Yuanfei Wang
Assistant Professor

Basic Information

Personal Website:
245 Joseph Brown
Selected Publications:


Writing the Piracy War: Unofficial History, Vernacular Fiction, and the Problem of Imperial Identity in Late Ming China (1550-1644)  (under review)

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

“The Emaciated Soul: Female Self-Inscription Poetry in Ming and Qing,” under review.

“Java in Discord: Unofficial History, Vernacular Fiction, and the Discourse of Imperial Identity in Late Ming China (1570-1620),” positions: asia critique, Volume 27, Issue 4 (2019).

Book Chapters in Edited Volumes

“Learning the Barbarian Tongue: Japanese-Chinese Dictionaries and waka Poetry in Late Ming China,” Haun Saussy, ed., A Comparative History of East Asian Literatures, commissioned.

“Chinese Literature and the World,” Geraldine Heng ed., Teaching Volume on the Global Middle Ages, published by MLA, forthcoming.

“Zhenyi zhong de Zhuawa: yeshi, xiaoshuo, he wanming diguo shenfen rentong de huayu” 爭議中的爪哇:野史,小說,和晚明帝國身份認同的話語, conference proceedings published by Xiamen University, China, forthcoming.

“Blank Scriptures of Xiyou ji: Interpretive Flexibility and Religious Stability in Post-1949 Adaptations of Journey to the West,” co-authored with Nathan Faries, The Assimilation of Yogic Religions through Pop Culture, ed. Paul Hackett, Lexington Books, 2017. pp.33-63.

“Magical Weapons and Adorable Exotica: Imperial Fetishism in a Sixteenth-Century Chinese Novel,” Sino-Platonic Papers, no. 193, 2009. pp.98-121. 


Zhu Shoutong, New Literature in Chinese: China and the World. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016. Journal of Chinese Humanities. forthcoming.

Mark Meulenbeld, Demonic Warfare: Daoism, Territorial Networks, and the History of a Ming Novel. University of Hawaii Press, 2015. Journal of American Oriental Society. 2016:1.

Works in Progress

A Field Guide to Demons in Journey to the West

Chinese Literature and Migration in the Indian Ocean

co-translate with Victor Mair, The Romance of Eunuch Sanbao’s Voyages on the Western Ocean (A late sixteenth century Chinese novel on Admiral Zheng He’s voyages in the Indian ocean)

“From Island Princess to Eunuch Sanbao: English and Chinese Literary Connections in the Indian Ocean”

Research Interests:

I specialize in early modern Chinese literature, early modern Chinese historiography and travelogues of Southeast Asia and Japan, print culture, race and ethnicity, gender, and Buddhism and Daoism in late imperial Chinese literature.

My first book manuscript titled Writing the Piracy War examines how when “Japanese” pirates raided southeast coastal China and when Hideyoshi invaded Korea, late Ming Chinese scholars composed histories and vernacular fiction to narrate outlaws, pirates, and the Ming empire’s wars against piracy. Arguing against current scholarship that late Ming Chinese scholars and their writings were insensitive to the world at large, this monograph shows that imperial identity was at the center of late Ming discourse on the wars against pirates and Japan, and that the thriving global maritime trade brought forth radical consequences to Chinese literature and knowledge about the world.

I am currently working on my second and third books. One is a field guide to demons in Journey to the West, and the other is about the literatures of ethnic minorities in southern China and their migration in the Indian Ocean. I am also at work translating a 16th-century Chinese novel on Admiral Zheng He's voyages on the Indian ocean into English.


Selected Awards:

Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation For International Scholarly Exchange Scholar Grant, 2018-2019

UGA Willson Center Research Fellowship, 2018-2019

UGA Faculty Research Grant, 2017-2018

UGA Willson Center Research Seminar, 2017-2019

NEH Summer Institute Confucian Asia, 2016

SSRC Postdoctoral Fellowship for Transregional Research, 2013-2014


PhD, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania, 2013

Exchange Scholar, Yale University, 2009-2010

MA, East Asian Literatures and Cultures, Columbia University, 2006

MA, Comparative Literature, 2004

BA, English, Nankai University, 2002