Martin Kern

Joanna and Greg Zeluck ’84 P13 P18 Professor of Chinese Literature
Office Phone
210 Jones Hall
Office Hours
Tuesday: 3:00 pm-4:00 pm
  • Ph.D. in Sinology, Cologne University (Germany)
  • M.A. in Sinology, Cologne University (Germany)

Martin Kern is the Joanna and Greg ’84 P13 P18 Zeluck Professor in Asian Studies. He also serves as co-editor of T’oung Pao, is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the president of the American Oriental Society (2023–2024). At Princeton, Kern directed the university-wide collaboration “Comparative Antiquity: A Humanities Council Global Initiative” (2018–2022); he also co-directs the Princeton-Venice Summer School in Classical Chinese and Classical Japanese/Kanbun. At Renmin University of China (Beijing), he directs the “International Center for the Study of Ancient Text Cultures,” a center committed to the global study of antiquity in comparative contexts. Kern’s numerous publications address topics across all genres of ancient Chinese literature, including poetry as cultural memory and as performance in political and religious ritual; authorship in poetry, philosophy, and historiography; writing and orality; methodological issues in manuscript studies; the history and early formation of Chinese poetry, including in the light of recently discovered manuscripts; early literary thought; style and rhetoric in philosophy and historiography; and various others more. 

Selected Publications


  • Qu Yuan and the Chuci: New Approachesco-edited with Stephen Owen. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2023.

  • Zuozhuan and Early Chinese Historiography, co-edited with Yuri Pines and Nino Luraghi. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2023.

  • “Reconstructing Qu Yuan.” In Qu Yuan and the Chuci: New Approaches. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2023. 

  • “Poetry Quotation, Commentary, and the Ritual Order: Staging the Noble Man in Zuozhuan.” In Zuozhuan and Early Chinese Historiography. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2023.


  • “The Shijing (Classic of Poetry; Book of Odes).” In Oxford Bibliographies in Chinese Studies, ed. Tim Wright. New York: Oxford University Press, 2023 (DOI 10.1093/OBO/9780199920082-0203).

  • Biaoyan yu chanshi: Zaoqi Zhongguo shixue yanjiu 表演與闡釋:早期中國詩學研究 [Performance and Interpretation: Studies in Early Chinese Poetics]. Beijing: Sanlian Publishers, 2023.




  • Shiji xue yu shijie hanxue lunji xubian 史記學與世界漢學論集續編 [Essays in Shiji Studies and World Sinology, Second Series], ed. Martin Kern and Lee Chi-hsiang 李紀祥. Taipei: Tangshan chubanshe/Tonsan Publications, 2016.