Sarah M. Allen

Photo of Sarah M. Allen

Professor of Comparative Literature

Hollander Hall Rm 204


A.B. Harvard University, East Asian Lang & Civilization (1992)
M.A. University of Michigan, Chinese Literature (1996)
Ph.D. Harvard University, East Asian Lang & Civilization (2003)

Areas of Expertise

Medieval Chinese literature and literary culture; story and narrative

Scholarship/Creative Work

Monograph and edited volumes
Shifting Stories: History, Gossip, and Lore in Narratives from Tang Dynasty China. Harvard University Asia Center, 2014.

Tales from Tang Dynasty China: Selections from the Taiping guangji, ed. Alexei Ditter, Jessey J.C. Choo, and Sarah M. Allen. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2017.

Literary History in and beyond China: Reading Text and World, ed. Sarah M. Allen, Jack W. Chen, and Xiaofei Tian. Harvard University Asia Center, 2023.

The Poetry of Li He 李賀歌詩, trans. Robert Ashmore and ed. Sarah M. Allen, Christopher Nugent, and Xiaofei Tian. Library of Chinese Humanities series, forthcoming from DeGruyter, Spring 2023.

“The Creation of a Genre: The Long, Slow Rise of ‘Tang chuanqi.’” In Literary History in and beyond China: Reading Text and World, ed. Allen, Chen, and Tian, 98–124. Harvard University Asia Center, 2023.

“Fiction as Supplement to History: the Case of Yuan Jiao’s Ganze yao.” History of Humanities 7.1 (Spring 2022): 17–36.

“Middle Period Imperial Encyclopedias.” In Literary Information in China: A History, ed. Chen, Detwyler, Liu, Nugent, and Rusk, 307–315. Columbia University Press, 2021.

“Fictionality in Early and Medieval China.” Co-authored with Jack W. Chen. New Literary History 51.1 (Winter, 2020): 231–34.

“Translating narrative: the stories of the Dunhuang Soushen ji.” In Intralingual Translation, Diglossia, and the Rise of Vernaculars in East Asian Classical and Premodern Cultures, ed. Rainier Lanselle (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, France) and Barbara Bisetto (University of Milano-Bicoca, Italy). Under review at Brill.

“Figments of Memory: ‘Xu Yunfeng’ and the Formation of a Historical Moment.” In Memory in Medieval China: Text, Ritual, and Community, ed. Swartz and Campany, 213–42. Brill, 2018.

“Modern Perspectives on Genre: Narrative Genres.” In Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE – 900 CE), ed. Denecke, Li, and Tian, 273–87. Oxford University Press, 2017.

“Oral Sources and Written Accounts: Authority in Tang Stories.” In Idle Talk: Gossip and Anecdote in Traditional China, ed. Chen and Schaberg, 71–87. University of California Press, 2013.

“Tales Retold: Narrative Variation in a Tang Story.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 66.1 (June, 2006): 105–43.

Professional Affiliations

Association for Asian Studies
T’ang Studies Society
Early Medieval China Group

Current Committees

  • Committee on Academic Standing, Chair