Feng, Linda

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


As a cultural historian of China, I am interested in integrating literary scholarship and a history of space. I work with materials ranging from collections of anecdotes and narrative to maps and geographical treatises, and ask questions about how space was rendered tangible through both image and text, and how Chinese writers employed and evaluated spatial knowledge prior to the age of widespread printing.

My recent monograph, City of Marvel and Transformation: Chang’an and Narratives of Experience in Tang Dynasty China (also available in Kindle), treats the medieval megalopolis (present-day city of Xi’an) as a way to reconnect senses of the self and a sense of place, and explores how the cultural imagination and its literary imprint became transformed in the ninth century by shared urban sojourns and encounters.

As part of my wider interest in the interconnection among the practice of knowledge, writing/storytelling, and the senses, I maintain an active teaching interest in the history of food in East Asia. I have also been awarded a 2015 MacDowell Colony Fellowship for fiction writing.

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:

  • City of Marvel and Transformation: Chang’an and Narratives of Experience in Tang Dynasty China. University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2015.
  • “Merging into the Map: Sources of Imagined Cartographic Efficacy in Medieval China.” Word & Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry 34:4 (2018): 322–31.
  • “Can Lost Maps Speak? Toward a Cultural History of Map Reading in Medieval China.” Imago Mundi 70:2 (2018): 169–82.
  • “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.


  • 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