photo by Alice Xiang

I am Assistant Professor of Chinese in the Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures, and an affiliated faculty in the Department of German Studies at Emory University. Prior to joining Emory, I was a Cotsen Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Princeton University, and a lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Humanities Council.

As a comparative literary scholar, I work on topics broadly concerning the intersection between literary and material culture. I am particularly interested in the art of collecting as an epistemological intervention and creative subversion of received taxonomy and narrativity.

Additionally, my work focuses on the concept of “negative musicality,” a notion frequently articulated in classical and modern Chinese texts that defines music through negation, i.e., silence, non-emotionality, non-representation and atemporality. I treat “text” in its broader sense to include “phonographic” systems. I investigate how “negative musicality” opens up a wide perspective of creative freedom by linguistically pushing sound to its liminal state.

I received my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (with a secondary field in Music) from Harvard University. I was a recipient of the Frederic Sheldon Traveling Fellowship at Harvard University (2015-16) and a Junior Fellowship with the thematic network “Principles of Cultural Dynamics” at Freie Universität Berlin (2015).