photo by Alice Xiang

I am Assistant Professor of Chinese in the Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures 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).