Thomas Mazanec

Thomas Mazanec
Ph.D., Princeton University

Assistant Professor

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

Office: HSSB 2255

Office Hours: Tues/Thurs, 10:00–11:30am, and by appointment
Office Hours Time Period: Fall 2021
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 and maintains a collection of bizarre and obscure translations of classical Chinese poetry into English.

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 sought to equate 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.


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

  • “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;
  • “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
  • Chinese 101A/B: Introduction to Classical Chinese
  • Chinese / Comparative Literature 139: China in Translation: Theory, Art, 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