Yunxiao Xiao

Chinese history and Chinese literature

Yunxiao Xiao (Ch. 肖芸曉) studies the history of the book, of reading, and of information in early and medieval China with a specialty in pre-imperial and early imperial paleographic texts. Trained in early Chinese manuscript studies and paleography at Wuhan University, she did her MA thesis on the production and use system of the recently excavated Warring States bamboo manuscripts. At Princeton, she is exploring topics that have intrigued book historians across time and traditions. Her dissertation, “The Crafts of the Hidden Hands: Scribal Culture and the Making of Texts in Early China,” looks at epistemological practices and information technologies before the era of paper. Examining a series of recently excavated and discovered bamboo, wood, and silk manuscripts dating from approximately 300 BCE to 200 CE as both cultural documents and material objects, she has forayed into the practices and methods of how early China’s people created, stored, circulated, and organized written knowledge and information via bamboo, wood, and silk, as well as the intricate interplays between knowledge, physical books, and people.

Xiao has published multiple peer-reviewed articles in Chinese and English journals, and has been selected as a Junior Fellow of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (cohort 8) at the Rare Book School in Charlottesville, VA.



  • M.A. from Wuhan University
  • B.A. from Wuhan University