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Faculty Fellow

Judith Zeitlin

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations University of Chicago


Portrait of Zeitlin

Judith Zeitlin's work combines literary history with other disciplines, such as performance, music, visual and material culture, medicine, gender studies, and film. Her book The Phantom Heroine: Ghosts and Gender in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Literature (2007) explores the representation of ghosts across the range of literary genres in the late Ming and early Qing, specifically the fantasy of a female corpse revived through love, the imagination of death through a ghostly poetic voice, the mourning of the historical past by the present, and the theatricality of the split between body and soul.

In recent years, Zeitlin's research and teaching have become increasingly oriented toward the performing and visual arts as way of engaging actively with all the senses, and not just texts, although close reading of texts remains a fundamental part of Zeitlin's scholarship and pedagogy. Zeitlin co-curated an exhibition with a catalogue called Performing Images: Opera in Chinese Visual Culture at UChicago’s Smart Museum of Art in 2014.

To learn more, please visit Zeitlin's faculty page.

Featured Project


The Voice Project

The Voice Project

This project supported vigorous dialogue about the role of voice—its ontological, material, technical, and embodied nature—across disciplines, from psychoanalysis and phenomenology to linguistics, music, literature, and beyond.

The Voice Project was initiated in 2013-14 by an interdisciplinary group of faculty members at the University of Chicago keen to explore how voice has come to serve as the vector of numerous questions – philosophical, theoretical, medial, and material – that have pressed on current-day...

Project Team: