Zhenzhen Lu

Assistant Professor of Chinese



Roger Williams Hall, Room 205

Asian Studies

Roger Williams Hall, Room 205



I am a scholar of Chinese literature and culture and am interested broadly in the practices of reading, writing, publishing and performance in the 16th to 19th centuries. Drawing on archival research in China and Japan, my current book project, The Vernacular World of Pu Songling, examines a diverse body of writings in the manuscripts of village scholars from rural Shandong (in northern China). I have also published articles on the topic of scribal publishing and entertainment literature in 19th century Beijing, and maintain active interests in histories of print and popular culture. Before coming to Bates, I was a researcher at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the University of Hamburg in Germany, a visiting scholar at New York University, and a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, where I received my PhD. Here at Bates, I am excited to teach a wide range of courses in Chinese language, literature and culture.

Recent publications

Baiben Zhang: A Scribal Publisher in 19th century Beijing,” manuscript cultures 19 (2022): 195-244.

Touched by a Tale of Friendship: An Early 19th Century Zidishu Manuscript,” in Jörg Quenzer et al. ed., Exploring Written Artefacts, 2 vols. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2021), 2: 1099-1122.

The Production of zidishu in Manuscript and Print During the Qing and Republican Eras: A Survey of the Extant Corpus,” CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral and Performing Literature, 37.2 (Dec. 2018): 95-127.

Chinese version: 清代民國子弟書的抄寫與刊印:現存子弟書書籍初覽, in Ouzhou hanxue 歐洲漢學 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, forthcoming).

“The Mansion of Enchantment” [迷樓記] in Victor Mair and Zhang Zhenjun eds., Anthology of Tang and Song Tales: The Tang Song chuanqi ji of Lu Xun (Singapore: World Scientific, 2020), 541-554. [Translation from Chinese]

A Day in the Life of Pu Songling” (with Victor Mair), in David K. Schneider ed., The Poet as Scholar: Essays and Translations in Honor of Jonathan Chaves, Sino-Platonic Papers 272 (2017): 319-34.

A Friend of a Lifetime: On Yu Boya smashes his zither to mourn a dear friend, a youth book,” in Wiebke Beyer and Zhenzhen Lu eds., Manuscript of the Month / Manuskript des Monats, Hamburg: SFB 950 (Oct. 2017) [German version]

“Scrounging for a School, A Play by Pu Songling,” CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral and Performing Literature 33.1 (July 2014): 60-81.


Current Courses

Fall Semester 2024

ASIA 207 / CHI 207
Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation

CHI 401
Advanced Chinese

CHI 415
Readings in Classical Chinese

CHI 457
Senior Thesis