Professor Dr. Liu graduated with a B.L. from Peking University in 1985. After graduation, he worked as an editor in the section for foreign language and literature at the Peking University Press before joining the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition under the tutelage of Dr. Douglas R. Hofstadter at Indiana University in Bloomington (IUB) in 1989. He was subsequently admitted to the Comparative Literature program at IUB where he was awarded M.A. in comparative literature. He went on to pursue a doctoral degree in the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale University with the late Professor Cyrus Hamlin of German and Comparative Literature as his Doktorvater. He graduated with Ph.D. from Yale in 2001. He then taught at Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, and Bard College. Since 2003, he has been teaching at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He is now professor in the Department of Chinese and Japanese and Asian Studies Program and is currently serving as department chair for Chinese and Japanese. In the past decade, he was on the faculty of German Department at Nanjing University in China for three years and more recently was a research fellow in the Lyric-in-Transition project at University of Trier in Germany. He was awarded a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) based in Germany and a fellowship from the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences at Peking University. Over the years, he gave many talks and lectures in the world including Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, and Universität Trier in Germany and Peking University, Fudan University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Nanjing University and many other institutions in China.
Dr. Liu commands several languages including German, French, Classical Greek and Latin as well as Chinese and English. His research field includes classical and modern Chinese literature, English and American poetry, German Romantic and modern poetry, ancient Greek and Roman poetry as well as literary theory and German Idealist and hermeneutic philosophy.
Early in 2021, his Chinese translation of the complete Victory Odes of Pindar, the first ever in the Chinese-speaking world, was published by the Peking University Press. Simultaneously, his translation with an in-depth commentary of Horace Odes (the first two books) was published in Shanghai by the Shanghai Normal University Press. His new book, A Poetical and Archaeological Tour of Sicily, is scheduled to appear in 2023. Also forthcoming is a monograph on Chinese and Western comparative classical textual criticism. His past publications include English monographs on Ezra Pound, Zhou Zuoren, Fei Ming, and Gadamer’s hermeneutic theory on the one hand and Chinese translations and studies of R.M. Rilke’s Duino Elegies and Friedrich Hölderlin’s poetry and poetical fragments of the period between 1800 and 1807 on the other. He also published a collection of essays on poetry and culture. When he was still at Peking University, he played a central role in the collective translation project of Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Gold Braid, which has been a best-seller since its publication by the Commercial Press. He is currently working on a monograph on the theoretical issue of allegory and on an annotated Chinese translation of Hölderlin’s odes.
Books I and II of Horace's Odes, a Chinese translation from Latin with commentaries. Peking University Press. Forthcoming.
Lierke Duyinuo aige shuping《里爾克<杜伊諾哀歌>述評》(Rilkes Duineser Elegien: Text, Übersetzung, Erläuterungen, Kritik). Shanghai: Wenyi. 2017. 300 pages.
Heerdelin houqishigeji 《荷爾德林後期詩歌集》(Gedichte und Fragmente aus der späten Schöpfungszeit Hölderlins (1800 – 1807 / Poems and Fragments of Hölderlin in His Late Period (between 1800 and 1807). Shanghai: The East China Normal University Press, 2013. 295 pages.
Xiao pipingji 《小批評集》Critica minora. Nanjing: Nanjing University Press, 2011. 297 pages. Collection of essays on literature, culture and film.
Heerdelin houqi shige：Wenben juan 《荷爾德林後期詩歌·文本卷》，(Die späte Dichtung Hölderlins (aus den Jahren 1800 – 1807. Texte) / Hölderlin’s late Poetry (between 1800 and 1807. Texts). Hermes: Classici et Commentarii. Ed. Dr. Liu Xiaofeng. A bilingual edition with the German original texts and Chinese translations. Shanghai: The East China Normal University Press, 2009. 616 pages.
Heerdelin houqi shige: Pingzhu juan 《荷爾德林後期詩歌·評注卷》，(Die späte Dichtung Hölderlins: Studien und Erläuterung. / Hölderlin’s Poetry of the late period: Studies and Annotations). 2 vols. Hermes: Classici et Commentarii. Ed. Dr. Liu Xiaofeng. Shanghai: The East China Normal University Press, 2009. An in-depth study and annotations of the German poet’s late poetical works. 1014 pages.
Duyinuo aige 《杜伊諾哀歌》(Duineser Elegien / Duino Elegies). Shenyang, Liaoning: Liaoning jiaoyu (Liaoning Education Press), 2005. A bilingual critical edition with the original texts and a Chinese translation of the poetical masterpiece. The critical apparatus includes translations of several essays and letters by Rainer Maria Rilke, an original introduction, annotations, notes, and two original critical essays. 244 pages.
The Taiwan edition of the above book was published later in the same year by Shangwu yinshuguan 商務印書馆 in Taipei, the oldest modern publishing house first established in Shanghai in the 19th century and still one of the most prestigious publishers in Taiwan.
Co-translated. Gede’er, Aishe’er, Bahe, Jiyibi zhi dacheng 《哥德爾，埃舍爾，巴赫：集異璧之大成》. Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1996. Gödel, Escher Bach, an Eternal Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter. NY: Vintage Books, 1980. Winner of 1979 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction.
Academic Journal articles
“Penglai, Cinnabar and the Great Roc: the Presence of Daoism in Du Fu’s Poetry,” a study of Daoist imagination in Du Fu’s (712-770 c.e.) poetry. Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art 文藝理論研究 2013. 5: 64-86.
“Touming de fanyi” 透明的翻譯 (“The Transparent Translation: Issues in the Chinese Translation of Western Poetry”) Tongjidaxue xuebao 同濟大學學報 (Journal of Tongji University) 23. 3 (May, 2012): 8-20.
“Pharmaka and Volgar’ Eloquio: Speech and Ideogrammic Writing in Ezra Pound’s Canto XCVIII.” Asia Major 3d. series 22. 2 (2009): 179-214.
“From Little Savages to hen kai pan, Zhou Zuoren’s (1885-1968) Romanticist Impulses Around 1920.” Asia Major 3d. series 15. 1(2002): 109-60. The actual acceptance and publication dates were 2004 and 2005, respectively, thanks to an interruption of the journal in previous years. Authoritative Chinese translation, Xinshi yanjiu 《新詩評論》(New Poetry Review) No. 7 (January, 2008): 91-124.
“Fei Ming’s Poetics of Representation: Dream, Fantasy, Illusion, and Ālayavijñāna.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 13. 2 (2001, fall): 30-71. Authoritative Chinese translation, Xinshi yanjiu 《新詩評論》(New Poetry Review) No. 2 (October, 2005): 67-118.
“Subtilitas Applicandi as Self-Knowledge: a Critique of the Concept of Application in Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Truth and Method.” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy10.2(1996): 128-47.
Research and Academic Interests
Modern Chinese Literature
Ancient Chinese Literature
Modern Chinese Poetry
ASIA/CHJA 366 Seminar in Transcending the Limit: Literary Theory in the East-West Context
CHIN 105 Elementary Chinese