Michael Hunter

Michael Hunter's picture
Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures
(203) 432-7529


I received my Ph.D. in 2012 from the East Asian Studies department at Princeton University, where I studied under Willard Peterson and Martin Kern. My first book, entitled Confucius Beyond the Analects (Leiden: Brill, 2017)is a comprehensive survey of the wealth of Confucius material from ancient China. In addition to charting the history of the Confucius figure, I argue that the Confucian Analects, traditionally the most authoritative source of Confucius’s teachings, was first compiled during the early part of the Han empire, roughly three centuries later than is usually supposed. My current book project, tentatively entitled Early Chinese Thought, Re-Mastered, builds on the first book to argue for a thorough reevaluation of “master” figures and the formation of zhuzi 諸子 literature.

My teaching and research interests cover various aspects of early Chinese culture but with a heavy emphasis on early thought and literature. Having earned my B.A. in Western classics and philosophy from Swarthmore College, I am keenly interested in comparing early Chinese intellectuals with their counterparts across the ancient world, for example, in my “Sages of the Ancient World” course. I am also an enthusiastic proponent of the use of digital research tools for the study of early Chinese texts. I have given a number of workshops (at Yale, Princeton, Penn, and elsewhere) on the use of digital texts and regular expressions, and I am always happy to be invited to share those experiences with students and scholars at other institutions. Together with Tina Lu, I am also a PI for the Ten Thousand Rooms Project, a digital initiative hosted by Yale University with support from the Mellon Foundation.


B.A., Swarthmore College, 2000
M.A., Sheffield University, 2006
Ph.D., Princeton University, 2012