John O'Leary

Chinese Literature
Email Address:
  • M.A. from University of Colorado, Boulder
  • B.A. from Columbia University

I am interested, broadly speaking, in the formation, authorization, and transmission of knowledge and cultural identity. That is to say, I enjoy learning about the various ways in which people have used both received tradition and personal experience to conceptualize themselves and their communities. This interest, as it applies to China, might be most succinctly described as a desire to answer the following questions: “What is China,” “What does it mean to be Chinese,” “What is the Chinese canon and how might it inform our understanding of a core Chinese culture,” and “How have these questions and the answers proposed for them evolved over time?” At the moment, I am most interested in investigating these questions in relation to the literary canons, commentarial traditions, and historiographical practices of the early imperial period.

Before coming to Princeton, I received a B.A. from Columbia University (2014) and an M.A. from University of Colorado, Boulder (2017).