Zhenzhen Lu is a scholar of late imperial Chinese literature and culture. She received her B.A. from Harvard University (2006), M.A. from the University of Chicago (2012), and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (2017). Her research explores Chinese vernacular literature and manuscript culture at the intersection of literary studies and cultural history. Drawing on archival research in China and Japan, her book manuscript, The Vernacular World of Pu Songling, examines a diverse body of writings from rural Shandong attributed to the writer Pu Songling (1640-1715). It tells the story of a lively local manuscript culture in the Qing, the literary worlds it transmits, and reflects on colloquial song and narrative as mediums of dissent, diversion, and innovation.
As a researcher at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the University of Hamburg from 2017 to 2019, where she remains affiliated, Zhenzhen worked on a project which explored the commercial scribal production of entertainment literature in late Qing Beijing. Her forthcoming publications on the subject shed light on the surprising scale and variety of performance-related literature which circulated through scribal copies as late as the 19th century. Zhenzhen plans to further explore this topic in the broader framework of publishing in late imperial China, and maintains an active interest in comparative manuscript studies, print history, popular culture, and collecting and literary scholarship in early 20th century East Asia. Her recent works include Baiben Zhang: A Scribal Publisher in 19th century Beijing and The Production of zidishu in Manuscript and Print During the Qing and Republican Eras: A Survey of the Extant Corpus.