I was first trained in English and Germanic Studies at Friedrich Schiller University, Jena (East Germany). In 1989, I embarked on a second career in Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Chinese Art and Archaeology at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. After my doctorate in 1998, I taught at Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, where I habilitated in 2004. In 2007, I joined the faculty of ALC at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

I study the culture of early and medieval China, with research interests across several areas, in particular literature, art history, religion, and medicine. I am the author of a monograph on the notion of sleep in early Chinese literature (2001) and of the book Letter Writing and Epistolary Culture in Early Medieval China (Seattle: U. Washington Pr., 2013). Currently I am preparing a History of Chinese Epistolary Culture.

Apart from letter writing, my research focuses on other fields of early and early medieval Chinese culture and literature, in particular features of narrative prose, literary thought (especially in Wenxin diaolong), medical self-narratives, reflections on nature and wilderness in the poetry of Xie Lingyun (385–433) and others, as well as literary representations and medical ideas of sleeping and dreaming.

I am Associate Editor for East Asia at The Journal of the American Oriental Society (JAOS) and Secretary-Treasurer of the Western Branch of the American Oriental Society (AOS).

Last update: May 2014