Yuanxin Chen

Chinese Literature
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  • M.A. in Comparative Literature and World Literature in Beijing Normal University
  • B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature from East China Normal University

Yuanxin Chen specializes in pre-modern Chinese literature and culture with a primary focus on early China. Her interdisciplinary dissertation investigates how biographical narratives were mobilized to delve into political, social, and cultural struggles of the Han empire (202 BCE- 220 CE). She focuses on biographical narratives in historical writing represented by Shiji and Hanshu, and compares them with those in excavated manuscripts, commemorative inscriptions, and compendiums of exemplary figures. By unpacking the ideological, rhetorical, and formal features of biographies, she demonstrates the various functions of this narrative form and interrogates the boundaries between literature, history, and philosophy in early China.