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Allan H. Barr

Professor of Chinese
With Pomona Since: 1981
  • Expertise

    Expertise

    As a longtime scholar of classical Chinese literature, Allan Barr examines the relationship between fiction and history. He is the author of a book in Chinese on a notorious literary inquisition in 17th-century China, Jiangnan yi jie: Qingren bixia de Zhuangshi shi’an (Hangzhou: Zhejiang Ancient Books Publishing House, 2016). He has also published numerous articles on Ming and Qing literature in both Western and Chinese journals. As a translator of modern Chinese literature, he has translated several books by Yu Hua, one of China’s most celebrated living authors, including the widely admired China in Ten Words. He also edited and translated the collected blog posts of one of China’s most controversial celebrities—author, blogger and racecar driver Han Han.

    Research Interests

    Barr’s research focuses primarily on Chinese fiction during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, particularly tales in classical Chinese. Much of his work examines the relationship between fiction and history, and draws on a wide range of primary sources to shed light on the cultural scene in late imperial China. He has published extensively on the writings of Pu Songling (1640-1715) and other authors active in the 17th and 18th centuries in China.

    Areas of Expertise

    CHINA

    • Chinese literature
    • Fiction and narrative in the Ming and Qing dynasties
    • The life and work of Pu Songling (1640-1715)
    • Contemporary Chinese fiction
    • The work of Yu Hua.
  • Work

    Work

    The April 3rd Incident: Stories, translation of a collection by Yu Hua (Pantheon, 2018)

    Jiangnan yi jie: Qingren bixia de Zhuang shi shi'an 江南一劫:清人笔下的庄氏史案, (Zhejiang guji chubanshe, 2016)

    The Seventh Day, translation of novel by Yu Hua (Pantheon, 2015)

    Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China, translation of collection by Yu Hua (Pantheon, 2014)

    This Generation: Dispatches from China’s Most Popular Literary Star (and Race Car Driver), 

    collection and translation of blog posts by Han Han 

    China in Ten Words, translation of essays by Yu Hua (Pantheon, 2012)

    Cries in the Drizzle, translation of novel by Yu Hua (Anchor, 2007)

    Liaozhai zhiyi and Shiji,” Asia Major, Third Series, 20:1, pp. 133-53, 2007

    “Novelty, Character and Community in Zhang Chao’s Yu Chu Xinzhi,” in Trauma and Transcendence in Early Qing Literature (W. Idema, W. Li and E. Widmer, eds., Harvard University Asia Center, 2005)

    Jiangnan yi jie: Qingren bixia de Zhuang shi shi'an , forthcoming from Zhejiang guji chubanshe

    The Seventh Day, translation of novel by Yu Hua (Pantheon, 2015)

    Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China, translation of collection by Yu Hua (Pantheon, 2014)

    This Generation: Dispatches from China’s Most Popular Literary Star (and Race Car Driver), collection and translation of blog posts by Han Han 

    China in Ten Words, translation of essays by Yu Hua (Pantheon, 2012)

    Cries in the Drizzle, translation of novel by Yu Hua (Anchor, 2007)

    “Liaozhai zhiyi and Shiji,” Asia Major, Third Series, 20:1, pp. 133-53, 2007

    “Novelty, Character and Community in Zhang Chao’s Yu Chu Xinzhi,” in Trauma and Transcendence in Early Qing Literature (W. Idema, W. Li andE. Widmer, eds., Harvard University Asia Center, 2005)

  • Education

    Education

    1983, D. Phil, Oxford University

    1980, M.A., Cambridge University

    1977, B.A. Honours, Cambridge University

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Advanced Chinese
    • Advanced Chinese
    • Independent Study: Chinese Language and Literature
    • Survey of Chinese Classical Literature
    • Independent Study: Chinese Literature
    • Critical Inquiry Seminar
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowship, 1990-1991

    British Academy Visiting Professorship, 1995

    Chinese Culture Fellowship, 2005

    Taiwan Fellowship, 2012