Carlos Yu-Kai Lin

I completed my Ph.D from the University of Southern California. My work addresses the historical and discursive condition in which “Chinese literature” emerges as a concept indicating a world literary system. Contrary to existing scholarship that emphasizes “the modern” in exploring Chinese literary modernity but sees “Chinese literature” as a given and ahistorical concept, my work explores this compound itself, revealing how it became an independent knowledge category that implies a global literary world. By understanding “Chinese literature” as an overdetermined concept that develops out of a complex network, I demonstrate that Chinese intellectuals had assimilated and negotiated with various social, ideological, and scientific concepts, from ancient China, modern Western countries, and Japan, to imagine and articulate a universal idea of literature in Chinese terms. I am currently working on a manuscript titled Imagined Universality: A Conceptual History of Chinese Literature, which provides a historical account of the rise of “literature” as well as its related concepts into modern knowledge categories that bear universal implications. I had taught in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at UC Berkeley and Davis before I came to teach in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Penn.