Daniel Fried

/Daniel Freed/

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - East Asian Studies Dept
Chair, Faculty of Arts - East Asian Studies Dept

Pronouns: he/him


Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - East Asian Studies Dept

Chair, Faculty of Arts - East Asian Studies Dept


Area of Study / Keywords

Chinese philosophy Chinese Literature Comparative Literature Intellectual History


I specialize in comparative approaches to classical Chinese literature and intellectual history, addressing topics of how reading and writing practices are conceived and contextualized in ancient and medieval China, and how these compare to European modes of textuality.

In my most recent book, The First Print Era, I examine the way in which print culture first took hold in the Northern Song Dynasty, and how certain ways of cultural production and consumption were changed by the widespread adoption of print over the course of the 11th century. 

My previous book, Dao and Sign in History, these interests take the form of an investigation of Daoist semiotics: the first part of the work discusses this tradition in comparison with Continental philosophy of the relation of language to ethics, and the second examines the historical uses of Daoist semiotic thought in Six Dynasties China.

Currently, I am working on a work of literary non-fiction relating Daoist philosophy to social activism.

I also do have subsidiary research interests in modern Chinese literature, as well as in European literatures, and often teach these topics, as well as courses in literary theory, at the undergraduate level. However, I only accept new graduate students who are planning to work on topics in Chinese literature or philosophy from the Warring States period through the Southern Song dynasty. 


EASIA 239 - Daoism and Chinese Civilization

Classical Chinese Daoist thought and its influence on the later history and culture of China.

Browse more courses taught by Daniel Fried

Scholarly Activities

Research - Co-Editor, Routledge Studies in Comparative Chinese Literature and Culture

May 2020 to Ongoing

Routledge Studies in Comparative Chinese Literature and Culture is a new scholarly series intended to bridge Anglophone and Sinophone discussions of Chinese literary and cultural engagements with the rest of the world. Proposals for innovative, high-quality research on any subject within this field are welcome.

Research - Founding Chair, MLA Forum in pre-14th Century Chinese Literature

20180101 to 20181231

I organized the MLA forum in pre-14th century Chinese literature, and served as the first chair of the forum.

Admin - President, Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature

20171101 to 20190801

Featured Publications

Daniel Fried

2023 October; 10.4324/9781003322634

Rivers to the East: Heidegger’s Lectures on Hölderlin as Prolegomena for Daoist Engagements

2022 January;

Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy. 2022 January; 10.1007/978-3-030-92331-0_15

Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy. 2022 January; 10.1007/978-3-030-92331-0_12

Song Dynasty Classicism and the Eleventh Century "Print Modernity"

2020 January;

Dao and Sign in History: Daoist Arche-Semiotics in Ancient and Medieval China

2018 January;

(Non-)Geographical Futures of Comparative Literature [Special Issue]

2014 January;

Culture, Theory and Critique. 2014 January; 10.1080/14735784.2014.892768

Canadian Review of Comparative Literature. 2014 January; 10.1353/crc.2014.0035

Dao. 2012 January; 10.1007/s11712-012-9290-1

A Never-Stable Word: Zhuangzi's Zhiyan 卮言 and 'Tipping-Vessel' Irrigation

2007 January;

Defining Courtesy: Spenser, Calepine and Renaissance Lexicography

2007 January;

Riding Off into the Sunrise: Genre Contingency and the Origin of the Chinese Western

2007 January;

Beijing's Crypto-Victorian: Traditionalist Influences on Hu Shi's Poetic Practice

2006 January;

The Politics of the Coleridgean Symbol

2006 January;

Interrogative Ecocriticism and the Rhetoric of Global Warming

2005 January;

Of Boars, Rhapsodes, and the Uses of Culturalist Error

2005 January;

A Bloody Absence: Communist Narratology and the Literature of May Thirtieth

2004 January;

Allegory, Allegoresis, and the Hermeneutics of Social Networks

2003 January;

Milton and Empiricist Semiotics

2003 January;

Daniel Fried

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