Alia Breitwieser Goehr

Teaching Fellow in The Master of Arts Program in the Humanities
Classics 116
Ph.D., Universty of Chicago, 2021
Teaching at UChicago since 2021
Cohort Year: 2012
Research Interests: Traditional Chinese literature & philosophy; literary forms; intermediality; philosophies of history; ethics & aesthetics.
Education: B. A. in Chinese, Reed College, 2008

My research is devoted to excavating “new” approaches to thinking about literary practice from the intellectually diverse field of traditional Chinese literature, philosophy, and literary criticism. To this end, much of my work to date engages with Chinese thought of the 16th and 17th centuries—a long moment of philosophical, political, and cultural upheaval when, in a manner that resonates with our own moment, Chinese thinkers, teachers, and policy makers were deeply concerned with the ethical implications of how people read and write. I am presently working on two projects, dealing with two disparate thinkers, that illuminate this intellectually scintillating epoch. One is my dissertation, the first rigorously multi-generic study to consider the ethical and ontological implications of Jin Shengtan’s 金聖歎 (1608-1661) famous literary commentaries. The other examines an unstudied body of annotated literary anthologies associated with the relatively unknown but historically prominent scholar official Zhang Nai 張鼐 (jinshi 1604) and his illustrious intellectual milieu, which included the Gong’an critic Yuan Hongdao and the Jesuit missionary Sabatino de Ursis.

Workshops: Literature and Philosophy, Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia, Art and Politics in East Asia

Teaching Experience: 

Comparative Literature B. A. Seminar (instructor, 2020-2021)

Realms of Uncertainty: Buddhism & Chinese Literature (instructor, autumn 2020)

Rock, Paper, Surface: Matters of Meaning in Pre-Modern China (instructor, spring 2019)


The European 18th Century Novel (course assistant, winter 2017)

Literatures of “Eurasia” (course assistant, autumn 2016)

History and Theory of Drama (course assistant, autumn 2013)


Philosophical Perspectives II (writing intern, winter 2019)

Reading Cultures II (writing intern, winter 2019)

Reading Cultures I (writing intern, autumn 2018)

Reading Cultures I 2 sections (writing intern, autumn 2018)

Human Being and Citizen II (writing intern, winter 2016)

Human Being and Citizen I (writing intern, autumn 2015)