• Ph.D. Candidate, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Years of Affiliation: 2016-2018

Lu Kou is a Ph.D. candidate in Chinese literature finishing his dissertation entitled “Courtly Exchange and the Rhetoric of Legitimacy in Early Medieval China.” This project examines inter-court communication during the period of division (also known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties) and in particular literary writings produced at the moments of contact and negotiation between competing court centers, including diplomatic visit, gift exchange, and epistolary communication. It explores the power of rhetoric in establishing state legitimacy, defining and assimilating the “foreign,” fashioning cultural and political identities, and constructing the image of “empire” justified to reunite the North and South.

Research Interests: Medieval Chinese literature, Court culture in medieval China and European Middle Ages, Medieval historiography, Late imperial Chinese literature

From our Blog: 

opens in a new windowWar of Words: Diplomacy and Rhetoric in Early Medieval China
Lu Kou describes how sixth-century diplomats were expected to be apt at verbal confrontation and witty rebuttals to achieve their diplomatic missions.

opens in a new windowImprovising Poetry in China’s Medieval Court
Graduate Student Associate, Lu Kou, examines poetic improvisation on an assigned topic in the Chen dynasty court.



Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies