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Research Interests:
Arts, Humanities
Discipline: Chinese Literature
Pillar / Cluster: Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


Zhenxing Zhao studied at Beijing Normal University where he received dual bachelor degrees in Chinese history and English. In 2006 he moved from Beijing to Singapore and began his doctoral work in National University of Singapore.  His major research interests are the rise of Chinese novel, Chinese intellectual history, the Chinese garden and digital humanities.  His doctoral work has emphasized on two great Chinese novels: Plum in the Golden Vase and Dream of the Red Chamber and discusses: how the lyricism in poetry, which dominated the Chinese literary tradition for three millennia, influences the Chinese novel; how Chinese artists in the early modern period viewed their ancient cultural legacy; how Chinese artists used this legacy to create new artistic works. In SUTD, he teaches courses on the humanities core curriculum, Chinese fiction, Chinese poetry and Asian philosophy. Currently, he is working on a special project which aims to establish a relationship between the classical Chinese garden and Chinese novel.

Key Publications


“Grotesque Lyrical World: the Qi-yan Aesthetic of the Plum in the Golden Vase”  (Ph.D. Dissertation, National University of Singapore, 2015), 174pp.


Translation into Chinese of Terry Eagleton, The English Novel: An Introduction. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005). (In contract with Shanghai Shiji Wenjing, May, 2019)

Article in Journal

<以诗传情的有情世界:抒情传统与元明传奇小说的兴起>, 《明清小说研究》2015.(即刊)“A World with Feeling: the Chinese Lyrical Tradition and Rise of Yuan-Ming Chuan-qi Romance” . The Journal of Ming-Qing Fiction Studies (2015). (13,500words, 14pages) forthcoming.

Paper in Books
“Re-reading Precious Mirror of Love: Homoerotic Desire in the Dream of Red Chamber ” in Wong Sin Kiong and Quah Sy Ren, eds. Cross-disciplinary Dialogue and Collision: Collected Essays of Chinese Studies Graduate Students of NUS and NTU. (Singapore: Youth Books, 2009).

Conference Paper

“Grotesque Lyrical World: Reappraisal of Plum in the Golden Vase in the history of Chinese novel from the perspective of Inter-texuality”. Paper presented at Biannual Conference of the Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature. Fudan University, Shanghai. June 18-20, 2015.

“Landscape Narrative : Garden and its Significance in Jin Ping Mei ” paper presented at International Postgraduate Symposium on Chinese Studies in Asia. Institute of Chinese Studies, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Nov.19-20, 2011.


  • Ph.D. Classical Chinese literature, National University of Singapore, Singapore 2015
  • M.A Classical Chinese Literature, National University of Singapore, Singapore 2009
  • B.A Chinese History and English, Beijing Normal University, China 2005


Classical Chinese literature, especially on Plum in the Golden Vase 《金瓶梅》 and Dream of the Red Chamber 《红楼梦》; Chinese intellectual history and Chinese gardens


  • Research Scholarship, National University of Singapore, 2010-2013
  • Research Scholarship, National University of Singapore, 2007-2009