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Paul Vierthaler

Associate Professor of Chinese Studies

Office: Washington Hall 234
Phone: (757) 221-3142
Email: [[pavierthaler]]

Paul Vierthaler, Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies, holds a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures and a M.A. in Asian Studies from Yale University. He also has a B.A. in Chinese and Political Science from the University of Kansas.

Prior to coming to William & Mary, he was an Assistant Professor of the Digital Humanities at Leiden University in the Netherlands from 2016 to 2019, where he also helped establish the Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities. He has also held postdoctoral fellowships at Boston College (in digital humanities), and Harvard University (the An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chinese Studies).

His research focuses primarily on late imperial Chinese literature. His current monograph project tracks how historical information in late imperial China was transmitted and deformed through novels, dramas, and unofficial histories ("quasi-histories") using traditional critical analysis and computational analytics (natural language processing, corpus linguistics, machine learning, and other data analyses). He is interested in both big data analytics and minimal computing.

His work routinely straddles the boundary between the digital humanities and Chinese Studies. He has recently published on using bioinformatics algorithms to study borrowed text across thousands of books. He has also published a study of Chinese print history using digital bibliographic datasets, and a quantitative analysis of stylistic signatures in late imperial fiction.

At William & Mary, he teaches courses on premodern Chinese literature and culture. He is always looking to work with inquisitive and hard-working students who are interested in the computational study of culture, exploring the humane dimensions of big data, and Chinese literary studies (and beyond). Please, reach out to learn more about advising and opportunities for sustained digital research traineeships and collaborations.