Thomas Mazanec

Thomas Mazanec
Ph.D., Princeton University

Assistant Professor

Specialization: Medieval Chinese Literature, Buddhism, Comparative Literature, Digital Humanities, Translation

Office: HSSB 2255

Office Hours: Tues/Thurs, 11:00am–12:00pm, and by appointment
Personal Website:

Curriculum Vitae: Download

Thomas Mazanec (余泰明) researches premodern Chinese literature and religion, as well as their dialogue with other cultures. He is also interested in world literature, poetics, digital humanities, and translation studies. His publications cover a broad range of topics, from the problem of translating rhythm, to the evolution of a Sanskrit literary term in medieval China, to the potential contributions of network analysis to literary history. He is especially fond of the art of literary translation, maintaining a collection of bizarre and obscure translations of classical Chinese poetry into English and co-editing an online bibliography of Chinese poetry in translation.

Prof. Mazanec is currently revising the manuscript of his first book, Poet-Monks: The Invention of Buddhist Poetry in Medieval China, which explores the formation of a tradition of “poet-monks” during the ninth and tenth centuries, and the ways in which these monks brought together poetic and religious practice in their verses. His next project, Beyond Lyricism: Chinese Poetry in Other Modes, will explore the genres and practices which lie on the borderlines of “poetry” in early and medieval China. He is also working on several reference works and translations of Tang poetry, and co-editing The Worst Chinese Poetry: A Critical Anthology.


Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture

Special issue on “Digital Methods and Traditional Chinese Literary Studies,” edited by Thomas J. Mazanec, Jeffrey Tharsen, and Jing Chen.

Selected Articles

  • First author of “Buddhist Poetry of China.” Oxford Bibliographies Online. With Jason Protass. (forthcoming)
  • “Literary Debts in Tang China: On the Exchange of Money, Merit, and Meter.” Monumenta Serica (forthcoming)
  • “On Translating Lyric as Shuqing in Chinese.” Comparative Literature Studies (forthcoming)
  • “Of Admonition and Address: Right-Hand Inscriptions (Zuoyouming) from Cui Yuan to Guanxiu.” Tang Studies 38 (2020): 28–56. PDF.
  • “How Poetry Became Meditation in Late Ninth-Century China.” Asia Major 32.2 (2019): 113–151. PDF.
  • “Righting, Riting, and Rewriting the Book of Odes (Shijing): On ‘Filling out the Missing Odes’ by Shu Xi.” Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 40 (2018): 5–32. PDF.
  • “Networks of Exchange Poetry in Late Medieval China: Notes toward a Dynamic History of Tang Literature.” Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture 5.2 (2018): 322–359. PDF;
  • First author of “Introduction” (Special issue: Digital Methods and Traditional Chinese Literary Studies). Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture 5.2 (2018): 179–184. With Jeffrey Tharsen and Jing Chen. PDF;
  • Second author of “Exploring Chinese Poetry with Digital Assistance: Examples from Linguistic, Literary, and Historical Viewpoints.” Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture 5.2 (2018): 276–321. With Chao-lin Liu and Jeffrey Tharsen. PDF;
    • 中文版:劉昭麟, 余泰明 (Thomas J. Mazanec), 康森杰 (Jeffrey R. Tharsen), and 潘亦迎 (Yiying Pan). 用数字工具探索中国古典诗歌:语言学、文学及历史视角之例证, 数字人文, 2021(2), 72‒110.
  • “The Medieval Chinese Gāthā and Its Relationship to Poetry.” T’oung Pao 103.1–3 (2017): 94–154. PDF
  • “Guanxiu’s ‘Mountain-Dwelling Poems’: A Translation.” Tang Studies 4.1 (2016): 99–124. PDF
  • “Jiǎ Dǎo’s Rhythm, or, How to Translate the Tones of Classical Chinese.” Journal of Oriental Studies 49.1 (2016): 27–48. PDF

Courses Taught

  • Chinese 80: Masterpieces of Chinese Literature
  • Honors-INT 84CS: The World’s Worst Poetry
  • Chinese 101A/B: Introduction to Classical Chinese
  • Chinese / Comparative Literature 139: China in Translation: Theory, Art, History
  • Chinese 140: Tang Literary History
  • East Asian Cultural Studies / Comparative Literature 165: East Asian Buddhist Poetry
  • Comparative Literature 170 / 260: Literary Translation: Theory and Practice
  • Chinese 211: Bibliography and Research Methodology
  • Chinese 220: Topics in Tang Literature
    • Spring 2020: Dunhuang Poetry