Dr Ewan Macdonald



Subject areas



College phone


I completed my undergraduate degree in Japanese Studies at the University of Edinburgh, before continuing to study Chinese literature in Taipei for a year. I then spent a period working as a freelance translator before going to SOAS in 2012 to study an MA in the theory and practice of Chinese-English translation. As part of my MA dissertation project I translated a story from the late Ming short story collection Pai’an jingqi 拍案惊奇 (Slapping the Table in Amazement), written by Ling Mengchu 凌濛初 (1580-1644). These stories then became the subject of my PhD research, also at SOAS, in which I argue that Ling’s manipulation of the interactions between his three major roles in the text (writer, simulated storyteller, and marginal commentator) to enhance the didactic effect and entertainment value of the stories represents a broader reimagining of the genre as defined by Feng Menglong’s 馮夢龍 (1574-1646) earlier collections. In Ling’s reimagining of the genre, the dual purpose of the stories- didacticism and entertainment- is elevated above all other concerns, including the aspiration to serious literary respectability expressed by Feng. For my next project, I intend to examine the incredibly rich range of formal innovations found in a raft of less well-known short story collections dating from the period of the Ming-Qing transition