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Yuanfei Wang

Assistant Professor
245 Joseph Brown

Yuanfei Wang holds a Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania (2013). She was an exchange scholar at Yale and an SSRC postdoctoral fellow for transregional research related to "Inter-Asian Contexts and Connections” at Columbia University.

She specializes in late imperial Chinese fiction, drama, and the transnational history of late imperial China (1550-1750). She has long standing interests in narrative theory, the formation of discourses, genres, and knowledge, gender and feminism, race and ethnicity, cinema, and cross-cultural literary appropriation and comparison.

She is completing a book manuscript entitled Writing the Piracy War: Unofficial History, Vernacular Fiction, and the Discourse of Imperial Identity in Late Ming China (1550-1644). This monograph examines how late Ming Chinese intellectuals composed histories, geographies, and vernacular fiction to discourse on the Ming empire’s piracy war. In such public discourse on the ocean, the writers wrestled with the Ming’s imperial identity problem in their narratives of outlaws, piracy, foreign languages and peoples, and history.

Her second ongoing research project focuses on women and non-human subjects in movements (i.e., metamorphosis, dressing and undressing, and traveling) in late imperial novels to study how they are related to debates on humanity and social and gender hierarchy. 

She is further interested in modern cinematic and television adaptations of Journey to the West, and the translation and transmigration of traditional Chinese fiction and drama in Eurasia.



“Filial Piety and Allegory in Journey to the West” (under review).

“Java in Discord: Unofficial History, Vernacular Fiction, and the Discourse of Imperial Identity in Late Ming China (1574-1620),” positions: asia critique, accepted and forthcoming.  

“Blank Scriptures of Xiyou ji: Interpretive Flexibility and Religious Stability in Post-1949 Adaptations of Journey to the West,” co-authored with Nathan Faries, The Assimilation of Yogic Religions through Pop Culture, ed. Paul Hackett, Lexington Books, 2017. pp.33-63.

“Magical Weapons and Adorable Exotica: Imperial Fetishism in a Sixteenth-Century Chinese Novel,” Sino-Platonic Papers, no. 193,  2009. pp.98-121. 



Writing the Piracy War: Unofficial History, Vernacular Fiction, and Discourse of Imperial Identity in Late Ming China (to be submitted to press for review in July of 2018)

“Gender and Genre: Female Warriors and Female Demons in Late Ming Historical Romances”

“Field Guide to Demons in Journey to the West”  

“The Color Purple: Clothing, Identity, and Mind in Jin Ping Mei cihua” 




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Comparative Literature
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