀志怪故事集中的移民，身分，以及殖民 想像.” In Liu Yuan-ju and Zeb Raft, ed. Yidong: Jiaohui yu wushiji 移動：交 會於五世紀. Taipei: National Taiwan University Press.
- “遠想”: 晉宋之際的回顧詩學及其前後 (“Visualizing What Lies Afar: The Retrospective Poetics of the Early Fifth Century and Its Before and After”). Newsletter of the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy (Academia Sinica) 中國文哲研究通訊 31.2 (2021): 7–31.
- 從經國大業到吃時下飯: 文選,文話,文運 (“An Immortal Splendor and a Pickle Dish: Literary Anthologies, Prose Criticism, and the Fate of Wen”). Tsinghua daxue xuebao 35.6 (2020): 2–9.
- 中唐时期老旧之物的文化政治 (“The Cultural Politics of Old Things in MidTang”). Journal of East China Normal University. 4 (2020): 55–67.
- 芳帙青簡, 綠字柏薰—六朝與初唐的文本與物質文化 (“The Textual World and Tian CV 6 Material Culture of the Six Dynasties and Early Tang”). In Hanxue de shiji: guoji hanxue yanjiu lunwenji 漢學的世界: 國際漢學研究論文集. Beijing: Sanlian, 2019: 378–94.
- 覺悟敘事: 杜甫紀行詩的佛教解讀 (“Enlightenment Narrative: A Buddhist Reading of Du Fu’s [712-770] Travel Poems”). Journal of Shanghai Normal University 上海師範大學學報. 47.1 (January 2018): 106–13.
- 有詩為證: 十九世紀的詩與史 (“Poetry as Evidence: Poetry and History in the Nineteenth Century”). In From Tradition to Modernity: Poetic Transition from 18th to Early 20th Century China 從傳統到現代的中國詩學, ed. TsungCheng Lin and Zhang Bowei. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 2017: 104–31.
- 庾信的記憶宮殿: 中古宮廷詩歌中的創傷與暴力 (“Yu Xin’s Memory Palace: Trauma and Violence in Medieval Courtly Poetry”). Journal of Shanghai University 上海大學學報 34.4 (2017): 52–64.
- 會說話的傷口: 晚清抄本《微蟲世界》中的創傷記憶 (“Wounds through Which to Speak: Memory and Trauma in The World of a Tiny Insect”). Zhonghua wenshi luncong 中華文史論叢 125 (2017.1): 355–80.
- 陶渊明的书架和萧纲的医学眼光：中古的阅读与阅读中古 (“Tao Yuanming’s Book Case and Xiao Gang’s Medical View: Medieval Reading Practice and Reading Medieval Texts”). Guoxue yanjiu 國學研究 37 (2016): 119–44.
- 玉臺新咏與中古文學的歷史主義解讀 (“New Songs of the Jade Terrace and A Historicist Reading of Medieval Chinese Literature”). Huadong shifan daxue xuebao 華東師範大學學報 2 (2016): 10–17.
- “影子與水文: 關於前後赤壁賦與兩幅赤壁圖” (“Shadows and Ripple: On Su Shi’s Poetic Expositions on the Red Cliff and A Pair of Red Cliff Paintings”). In Reading Five Dynasties, Song, and Yuan Paintings and Calligraphy Pieces in Collections across the US 翰墨薈萃: 細讀美國藏中國五代宋元書畫珍品. Beijing: Beijing University Press, 2012: 296–311.
Recent Invited Talks and Lectures
- Keynote address. “On the Edge of Dream: The Doubleness of Dreaming in Tang Poetry.” An International Conference (Hybrid) on Dream and Reality in Tang Poetry. University of Trier and University of Munster, Germany. November 2021.
- Keynote address. “The Road Not Taken: The Tyranny of Canon and an Alternative Literary History” 未行之途: 經典的霸道與另類文學史. An International Conference on Canonization and Transmutation in Chinese Literature 中國文學典 律化流變的反思國際研討會, organized by Hong Kong Shue Yan University and Beijing Normal University. October 23–24, 2021.
- Keynote address, “Empire’s Blue Highways: Li Daoyuan’s Commentary on the River Classic.” University of Colorado Boulder Asian Studies Graduate Association Conference, January 30, 2021.
- Virtual Talk: “Migration and Colonial Fantasies in Youming lu.” University of Pennsylvania, January 21, 2021.
- Virtual Talk: “Twice on a Donkey’s Back: Old-style Poetry, New-style Poetry, Modern Poetry.” Lectures series on “Classicism in Asia.” University of Frankfurt, Germany. January 13, 2021.
- Virtual Talk: “Tao Yuanming Studies, Manuscript Culture, and Other Issues in Overseas Sinology.” University of Macau. October 27, 2020.
- “從經國大業到喫時下飯: 文選, 文話, 文運” and “兩回驢背: 新詩、舊詩、現代詩.” Frontiers of International Scholarship Lecture Series. Zhongguo Renmin University, Beijing. January 10 and January 13, 2020.
- “The Cultural Politics of Old Things in Mid-Tang China.” China Humanities Outstanding Scholars Lecture Series 人文中國傑出學人講座. Hong Kong Baptist University. November 2, 2019.
- “Migration, Identity, and Colonial Fantasies in a Fifth-century Story Collection.” Keynote speech at the workshop on “Movement and Convergence in the Fifth Century” 移動: 交會在五世紀, Academia Sinica, October 31, 2019.
- “‘Each Has Its Moment’: Reflections on Modern Chinese Poetry.” National Taiwan University. October 29, 2019.
- “An Immortal Splendor or A Pickle Dish on the Side: Wenxuan, Wenhua, and the Fate of Wen.” Taibei: Academia Sinica. October 28, 2019.
- “Representing Kingship and Imagining Empire in Southern Dynasties Court Poetry.” Academia Sinica. September 2018.
- “The Life of Things: Medieval Chinese Tales of the Strange.” Mansfield Freeman Lecture at Wesleyan University. October 2017.
- “From Travel Poetry to Narrative of Enlightenment: Du Fu’s Qinzhou-Tonggu Poem Series.” Invited lecture at Nanjing University. June 2017.
- “Castrating Pigs for the People: Violence and Art in the Socialist Revolution.” Delivered to ALI (Advanced Leadership Initiative) Fellows at Harvard University, May 2017.
- “Writing Empire, Writing Self in Early Medieval China.” Swarthmore College, April 2017.
- “Medieval Chinese Tale of the Strange.” Loyola University, April 2017. • “Yu Xin’s ‘Memory Palace’.” Ohio State University. March 2017.
- From Plath to Tao Yuanming_Harvard Gazette Story
- 15-faculty-hot-shots_Harvard Crimson
- Visionary Journeys: Podcast Interview with Tian Xiaofei
- Seven Questions With Xiaofei Tian
- Deconstruction and Imagination: An Interview with 學人Scholar
- Jian’an and Three Kingdoms: Interview in News Weekly
- China Newsweek Interview with Tian Xiaofei