Assistant Professor, Department of East Asian Studies
Nathan Vedal is an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Studies.
He is broadly interested in the intellectual, cultural, and literary history of late imperial China and early modern East Asia between roughly the 15th and 19th centuries. He employs approaches from book history and the history of science and humanities to support his research on the circulation of knowledge and books.
His first monograph, The Culture of Language in Ming China, examines the history of language study and the formation of scholarly disciplines in China from the 16th through 18th centuries, demonstrating how the boundaries surrounding linguistic study shifted according to contemporary intellectual trends.
His current research investigates how early modern scholars and literary figures compiled reference works, such as encyclopedias, and how readers and writers put them to use.
His research has recently appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Asian Studies, Late Imperial China, and the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. Prior to coming to U of T, Vedal was an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis and held a Mellon Fellowship for Assistant Professors at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University last year.