My name is Lu KOU 寇陸. I'm a medievalist and a scholar of pre-modern Chinese literature. My research interests include medieval Chinese literature and culture, historiography, classical tales and their adaptations in vernacular genres and modern media, and comparative studies of Chinese Middle Period and medieval Europe (specifically, the Latin West, Byzantium, and Andalusian Spain).
I'm from Beijing. I received my BA in Chinese literature from Peking University, and MA and PhD in East Asian Studies from Harvard University.
For the academic year 2018-2019, I'll be teaching at Williams College as Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese.
My dissertation, “Courtly Exchange and the Rhetoric of Legitimacy in Early Medieval China,” examines the power of rhetoric to construct royal authority and political legitimacy in the period of division (known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties, 420–589), when several rival states competed for dominance. It explores how “words” can be used as a weapon to participate in the power struggle, to fashion political and cultural identities, and to shape people’s perception of the reality.
My next project examines historiography in early medieval China. Focusing on the polemic nature of history writings and investigating the flimsy boundary between historical truth and literary imagination, I will analyze how historians deployed narratorial devices to subsume (or fail to subsume) contingency, anomaly, and cultural foreignness under a teleological frame. I seek to explore how historiography became a site of negotiation in which historians mingle their wonder at the inaccessible past with their avowed mission to extract didactic lessons.