Harlan Chambers is a Ph.D. candidate in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture in the Department of East Asian Studies at Columbia University as well as an affiliate of Columbia’s Institute of Comparative Literature and Society. He earned a license in Chinese language and civilization at France’s Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO) as well as an MA in Asian Cultures and Languages from the University of Texas at Austin.
He is currently writing a dissertation exploring the cultural practices of thinkers who committed, body and pen, to the revolutionary transformation of China’s agrarian society, from participating in land reform to the creation of communes. He recently completed dissertation research in archives across the PRC, particularly Hunan and Shanxi provinces, as well as in Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo, with the support of an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council.
Having trained as a classical actor at the Guthrie Theater and performed for several years in France, Harlan has an avid interest in theatre and other forms of live performance. Additional research areas include Marxist thought, political economy, and histories of revolutionary internationalism. He also enjoys translation and has published several texts by Chinese thinkers like Li Tuo, Zhang Jishun, and co-translations of several essays by historian Wang Hui.