I research premodern Chinese literature and religion, as well as their dialogue with other cultures. I’m also interested in world literature, poetics, digital humanities, and translation studies. My publications cover a broad range of topics, from the problem of translating rhythm, to the evolution of a Sanskrit literary term in medieval China, to the potential contributions of network analysis to literary history. I’m especially fond of the art of literary translation and maintains a collection of bizarre and obscure translations of classical Chinese poetry into English.

I’m currently revising the manuscript of my first book, Poet-Monks and the Invention of Chinese Buddhist Poetry, which explores the formation of a tradition of “poet-monks” during the ninth and tenth centuries, and the ways in which these monks sought to equate poetic and religious practice in their verses. My next project, Beyond Lyricism: Chinese Poetry in Other Modes, will explore the genres and practices which lie on the borderlines of “poetry” in early and medieval China. To learn more about my work, please visit http://tommazanec.com.


B.A., Asian Studies and English (Honors), Calvin College, 2007
M.A., Comparative Literature, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2011
Ph.D., East Asian Studies and Interdisciplinary Humanities, Princeton University, 2017

Blog Posts


    American Academy of Religion
    American Comparative Literature Association
    American Oriental Society
    Association for Asian Studies
    Modern Language Association
    T’ang Studies Society

    Thomas Mazanec

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