Linda Rui Feng

Associate Professor
Robarts Library, Room 14-129


Areas of Interest

  • Conceptions of spatial knowledge
  • Literatures of Space
  • History of cartography
  • History of the ocean
  • Cultural history of food


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. 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 interest in the interconnections among cultural technologies, knowledge, writing, and the senses, she is currently working on the cultural history of aromatics in late Medieval China.  
She is also the author of the novel Swimming Back to Trout River, which was a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and was nominated for the Giller Prize as well as the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel.


  • 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


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