Thomas Mazanec

East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies


Thomas Mazanec (余泰明), Associate Professor, researches Premodern Chinese literature and religion as well as their dialogue with other cultures. He is also interested in world literature, poetics, digital humanities, and translation studies. His 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. He is especially fond of the art of literary translation, maintaining a collection of bizarre and obscure translations of classical Chinese poetry into English and co-editing an online bibliography of Chinese poetry in translation.


Prof. Mazanec’s first book, Poet-Monks: The Invention of Buddhist Poetry in Medieval China, is forthcoming from Cornell University Press. This book explores the formation of a tradition of “poet-monks” during the ninth and tenth centuries, and the ways in which these monks brought together poetic and religious practice in their verses. Other current research projects include studies of religious and literary infrastructure, of Buddhist poetry written by the architects of one of the largest persecutions of Buddhism, of the limits of “lyricism” as a lens through which to understand classical Chinese poetry, and multiple book-length translations of Tang poetry. Starting in Fall of 2024, he will also serve as the East Asia section editor for the Journal of the American Oriental Society.