David Porter

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Professor of Comparative Literature
Professor of English

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Comparative Literature
      Center for Chinese Studies
      English Language and Literature
  • Fields of Study
    • Areas of research: Eighteenth-century studies, East-West studies, China in the European imagination, comparative cultural studies Languages:  French, German, Chinese
  • About

    Areas of research: Eighteenth-century studies, East-West studies, China in the European imagination, comparative cultural studies
    Languages:  French, German, Chinese

    David Porter received the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Stanford University in 1996 and has been teaching at the University of Michigan since that time.  He is the author of Ideographia: The Chinese Cipher in Early Modern Europe (2001) and The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England (2010).  Additional publications include articles on cross-cultural aesthetics and comparative methodology. He is the recipient of major research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, and the Institute for Advanced Study.  Ongoing projects include a comparative study of the literary cultures of China and England in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Teaching interests in Comparative Literature include undergraduate courses on comparative early modernities and graduate seminars on theories of world literature and comparative methodologies.  

    Select Publications:

    • Comparative Early Modernities: 1100-1800 (editor, with introduction). Forthcoming from Palgrave.
    • The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
    • Ideographia: The Chinese Cipher in Early Modern Europe. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. (Translation rights have been acquired by Nanjing People’s Press, with publication expected in 2011.)
    • Internet Culture (editor, with introduction).  New York: Routledge, 1997. 
    • Between Men and Feminism (editor, with introduction).  London: Routledge, 1992.
    • “Sinicizing Early Modernity: The Imperatives of Historical Cosmopolitanism,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 43.3 (2010).
    • “China is Not a Foreign Country:  The Promises and Perils of Cross-Cultural Comparison,” Michigan Quarterly Review 47.2 (2008), 169-181.
    • “Taihu Tatlers:  Aesthetic Translation in the China Trade,” in Jennie Batchelor and Cora Kaplan, eds., Women and Material Culture: 1660-1830.  New York: Palgrave, 2007.
    • “‘Beyond the Bounds of Truth: Cultural Translation and William Chambers’ Chinese Garden,” Mosaic 37.2 (2004): 41-58.
    • “Monstrous Beauty: Eighteenth-Century Fashion and the Aesthetics of the Chinese Taste,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 35 (2002): 395-411

     

  • Education
    • Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Stanford University
  • Research Areas of Interest
    • Eighteenth-century studies, comparative early modernities, East/West studies and material culture.
  • Selected Publications:
  • Books