Research and Teaching

As a cultural historian, I am interested in the conception of spatial knowledge—along with its role in the collective imagination—during the late medieval and early modern eras in China. I work with material ranging from maps, geographical treatises to collections of anecdotes and narratives, in order to pose questions about how space was rendered tangible through both image and text.

Here is a full list of my publications.

City of Marvel and Transformation: Chang’an and Narratives of Experience in Tang Dynasty China (2015)

Available from University of Hawaii Press and on Kindle

Cover of Linda Rui Feng's book "City of Marvel and Transformation."

During China’s Tang dynasty (618–907 CE), the capital city of Chang’an (present-day Xi’an) was a megalopolis, career launch pad, and most importantly, cultural paradigm. As such, it captured the imaginations of Tang writers, shaped their future aspirations, and left significant traces in the literature of this period. Both a cultural history of urban life and a literary study, City of Marvel and Transformation brings to life this cityscape, by considering some of the powerful shaping forces on the collective imagination during imperial China’s “golden age.”


“Feng’s book… offers a wonderful view of the city as skyline, theater, labyrinth, and more. It’s a wonderfully interdisciplinary contribution to history and literary study of cities, space, and China.”
—Carla Nappi, New Books in East Asian Studies Podcast

“This elegant book brings the Tang dynasty capital of Chang’an to life. A pleasure to read, it is a welcome addition to the growing body of scholarship on cities and city life, so essential to our understanding of literature and culture, both ancient and modern.”
—Paula Varsano, University of California, Berkeley