Elvin Meng

Classics 116
Cohort Year: 2020
Research Interests: East Asian & European thought, media history & theory, translation, Manchu studies, intellectual history (esp. of linguistics, communication, and musicology), history of science and technology, literary theory
Education: M.A. in Mathematics, Johns Hopkins University; B.A. in English and Mathematics, Johns Hopkins University

Elvin Meng received his degrees in English and Mathematics from the Johns Hopkins University. His comparative studies center around media, multilingualism, material culture, and intellectual history in the early modern and modern world.

Trained as a mathematician and a scholar of literary modernism, he is the author of forthcoming articles on the compensatory musicality of James Joyce’s prose in Ulysses, digitally-mediated censorship and translation in the Sinocybersphere, and the Nabokovian temporality of the dream experiments of interwar psychical research.

His current research deals with the history of linguistic and musical knowledge—both broadly construed—in early modern China. Current projects include a portrait of twelfth-century Chinese vitalist grammatology, a re-examination of the concept of “phonocentrism” as it pertains to East Asia, an excavation of Manchu theorizations of translation, and a study of Qing multilingual print/manuscript culture based on the marginalia and other paratextual practices in the Manchu rare books collection in the Regenstein, of which he is in the process of producing a published catalogue.

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant (Johns Hopkins):

AS.110.212 Honors Linear Algebra

AS.110.202 Calculus III

AS.110.109 Calculus II


“Cetacean Temporalities: Experiments with Time in John William Dunne and Vladimir Nabokov,” forthcoming in Modernism/modernity.

“Reintroducing the Sirens’ Fugue” forthcoming.

“Viral Text: Translation, Censorship, Community,” forthcoming.