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Ph.D. ; ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca ; Dipartimento di Scienze Umane per la Formazione “Riccardo Massa”, Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo, 1 – 20126 Milano (Italy)


Research Themes

- Chinese narrative (short-stories and novels)
- Chinese commentaries
- history of genres
- Anthologies and literary collections
- translation studies


I graduated from the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice (Italy) and I am now associate professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Milano-Bicocca. My research lies in the field of premodern literature and it focuses in particular on narrative genres and themes from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. In the past I have worked on the portrayal of suicide, and in particular suicide by women, in short stories from the Ming dynasty, examining the development from the historiographical tradition to its fictional representation. The study of rewriting practices in narrative has nurtured my interest in the circulation of literary texts, primarily from the perspective of the compilation of anthologies and miscellaneous collections. On this regard, I have worked on the late Ming anthology Qing shi (History of Love) and have begun a project on coeval anthologies dedicated to the theme of qing (emotions, love). This same line of research has led me to look into the romantic theme in the narrative tradition and to examine its portrayal in the Yuan novella Jiao Hong ji (The story of Jiaoniang and Feihong), which I am currently translating into Italian. A preliminary study I dedicated to the translational dimension in the seventeenth century work Lienü zhuan yanyi (Elaborated version of the Biographies of women) has stimulated my interest in the textual category of yanyi (elaboration of the meaning) in premodern China, particularly from the perspective of research on translation practices and on genres. In my current research project on yanyi I aim to enlarge the understanding of this textual category by analyzing its use in commentarial sources before the heyday of the narrative development during the late Ming period, and by paying particular attention to aspects of intralingual translation and to the practices of knowledge transmission they help to envision.

CV Barbara Bisetto