Chinese Department

中文系

Alexei K. Ditter 迪磊

Chair, Associate Professor of Chinese Ditter image

Chinese Department
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Boulevard

Portland, OR 97202-8199, USA

Office: Eliot 114 
Phone: (503) 517-7348

Email: dittera@reed.edu

Education and Experience

Alexei Ditter earned his B.A. in Chinese Language, Literature, and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota, and his M.A. and PhD in East Asian Studies from Princeton University. Prior to coming to Reed in 2006, he had taught at the University of Minnesota, Rutgers University, and Bryn Mawr College. His teaching and research interests center around the interaction of social and textual practices in medieval China, focusing in particular on questions of place, genre, and memory. He also teaches courses in first- and third-year modern Chinese and Classical Chinese here at Reed.

Recent Courses Taught

Fall 2017

Chn 110: First-year Modern Chinese

Chn 311: Third-year Modern Chinese

Spring 2017

Chn 110: First-year Modern Chinese
Chn 380: Chinese Narrative Traditions

Hum 232Foundations of Chinese Civilization: The Great Song Transition

Publications and Papers

Books

Tales from Tang Dynasty China: Selections from the Taiping guangji 太平廣記, edited by Alexei Kamran Ditter, Jessey J.C. Choo, and Sarah M. Allen. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2017.

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters (Selected)

“New Frontiers in the Study of Medieval China, Second Workshop: On Muzhiming (Reed College, May 23-24, 2016).” Early Medieval China 21 (2016): 75–80.

“New Frontiers in the Study of Medieval China, Inaugural Workshop: On Muzhiming (Rutgers University, May 15-16, 2015).” Tang Studies 33 (2015): 129–34.

Chuxue ji (Fundamentals of Learning).” In Early Medieval Chinese Texts: A Bibliographic Guide, edited by Cynthia Chennault, Keith Knapp, Alan Berkowitz, and Albert Dien, 52–57. Berkeley and Los Angeles: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California Press, 2015.

“Civil Examinations and Cover Letters in the Mid-Tang: A Close Reading of Dugu Yu’s 獨孤郁 (776-815) “Letter Submitted to Attendant Gentleman Quan of the Ministry of Rites” 上禮部權侍郎書.” In History of Chinese Epistolary Culture, edited by Antje Richter, 642–74. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

“The Commerce of Commemoration: Commissioned Muzhiming in the mid- to late-Tang.” Tang Studies 32 (2014): 21–46.

“Conceptions of Urban Space in Duan Chengshi’s “Records of Monasteries and Stupas.” Tang Studies 29 (2011): 62–83.

“New Shoes and Trimmed Feet: The Formation of the Modern Canon of Tang Dynasty Prose.” Tang Studies 27 (2009): 66–89.

Works in Progress

The Practice of Prose in a Changing World: Genre and Writing in the mid-Tang (766–835). [book manuscript]

Genre and Memory in Medieval China. [book manuscript]

The Study of Medieval Chinese Entombed Epitaphs. [co-edited volume with Jessey J.C. Choo, and Yang Lu]

“Audience and Aims of Mid-Tang Muzhiming: A Preliminary Study.” [Article, Zhonggu Zhongguo yanjiu 中古中國研究, forthcoming 2017]

“Genre and the Construction of Memory: A Case Study of Quan Deyu 權德輿 (759-818).” [chapter in edited volume, forthcoming 2018]

Book Reviews

Nicolas Tackett, The Destruction of the Medieval Chinese Aristocracy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 2014. The Historian 79.1 (Spring 2017): 160–61.

Timothy M. Davis, Entombed Epigraphy and Commemorative Culture in Early Medieval China. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015. Journal of the American Oriental Society. [under review]

Invited Talks (Selected)

“Tomb Epitaph Inscription and Preface for the Joint Burial of his late excellency Yu [Congzhou 從周 (806–51)] of Kuaiji, Gentleman for Court Discussion and Acting Vice Director in the Ministry of Justice and Madam Fang [813–51] of Henan of the Tang” 唐故朝議郎行尚書刑部員外郎會稽余公夫人河南方氏合祔墓誌銘並叙. Text reading seminar held at Reed College, Portland, OR (February 24, 2016)

“Reasons for Remembering: Audiences and Aims of the mid-Tang muzhiming.” University of Oxford China Centre, Oxford, UK (May 7, 2015)

“The Multiple Voices of a Tang muzhiming.” Text reading seminar held at the Needham Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK (May 1, 2015)

“Genre and the Construction of Memory: A Case Study of Quan Deyu 權德輿 (759-818).” University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK (April 22, 2015)

“Audience and Aims of mid-Tang muzhiming: A Preliminary Study.” Paper presented at the “Repainting the Style of Medieval China” Symposium, Fudan University, Shanghai, China (November 8–10, 2014)

“Winning ‘Friends’ and ‘Influencing’ People: Cover Letters and Civil Examination Culture in the Mid-Tang.” Reed College (February 2008)

“Gods, Genres, and Global Warming: Praying for Rain in the Mid-Tang.” Reed College (February 2007)

"Word Markets: Producing, Purchasing, and Marketing Writing in the Tang Dynasty." Reed College (May 2006)

Workshops (Selected)

“Two early Tang ‘Self-Authored’ muzhiming: Wang Ji 王績 (590–644) and Wang Xuanzong 王玄宗 (633–686).” Records of the Dead, Records for the Living: Reading Muzhiming. Los Angeles, CA (May 19-20, 2017)

"Self-Authored muzhiming in the late Tang: Han Chang and Pei Gong." Second Workshop for New Frontiers in the Study of Medieval China, Reed College, Portland, OR (May 23-24, 2016)

“Constructing Memory from the Words of Others: The Role of Cited Speech in a 9th century muzhiming.” Rutgers University, Inaugural Workshop for New Frontiers in the Study of Medieval China, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (May 15-16, 2015)

“Genre and Memory in the Writings of Quan Deyu 權德輿 (759-818).” Invited paper presented at “To Remember, Re-member, and Disremember: Instrumentality of Traditional Chinese Texts” Workshop, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (April 10–11, 2015)

“Audience and Aims of mid-Tang muzhiming: A Preliminary Study.” Paper presented at the “Repainting the Style of Medieval China” Symposium, Fudan University, Shanghai, China (November 8–10, 2014)

“Commemoration by Commission: The Buying and Selling of Memory in the Mid-Tang.” Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (February 21, 2014)

“Authors, Objectives, and Audiences of Mid-Tang Muzhiming: Some Preliminary Thoughts.” Medieval Studies Workshop, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (May 2012)

“The Genre of Cover Letters in the Mid-Tang.” Workshop on Tang Dynasty Culture, Kansas City, KS (May 2010)

Conference Papers and Panels (Selected)

“From Athazagoraphobia to Self-Advertising: Multivalent Motives of Self-Authored muzhiming in the mid- to late-Tang.” Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA (2016)

“Poems on Pillars, Odes to Oysters: Literary Interactions With and Within Chang’an’s Daxingshan Monastery in the 8th and 9th Centuries.” Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Annual Meeting, Portland, OR (November 2015)

“Quotation and Commemoration: Cited Speech in Muzhiming of the mid- and late-Tang.” Western Branch of the American Oriental Society Meeting, Boulder, CO (October 2015)

“Genre and Memory in the Writings of Quan Deyu 權德輿 (759-818).” Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Regional Conference, Vancouver, WA (October 10, 2103)

“Place, Genre, and the Construction of Memory: Chang’an’s Ci’en Monastery in the 8th and 9th Centuries.” Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA (March 2013)

“How to Read the Genre of Muzhiming in the Mid-Tang.” Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Honolulu, HI (April 2011)

“The Auto-Inscribed Life: Self-authored Muzhiming in the Mid- to Late-Tang.” Tang Studies: The Next Twenty-Five Years, Albany, NY (May 2009)

“When Ritual Meets Reality: Medieval Chinese Prayers for Rain in an Age of Climate Change.” American Academy of Religions Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL (November 2008)

“Recluse, Poet, Oddball, Drunk: Genre and the Representation of Tao Yuanming (365?–427).” Western Branch of the American Oriental Society Meeting, Portland, OR (October 2008)