CAI Zong-qi, Prof.

  • 8 Castle Peak Road, Tuen Mun

    Hong Kong

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1986 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Name in Chinese



Professor Zong-qi Cai joined Lingnan as a Chair Professor in 2013. After he received his doctorate from Princeton University, he taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and completed his postdoctoral work at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor before moving to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1993.

Professor Cai’s research and teaching interests are classical Chinese poetry and poetics, literary theory, comparative literature, aesthetics, and philosophy. He is the author of The Matrix of Lyric Transformation: Poetic Modes and Self-Presentation in Early Chinese Pentasyllabic Poetry (Michigan, 1996), Configurations of Comparative Poetics: Three Perspectives on Western and Chinese Literary Criticism (Hawaii, 2002; Chinese edition published by Peking University Press in 2012), and 《語法與詩境 - 漢詩藝術之破析》(中華書局,2021年). He has co-authored (with Cui Jie) How to Read Chinese Poetry Workbook (Columbia UP, 2008) and (with Cui Jie and Liu Yucai) How to Read Chinese Prose in Chinese: A Course in Classical Chinese (forthcoming in 2021).  He has also edited/co-edited A Chinese Literary Mind: Culture, Creativity, and Rhetoric in Wenxin Dialong (Stanford, 2001), Chinese Aesthetics: The Ordering of Literature, the Arts, and the Universe in the Six Dynasties (Hawaii, 2004), How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology (Columbia, 2008); Sound and Sense of Chinese Poetry (Duke, 2015), How to Read Chinese Poetry in Context: Poetic Culture from Antiquity through the Tang (Columbia, 2018) (with Wu Shengqing) Emotion and Visuality in Chinese Literature and Culture (Duke, 2019), Theory and Chinese Literary Studies (Duke, 2020), How to Read Chinese Prose: A Guided Anthology (forthcoming in 2021). He has also published numerous articles in both English and Chinese on classical Chinese poetry, literary criticism, comparative literature and philosophy.

Professor Cai is the co-founding editor-in-chief of Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture (JCLC), a semi-annual journal co-hosted by Peking University and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and published by Duke University Press. This journal, launched in 2014, primarily publishes research articles and essays on premodern Chinese literature and all aspects of the broader literary culture. It is committed to an international editorial vision and to promoting in-depth exchange and collaboration among scholars working in China, America, and other parts of the world. Working with his colleagues in the Chinese Department, Professor Cai has helped to re-launch Lingnan Journal of Chinese Studies, once a renowned publication known for its cutting edge scholarship on Chinese traditional learning, and founded the Lingnan Chinese Culture Programme (嶺南大學國學堂) in 2018/19 to promote Chinese culture education for the general public.

Professor Cai has been chosen by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) as 2020 Distinguished Editor for his outstanding work for the Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture; PRISM: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature, and the Lingnan Journal of Chinese Studies. This prestigious award recognises Professor Cai’s impactful editorial work, which is signalled by his efforts to bridge the work of North American and Chinese sinologists. He has consistently promoted and published English translations of key essays by Chinese scholars. Moreover, Professor Cai is committed to publishing interdisciplinary work by early career and senior scholars that brings new theoretical perspectives to Chinese literature and culture.

Research interests

Classical Chinese poetry and poetics; literary theory; comparative literature; aesthetics; philosophy


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