Feng, Linda

Linda Rui Feng (Ph.D., Columbia University)
Associate Professor
Department of East Asian Studies
Office Phone: 416-946-5116
Office Location: Robarts Library 14129 (14th Floor)
E-mail: lr.feng@utoronto.ca

My major research fields are Chinese literature and cultural history, and I work with materials ranging from collections of anecdotes, narrative tales to vernacular novels and urban geographies. For the past few years, I have been thinking about how a premodern city, as megalopolis and cultural paradigm, might have been experienced by those who were the country’s most prolific writers. My book manuscript, City of Marvel and Transformation: Chang’an and the Experiential Self in Tang Narratives, tackles this question. It explores how the Chinese cultural imagination—and its literary imprint—became transformed in the Tang dynasty by shared sojourns and encounters in the capital of Chang’an (present-day Xi’an). I am especially fascinated by the interconnections among urban space, social networks, and narrative formation, for Chang’an and for other cities in other times.

My other research interests include the history of travel, imagined cartography, and discourses relating to the senses. A firm believer that food is not only fodder for thought but also makes inroads into unfamiliar realms, I teach a first-year seminar titled “Chinese Gastronomy and Beyond” that has helped me learn a whole lot from things we eat.

Academic Background: 

  • Ph.D., East Asian Languages & Cultures, Columbia University
  • M.A., East Asian Languages & Cultures, Columbia University
  • B.A., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

Recent Publications:

  • “Negotiating Vertical Space: Walls, Vistas, and the Topographical Imagination.” T’ang Studies 29 (2011): 27—44.
  • “Chang’an and Narratives of Experience in Tang Tales.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 71:1 (2011): 35—68.
  • “Unmasking Fengliu in Urban Chang’an: Rereading Beili zhi (Anecdotes from the Northern Ward). ” Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 32 (2010): 1—21.


  • The Cosmopolitan City: Chang’an in Literature and Culture
  • Lovers and Madmen in Chinese Literature: An Introduction to Foundational Texts
  • Literary Lives in Late Imperial China
  • Classical Chinese II
  • Chinese Gastronomy and Beyond
  • EAS 2323H Rethinking Chinese Cultural History