Linda Rui Feng

Associate Professor
In person: Wednesdays 15:00 - 17:00; Robarts Library, Room 14-129


Areas of Interest

  • Conceptions of spatial knowledge
  • History of cartography
  • Forms of geographical writing
  • Cultural history of food
  • History of the ocean in the Tang dynasty
  • Depictions of the Yellow River on maps during the Ming


Linda Rui Feng’s research interest is in the conception of spatial knowledge and its role in the collective imagination, particularly during the late medieval and early modern eras. To this end, she works with materials ranging from maps and geographical treatises to collections of anecdotes and narratives, in order to pose questions about how space was rendered tangible through both image and text. This research interest ties together her monograph City of Marvel and Transformation: Chang’an and Narratives of Experience in Tang Dynasty China as well as her more recent SSHRC-funded project, “How Does the Yellow River Begin? — Spatial Imagination from a Mongol Expedition to Ming-era Maps.”

As part of her wider interest in the interconnections among cultural technologies, knowledge, writing, and the senses, in 2021-22 she will be working on the cultural history of aromatics in late Medieval China, as a recipient of the Chancellor Jackman Research Fellowship in the Humanities from the Jackman Humanities Institute.

She is also a writer of fiction and the author of the novel Swimming Back to Trout River.

Professor Feng is on a Jackman Humanities Institute Fellowship for the 2021-2022 academic year and is not teaching during this time.


  • EAS103 Premodern East Asia
  • EAS219 History of Food in East Asia
  • EAS308 East Asia Seen on Maps Ancient and Modern
  • EAS409 Cities in Premodern China
  • EAS420 Travels, Travellers and Travelogues in Asia
  • EAS2323 Rethinking Chinese Cultural History


  • "Producing Knowledge of the Sea: Marine Life and a Tang Geographical Miscellany of Lingnan." Locality and Geographical Knowledge Workshop (online), Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, June 29--July 1, 2020.
  • “Sources of the Yellow River on Ming Dynasty Maps.” Frontier Forum on Cartographic History & International Seminar on The History of Cartography Translation Project, Yunnan University, Kunming, August 24-26, 2019.


PhD, East Asian Languages & Cultures, Columbia University
MA, East Asian Languages & Cultures, Columbia University
BA, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University