Working on Chinese (classical and modern), German, English and Czech literatures and musicology, my research interests include Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Intellectual History, Theories of Collecting, Literary-Musical Relations, Sino-Czech Cultural Relations, the Phenomenology of Music, the Baroque, the Politics of Aesthetics and especially the problem of kitsch.
My dissertation, entitled Collecting Fragments of History: China’s Cosmopolitan and Materialistic Response to Modernity, investigates the pivotal role of collectors in the transformation of twentieth-century Chinese culture. Focusing on non-canonical and idiosyncratic collections against the grain of established models, I argue that the practice of collecting is a discursive, non-teleological and open-ended way of conceptualizing and organizing the material world. Specifically, the project analyzes how political turbulence in modern China caused unprecedented dispersions of ancient artifacts, which in turn stimulated large-scale collecting practices, involving intense interactions between China and the West and thereby contributing to shaping modern imaginations of cultural history within the broader context of World Literature. This project has awarded a Global Humanities Junior Fellowship within the thematic network 'Principles of Cultural Dynamics' at Freie Universität Berlin, as well as a Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship from Harvard University, in support of my year-long fieldwork in China, Czech Republic and Germany.
Exploring how sound can serve as a site for articulations of emotional occasionalism, I'm also working on a comparative study of Sergiu Celibidache's Über musikalische Phänomenologie and the third century philosopher Ji Kang (嵇康)'s treatise "On the Absence of Emotions in Sound" (声无哀乐论).
I translated Albert Schweitzer’s Johann Sebastian Bach (East China Normal University Press, 2016) and Claire Roberts’ Friendship in Art: Fou Lei and Huang Binhong (Zhong Xi Shu Ju, 2015) into Chinese. I am currently translating David Damrosch's How to Read World Literature into Chinese for Peking University Press.
Previously I served as program assistant of Harvard's Institute for World Literature.