Zhenjun Zhang


MA, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MA, Peking University
BA, Zhengzhou University

Zhenjun Zhang


Zhenjun Zhang’s field of research is pre-modern Chinese literature with a focus on fiction: studies of classical Chinese tales, vernacular short stories and novels, as well as their interaction with history, religion, and culture. He has published dozens of journal articles and also authored, translated, and edited dozens of books in Chinese and English.

Regularly Taught Courses

  • ASIA/LTRN/FILM 232: Chinese Culture through Fiction and Film
  • ASIA/LTRN/FILM 234: Chinese Literature and Film          
  • ASIA/LTRN/FILM 235: Buddhism and Daoism through Literature and Film
  • CHIN 101/102/103/104/201/202 Chinese
  • CHIN SYE498/490 Independent Studies



Publications in English:


Routledge Handbook of Traditional Chinese Literature, co-edit with Victor Mair. Routledge, forthcoming 2024.

New Stories Told while Trimming the Wick, co-trans with Sidney Sondergard & Trever McKay. Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2024.

Classic Chinese Poems of Mourning and Texts of Lament: an Anthology, co-edit with Victor Mair, Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming 2024.

Ming Dynasty Tales: A Guided Reader, co-edit with Victor Mair. London: Bloomsbury Academic Publishing, 2022.

Anthology of Tang and Song Tales: The Tang Song chuanqi ji of Lu Xun, co-edit with Victor Mair. Singapore: World Scientific, 2020.

Hidden and Visible Realms: Early Medieval Chinese Tales of the Supernatural and the Fantastic. Trans. with annotations and introduction. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018.

Song Dynasty Tales: A Guided Reader, co-authored with Jing Wang. Singapore: World Scientific, 2017.

Buddhism and Tales of the Supernatural in Early Medieval China: A Study of Liu Yiqing’s Youming lu. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2014.  

Book Chapters

“Wu Tzu Hsü, Memoir 6.” William H. Nienhauser, ed. The Grand Scribe’s Records v. 7. Indiana University Press & Nanjing University Press 2021, 91-112.

 “Consuming Anger: Chinese History, Literary Culture, and the Power of Metaphor,” co-authored with Sid Sondergard, in Sid Sondergard, ed., Food for Thought: Graphic Essay on Anthropophagy (Madrid, NY: Intelligent Ink, 2018), pp.109-24.

“The Tale of Huo Xiaoyu.” Tang Dynasty Tales: A Guided Reader. William H. Nienhauser, Jr. ed. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co., 2010, pp. 33-76.

“The Viscount of Wei and [the Prince of] Sung: Hereditary House 8.” The Grand  Scribe’s Records v. 5. 1: 267-95. William H. Nienhauser, Jr. ed. Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, 2006.

Journal Papers

“Two Modes of Goddess Depictions in Early Medieval Chinese Literature.” Journal of Chinese Humanities v. 3 (2017):117-134.

“Observations on the Life and Works of Liu Yiqing.” Early Medieval China 20 (2014): 83-104.

“From Demonic to Karmic Retribution: Changing Concepts of bao in Early Medieval China as Seen in the Youming Lu,” Acta Orientalia, Volume 66, no.3 (2013), 267– 287.

“Buddhist Impact on the Creation of New Fictional Figures and Images in the You ming lu.Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies (Seoul) vol. 10, no. 2 (Oct. 2010): 145-168.

 “A Textual History of Liu Yiqing’s You Ming Lu.” Oriens Extremus 48 (2009): 87-101.

 “On the Origins of Detached Soul Motif in Chinese Literature.” Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies vol. 9, no. 2 (Oct. 2009): 167-184. 

Book Reviews

Review of Shuhui Yang and Yunqin Yang, Slapping the Table in Amazement: a Ming Dynasty Story Collection. Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, and Reviews 41  (2019): 209-13.

Review of Alexei Kamran Ditter et al., Tales from Tang Dynasty China: Selections from the Taiping guangji. Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, and Reviews 40  (2018): 302-04.

Review of Alister Inglis, The Drunken Man’s Talk: Tales from Medieval China. Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, and Reviews 40 (2018): 304-06.

Review of Robert Ford Campany, A Garden of Marvels: Tales of Wonder from Early  Medieval China. Journal of Chinese Religions v. 44, no. 2 (2016): 174-76.

Review of Graham Sanders, Six Records of a Life Adrift. Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, and Reviews 37 (2015): 214-17.

Review of Glen Dudbridge, A Portrait of Five Dynasties: From the Memoirs of Wang Fu (880-956). China Religious Studies Review v. 40 no. 4 (Dec. 2014): 231-32.

      Publications in Chinese


1. Cockfight and Chinese Culture斗雞與中國文化. Co-trans. [from English to Chinese]. Beijing: Zhonghua Press, 2005.  

2. Traditional Fiction and Chinese Culture傳統小說與中國文化. Guilin: Guangxi Normal University Press, 1996.

3. Taboos of Women 女性的禁忌. Co-authored with Zhao Jianwei. Beijing: Popular Arts Press, 1996.

4. Comprehensive Commentaries on the Strange Tales from Liaozhai 聊齋志異評賞大成. Guilin: Lijiang Press,1994. Co-authored with Ma Zhenfang and others.

5. The Ten Great Masters of Humorous Performance 笑林十大巨星. Co-authored as the lead author with Wei Xi & Wei Ren. Beijing: International Broadcasting Press, 1991.

6. Confinement and Transcendence: Observations on Chinese Townspeople’s Ideology in the San yan Er pai 禁錮與超越:從三言、二拍看中國市民心態. Co-authored as the lead author with Mao Defu. Beijing: International Cultural Publishing Company, 1988.

Edited Volumes

7-12. Series of Classical Chinese Detective Novels 中國古典公案小説叢書1-6. Ed. with an introduction. Beijing: Law Press of China, 1998.

           Four Strange Cases of Judge Di Renjie 狄梁公四大奇案

          The Spectacle of a Hundred Judgements百斷奇觀

          Seven Corpses and Eight Lives七尸八命

          Little Red Robe Strange Cases of Judge Hai海公小紅袍奇案

          Large Red Robe Strange Cases of Judge Hai海公大紅袍奇案

          The Cases of Judge Di 狄公案

13. Unofficial Biography of Hu Xueyan 胡雪岩外傳. Ed. and Annotated. Beijing: The Capital Publishing House, 1997.

14-19. Series of Unabridged Ming and Qing Classical Novels 足本明清小説系列叢書 1-6. Beijing: Press of Minzu University of China, 1994. Co-ed. with Shan Hua.

            Marvelous Marriage of Immortal Divination 仙卜奇緣

            A Much-told Story of Plume and Orchid 梅蘭佳話

            Secret Arts of the Boudoir 閨門秘術

            Tales of Ascending Immortals 升仙傳

            Records of Gold and Face Powder of the Southern Dynasties 南朝  金粉錄

            Complete Illustrations of Good and Evil 善惡圖全傳

20-25. Series of Romances of the Mandarin Duck & Butterfly School 鴛鴦蝴蝶派艷情系列叢書1-6. Beijing: Press of Minzu University of China, 1994. Co-ed. with Tian Zhou.

            The Simurch and Phoenix Exchanging Nests換巢鸞鳳

            The Soul of Butterflies and the Shadow of Flowers蝶魂花影

            The Trace of Spring Dreams春夢留痕

            Flowers in Mirror and Moon in Water鏡花水月

            The Trace of a Blue Dream碧夢痕

            The Dream of Mandarin Ducks鴛鴦夢

26. Spring Dreams in the Red Boudoir 紅閨春夢. Ed. Beijing: Press of Minzu University of China, 1994.

27-28. Series of Popular Chinese Fiction 中國大衆小説系列vol. 4-5 (modern period). Taiyuan: Beiyue Literature and Arts Press, 1994.

29. Comprehensive Book of Taoist Self-cultivation 性命法訣全書. Beijing: Beijing Medical and Pharmaceutical Science and Technology Press, 1993. Co-ed. with Wei Xi and Zhong Xia.  

30-31. Series of Books for Self-cultivation and Longevity 修真頤生者文叢1-2. Beijing: Press of Renmin University of China, 1991. Co-ed. with Wei Xi.

Book Chapters

“Revisiting the Phenomenon of Imitating Western Works in Modern Chinese Literature” 現當代文學中模仿西方作品現象之再思. From Literature to the Arts: Sino-Western Cross-cultural Studies 由文入藝:中西跨文化書寫. Ed. by Sun Shaoyi 孫紹誼and Zhou Xuhua 周序樺. Taibei: Hongmayi tushu ouxian gongsi, 2017, pp. 167-82. 

Commentaries on “Liansuo 連鎖,” “Liancheng 連城,” “Shang Sanguan 商三官,” “The Thunder God 雷神,” and “Pianpian 翩翩.” In Ma Zhenfang 馬振方, ed. Commentaries on Selected Masterpieces in the Strange Tales from Liaozhai 聊齋志異名篇評賞. Beijing: Peking University Press, 2016, pp. 118-42.

 Selected Journal Papers

“Observations on the Reception of Su Shi’s Literary Works in the West through a Comparison of Three English Anthologies of Chinese Literature” 從三種英文本中國文學選集看蘇軾作品在西方的傳播與接受. China Su Shi Studies 中國蘇軾研究6 (2016): 332-46.  

 “Observations on the Characteristics and Values of the ‘Collected Explanations of the Grand Scribe’s Records’ through Pei Yin’s Annotations of “Emperor Gaozu, Basic Annuals 8.” Journal of Literature, History, and Philosophy 1 (2013): 84-91.

 “On the Contributions of Taoism to Traditional Chinese Fiction.” Taoist Culture Studies 9 (1996): 332-46.

“Brief Remarks on the Consanguinity between History and Fiction.” Xinhua Digest 3 (1996): 121-24; and Studies of Ancient and Modern Chinese Literature 2 (1996): 77-83.

“On the Perplexity of Chinese Tragedy Study.” Journal of Renmin University of China 4 (1996): 76-84.

“On the Lyric Arts of Tao Qian’s Poetry.” Journal of Yunmeng 3 (1996): 66-69.

 “The Artistic Transformation of Religious Stories in the Strange Tales from Liaozhai. Journal of Liaoning Normal University 2 (1996): 20-24; Included in the Annual Bibliography of Oriental Studies for 1996. Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, p. 307.

“Deformed Reflections: Sexual Consciousness in Classical Chinese Fiction and Drama.” Journal of Zhengzhou University 2 (1996): 89-95.

“Admonition and Moral Education: On the Impact of Confucianism upon Traditional Chinese Fiction.” Academic Journalof Qi and Lu 4 (1995): 82-85.

“The Concept of Tragedy: Reinterpretation of an Old Topic (Also on Tragic Consciousness in Chinese Literature).” Yinshan Academic Journal 4 (1995): 14-21.

 “Origins and Significance of the Doctrine of ‘Anger Release’ in the Theory of Ancient Fiction.” Journal of Renmin University of China 3 (1995): 73-78; Studies of Ancient and Modern Chinese Literature 7 (1995): 306-10.

“Brief Remarks on the Image of Zhou Shengxian in Storytellers’ Scripts.” Journal of Hulan Teacher’s College 3 (1995): 24-27.

 “Grand Images: Tragic Heroes in Ancient Chinese Myth.” Journal of Renmin University of China 6 (1994): 86-90; Studies of Ancient and Modern Chinese Literature 1 (1995): 37-41.

“A Comparative Study of Two Themes in the Literary Works by Li Yu and Shakespeare.” Journal of Renmin University of China 6 (1992): 63-70.

“Tracing the Origin of the Stories of Love between Men and Supernatural Beings in Ancient Fiction.” Yinshan Academic Journal 4 (1992): 9-16; Studies of Ancient and Modern Chinese Literature 3 (1993): 41-47.

“Brief Remarks on the Love Stories between Man and Goddess in Ancient Chinese Fiction.” Journal of Southwestern Normal University 1 (1991): 94-99; Annual Bibliography of Oriental Studies for 1991. Kyoto University (1994), p. 295.

“On the Creation of Images of Maids and Servants in the Gold Vase Plum.Journal of Qi and Lu 6 (1991): 107-12.

“The Wonderful Usage of Laugh: Artistic Depictions in Classical Chinese Fiction.” Journal of Tang Capital 2 (1991): 71-4.

“Brief Remarks on the Perspective of Narration in the ‘Pale Anna.’” The Field of Creative Writing 3-4 (1991), 51-52.

“Searching the Root of Modern Reality Recording Fiction.” Zhongzhou Journal 5 (1990): 97-103.

“Fiction and History: a Lasting Public Case.” Journal of Renmin University of China 3 (1990): 63-70; Studies of Ancient and Modern Chinese Literature 3 (1990): 97-103; and also be included in the Annual Bibliography of Oriental Studies for 1990. Kyoto University (1993), p.310.

“Admonition and ‘Anger Release’: Two Modes in the Writing of Classical Chinese Fiction.” Taihang Journal 1 (1990): 61-64.

“On the Artistic Feature of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the Approaches of Research.” Journal of Zhengzhou University 4 (1989): 71-77; Studies of Ancient and Modern Chinese Literature 2 (1990): 207-13.

“On the Tragic Features of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.Journal of Peking University 5 (1988): 52-61; included in Annual Bibliography of Oriental Studies for 1988. Kyoto University (1991), p. 307.

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