Martin Kern

Curriculum Vitae



Chair, Department of East Asian Studies, Princeton University (since 2013).

Greg (84) and Joanna (P13) Zeluck Professor in Asian Studies (since 2013); Professor (2005-2013); Associate Professor (2003-2005); and Assistant Professor (2000-2003) of Chinese Literature, Dept. of East Asian Studies, Princeton University.

Assistant Professor of Chinese Literature, Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University, 1998-2000.

Visiting Lecturer in Chinese Literature, Dept. of Asian Languages and Literature, University of Washington, 1997-1998.



Dr. phil. (Ph.D.), Cologne University, 1996. Dissertation: “The Hymns of the Chinese State Sacrifices” (in German).

M.A., Cologne University, 1992. Thesis: “The Literary Motif of kuei (‘Cinnamon Tree’) Before the T’ang Dynasty” (in German).

Exchange student, Peking University, 1987-89.

M.A. and Dr. phil. (Ph.D.) student in Sinology, German Literature, and Art History. Cologne University, 1985-96.


Awards, Grants, Honors (Selection)

Elected Member of the American Philosophical Society. April 2015.

Distinguished Professor, Research Center for Comparative Literature and World Literature, Shanghai Normal University. March 2014-February 2016.

Astor Visiting Lecturer and Fellow Commoner of The Queen’s College, University of Oxford. January-February 2013.

Fellow at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, 2010-11.

First Annual M. I. Rostovtzeff Lectures, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, May 2010.

American Council of Learned Societies: ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship, 2006-07.

Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, Taiwan: Scholar Grant, 2006-07.

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton: Membership and Mellon Fellowship for Assistant Professors, 2002-03.

Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Merit Foundation), Germany: Dissertation Scholarship, 1994–96.

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD; German Academic Exchange Service) and the Chinese Ministry of Education: Exchange Student Scholarship at Peking University, 1987–89.


Boards, Committees, Service (Selection)

Advisory Board Member, International Consortium for Research in the Humanities, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Since 2015.

Editorial Board Member, Philology: An International Journal on the Evolution of Languages, Cultures and Texts. Since 2014.

Executive Council Member, Annual World Conference on Sinology, Renmin University, Beijing. Since 2014.

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Chinese Humanities (English language edition of Wen Shi Zhe 文史哲), Shandong University. Since 2013.

Advisory Board Member, Cowrie: Journal of Comparative Literature and Comparative Culture, Shanghai Normal University. Since 2013.

Academic Advisory Board Member, Center for Studies of Xunzi and Zhao Culture, Handan College. Since 2012.

Academic Board Member, International Center for Studies of Chinese Civilization, Fudan University. Since 2012.

Co-Editor, T’oung Pao. Since 2009.

Managing Editor, Studies in the History of Chinese Texts (Monograph Series), published by Brill, Leiden. Since 2006.

Editorial Board Member, T’oung Pao. 2001-2009.

Co-Editor, Handbook of Oriental Studies/Handbuch der Orientalistik (Monograph Series), published by Brill, Leiden. Since 1999.

Member, Association for Asian Studies Levenson Prize Committee. 2005-2007.

Director-at-Large for East Asia, American Oriental Society. 2003-2006.


Organized Conferences, Workshops, Panels

Conference “The Classic of Documents and the Origins of Chinese Political Philosophy.” Princeton University, May 2013.

Conference “The Analects: A Western Han Text?” Princeton University, November 2011.

Conference “Fate, Freedom, and Creation in Early China.” International Consortium for Research in the Humanities, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, May 2011.

Conference “Reading Early Chinese Manuscripts: Texts, Contexts, Methods.” Princeton University, October 2009 and May 2011.

Exploratory Seminar and Workshop “Genre and Tradition in Early Medieval China.” With Wang Ping. Princeton University, May and September 2008.

Workshop series and Conference “The Rituals of Zhou (Zhouli) in East Asian History: Premodern Asian Statecraft in Comparative Context.” With Benjamin A. Elman (principal organizer). Princeton University, 2003-06.

Conference “Religion, Memory, and Poetry in Ancient China.” Princeton University, May 2004.

Panel “A Still Neglected Genre: The Fu (Rhapsody) in Classical Chinese Literature.” Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies. Chicago, March 2001.

Conference “Text and Ritual in Early China.” Princeton University, October 2000.

Symposium “The Teaching of Classical Chinese.” Columbia University, October 1999.

Panel “Political Mythology and the Textualization of the Ritual Tradition in Early Imperial China.” Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies. Boston, March 1999.


Manuscript Reviews

T'oung Pao; Early China; Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR); Journal of the American Oriental Society; Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies; Asia Major; Nan Nü: Men, Women, and Gender in Early and Imperial China; Asiatische Studien/Études Asiatiques;Journal of Chinese Studies; Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities; Cotsen Archaeological Institute; Oxford University Press; State University of New York Press; University of Washington Press; Hackett Publishing Company; Harvard University Asia Center; Leiden University Press; Cornell University Press; Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.


Promotion, Fellowship, Appointment Reviews

University of Maryland; University of Wisconsin at Madison; University of California at Berkeley; University of California at Santa Barbara; Cornell University; Harvard University; Stanford University; Leiden University; University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies; Lingnan University, Hong Kong; Research Grant Council, Hong Kong; Mellon Foundation; Israel Science Foundation; Bochum University; Zurich University; University of California at Los Angeles; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; Freiburg University; Columbia University; University of Texas at Dallas; Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NOW), Council for the Humanities; Dartmouth College; Ohio State University; University of Colorado at Boulder; Oxford University; University of Michigan; The Hebrew University, Jerusalem; National Science Council of Taiwan; Edinburgh University; International Center for Studies of Chinese Civilization, Fudan University.