Suyoung Son

Associate Professor


Suyoung Son is a literary and cultural historian of early modern China and Korea (1500-1900). She is interested in the social practices of writing and reading in light of book history, the history of knowledge, and studies of gender and authorship. Her first book, Writing for Print: Publishing and the Making of Textual Authority in Late Imperial China (Harvard UP), examines the widespread practice of self-publishing by writers in late imperial China, focusing on the relationships between manuscript tradition and print convention, peer patronage and popular fame, and gift exchange and commercial transactions in textual production and circulation. She is currently working on two projects, the first of which, titled Culinary Books and Recipes for Knowledge in Chosŏn Korea, examines how cookery writings in Chosŏn Korea mediated between textual knowledge and material practice. The second, tentatively titled The Economy of Print Authorship in Early Modern China, explores the shifting meanings of authorship by investigating the ways in which the intangible author's endeavor was translated into credit, authority, and authorial property in the commercial book market in early modern China. A native of South Korea, she earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago prior to coming to Cornell.



Writing for Print: Publishing and the Making of Textual Authority in Late Imperial China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2018).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Publisher at Work: Yu Xiangdou’s Images and Visualizing Intellectual Labor,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 80.2 (forthcoming).
  • “Print and Transnational Referentiality: Nam Kong-ch’ŏl’s Printing of Kǔmnǔng chip,” The Routledge Companion to Korean Literature, ed. Heekyoung Cho (London and N.Y.: Routledge, 2022), pp. 161-86.
  • “Premodern Literary Collectanea,” Literary Information in China: A History, eds. Jack Chen, et al. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2021), pp. 523-32.
  • “How to Read a Sinographic Text in Eighteenth-Century Chosŏn Korea: Liuxi waizhuan and Yi Tŏngmu’s Compilation of Noeroe nangnak sŏ,” Journal of Asian Studies 78.2 (2019): 329-53.
  • "Between Writing and Publishing Letters: Publishing a Letter about Book Proprietorship," A History of Chinese Letters and Epistolary Culture, ed. Antje Richter (Leiden: Brill, 2015), pp. 878-99.
  • "Reading an Authorless Text: The Reception of Jin Ping Mei in Manuscript and Print," Journal of Chinese Language and Literature [Chungguk ŏmunhak nonjip] 81 (2013.8): 439-55.
  • "Transmitting Haoqiu zhuan in Eighteenth-Century Chosŏn Korea," East Asian Publishing and Society 3 (2013): 3-30.
  • "Publishing as a Coterie Enterprise: Zhang Chao and Making Printed Texts in Early Qing China," Late Imperial China 31.1 (June 2010): 98-136.
  • "Positioning Taiping guangji in the History of Chinese Narrative," Journal of Chinese Language and Literature [Chungguk ŏmunhak nonjip] 12 (1999): 251-66 (Korean)

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