Born in the city of Harbin in 1971, I graduated from Peking University in 1989 and obtained PhD in Comparative Literature at Harvard University in 1998. After teaching at Colgate University and Cornell University, I joined the Harvard EALC faculty in 2000. My principal teaching and research area is Chinese literature and cultural history of the Middle Period (first through thirteenth century CE), but I have also taught and published on literature and culture from late imperial and modern times. My interest in poetry and poetics, the mediality of literature, court culture, and Chinese literature’s complex negotiations with Buddhism has been driving much of my work. My book Tao Yuanming and Manuscript Culture (a Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2006), for instance, examines how scribes, editors, readers, and commentators participated in constructing the image of the iconic poet. Another book, Beacon Fire and Shooting Star: The Literary Culture of the Liang (502–557), contextualizes the splendid court literature of a much maligned period in Chinese history and proposes the emergence of a new poetics informed by the Buddhist view of the phenomenal world. My book in Chinese on the great sixteenth-century novel The Plum in the Golden Vase (2005 revised edition; for new edition see here) explores the Buddhist vision embodied in the narrative of the novel’s Chongzhen recension, and argues for an awareness of the cultural politics and ideological choices embedded in modern scholarship.
How does one articulate difficult personal experiences, such as trauma, violence, or encounters with the foreign and the strange, in literary writings? How has premodern Chinese cultural tradition continued, in fascinating metamorphoses, into modern and contemporary times? These are the questions I explore in, for instance, Visionary Journeys, a book on the travel writings from early medieval and nineteenth-century China, and The Halberd at Red Cliff, a book devoted to the interface of the literature of the Jian’an era and literature, broadly defined, about the Three Kingdoms period, from the turn of the third century CE to the present day. I have also written many articles on modern Chinese poetry, especially modern and contemporary poetry in classical forms.
My interest in the nineteenth century, a time that witnessed the negotiation of old and new, led to the translation of a memoir presenting a child’s point of view of the Taiping War, The World of a Tiny Insect, with a critical introduction and notes (awarded the inaugural Patrick D. Hanan Prize by Association for Asian Studies in 2016). I have long been interested in the cultural implications and traumatic impact of the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), and have been teaching a course, Art and Violence in the Cultural Revolution, since 2001 (for my presentation on the Big-Character Posters, click here).
I edited Reading Du Fu: Nine Views, the first collection of essays in English dedicated to the poetry of Du Fu (712–770), often considered the greatest Chinese poet, and co-edited with Wiebke Denecke and Wai-yee Li The Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE–900 CE) (a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2018). I authored the chapter “From the Eastern Jin through the Early Tang (317–649 CE)” in The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, and contributed to The Cambridge History of Travel Writing, A New Literary History of Modern China, The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literature, and other volumes.
In 2019–2020, as an ACLS Donald J. Munro Centennial Fellow in Chinese Arts and Letters, I completed a translation of Family Instructions for the Yan Clan and Other Works by Yan Zhitui, which was published by De Gruyter in March 2021. I currently work on a book manuscript entitled Writing Empire and Self: Cultural Transformation in Early Medieval China, and my next project will be on slaves and things in Tang. I serve as a member of the Editorial Board of the Library of Chinese Humanities, a series that presents important works in the classical Chinese tradition in facing-page, scholarly English translation along with the best Chinese texts, available both in print and Open Access online (for instance, see here). I am currently the editor of Early Medieval China and a co-editor of The Nanyang Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture.
田曉菲，哈佛大學東亞系中國文學教授。1971年生於哈爾濱，1989年畢業於北京大學英國語言文學系，1998年獲得哈佛大學比較文學系博士學位。英文著作包括《塵几録：陶淵明與手抄本文化研究》（榮獲2006年度Choice優秀學術著作獎；北京中華書局2007年擴增版）、《烽火與流星：蕭梁王朝的文學文化》、《神遊：早期中古時代與十九世紀的行旅寫作》、《赤壁之戟：建安與三國》。中文著作包括《秋水堂論金瓶梅》、《“薩福”：一個歐美文學傳統的生成》、《赭城》、《留白：秋水堂文化隨筆》、 《影子與水文: 秋水堂自選集》等。中文譯著包括《毛主席的孩子們: 紅衛兵一代的成長與經歷》、《後現代主義與大眾文化》、《他山的石頭記: 宇文所安自選集》。英文譯著《微蟲世界：一部太平天國回憶錄》榮獲2016年美國亞洲研究協會首屆韓南翻譯獎。撰寫《劍橋中國文學史》之＜東晉至初唐＞章節，參與撰寫《牛津中國現代文學手冊》，合編《牛津中國古典文學手冊（公元前1000年－公元900年）》並執筆其中章節（榮獲2018年度Choice優秀學術著作獎），主編《阮籍詩》（德古伊特出版社2017）、《九家讀杜》（香港大學出版社2020）。兩度出任哈佛大學東亞地域研究院主任(2009–2011，2016–2019)。獲哈佛大學2012年度卡波特獎、2016年度哈佛大學文理研究學院門德爾松優秀導師獎、2019-2020年度美國學術團體協會 (ACLS) 孟旦百年中國藝術人文研究課題講。現任<中華經典文庫>編委會成員，《中國早期中古研究》主編，《南洋中華文學與文化學報》主編之一。