Universiteit Leiden

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Wilt Idema

Emeritus Professor of Chinese Literature

Prof.dr. W.L. Idema
+31 71 527 2171

Wilt Idema is emeritus professor and doesn't have a desk at the university. Please send an email to idema@fas.harvard.edu if you want to contact him. The above mentioned telephone number is the number of the secretariat.

More information about Wilt Idema


E-mailaddress: idema@fas.harvard.edu

Research interests

Idema’s research is focused on traditional Chinese vernacular literature. His doctoral dissertation (1974) was devoted to the formative period of traditional Chinese vernacular fiction. In the following years he published extensively on early Chinese drama from the period 1250-1450. In more recent years his rhis publications have increasingly been devoted to traditional Chinese narrative ballads. Idema has also worked on traditional women’s literature of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

For his Dutch translations of classical Chinese poetry he was awarded the Martinus Nijhoff Prijs 1992.


Wilt L. Idema (b. 1944) studied Chinese language and culture at Leiden University from 1963 to 1968. Following advanced study in Japan and Hong Kong, he taught Chinese literature at Leiden University from 1970 till 1999, from 1976 in the capacity of Professor of Chinese Language and Literature. During these years he also served in a variety of administrative functions. From 2000 till 2013 he was Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University. Currently he is Research Professor of Chinese Literature at that institution.

Representative recent publications

  • Wilt L. Idema, The Red Brush: Writing Women of Imperial China (with Beata Grant). Cambridge MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2004.

  • Wilt L. Idema, Meng Jiangnü Brings Down the Great Wall: Ten Versions of a Chinese Legend. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008.

  • Wilt L. Idema, Monks, Bandits, Lovers, and Immortals: Eleven Early Chinese Plays (with Stephen H. West). Indianapolis: Hackett, 2010.

  • Wilt L. Idema, Judge Bao and the Rule of Law: Eight Ballad-Stories from the Period 1250-1450. Singapore: World Scientific, 2010.

  • Wilt L. Idema, Escape from Blood Pond Hell: The Tales of Mulian and Woman Huang (with Beata Grant). Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011.

  • Wilt L. Idema, Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood: Early Chinese Plays on the Three Kingdoms (with Stephen H. Werst). Indianapolis: Hackett, 2012.

  • Wilt L. Idema, Ed. Chinese Studies in the Netherlands: Past, Present and Future. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

Emeritus Professor of Chinese Literature

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS China


  • Geen relevante nevenwerkzaamheden
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