Brian Steininger

Associate Professor of East Asian Studies
213 Jones Hall


Brian Steininger studies the reception of Chinese textual culture in premodern Japan through the lenses of literary form, social practice, and media history. His first book, Chinese Literary Forms in Heian Japan: Poetics and Practice (Harvard University Asia Center), examined the social life of Sinitic verse and parallel prose in tenth and eleventh-century Japan, demonstrating how classical genres were reshaped in response to practices of exchange and ritual performance. He has an ongoing interest in interlingual applications of Literary Sinitic across premodern East Asia and co-organizes the Colloquium on Literacies across East Asia, held alternately at Princeton University and Columbia University. He is currently researching the media of scholarship in thirteenth and fourteenth-century Japan, focusing on the intermingling of manuscript and print modes of reproduction and exegesis.

Before arriving at Princeton in 2013, Steininger taught at Bates College. He has undertaken coursework at Sophia University (Tokyo), National Taiwan University, and University of Tokyo, and held visiting appointments at Keio University, Waseda University, and the Institute for Advanced Study. At Princeton, Steininger teaches courses on Japanese literature, East Asian humanities, book history, and comic books.

Selected Publications

The Scribal Imaginary in Medieval Japanese Paratexts,” Journal of Japanese Studies 45.2 (2019) 

Manuscript Culture and Chinese Learning in Medieval Kamakura” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 78.2 (2018) 

“Li Jiao’s Songs: Commentary-Based Reading and the Reception of Tang Poetry in Heian Japan,” East Asian Publishing and Society 6.2 (2016)

Home Department and Other Affiliations
Department of East Asian Studies