Gian-Piero Persiani

 Gian-Piero Persiani

Contact Information

2051 Foreign Languages Building
707 S. Mathews Avenue, M/C146
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

Office Hours

  • MW 10:00-11:00 or by appointment
Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature


My goal as a historian of ancient literatures and cultures is to recover and convey something of the complexity of premodern literary and artistic phenomena. I work in both synchronic (organization of the cultural field at a specific point in time) and diachronic (development over time) contexts. I am currently completing a manuscript on the boom of waka poetry in the tenth century (ca. 890-970). Other projects include a study of the uses of Sinitic culture in Heian Japan and a history of the reception of the 36 Immortal Poets. Before coming to Illinois, I taught at Oxford University and was Resident Foreign Researcher at the National Institute of Japanese Literature (NIJL) in Tokyo.

Research Interests

  • Origins, structure, and development of the literary field
  • Waka poetry and poetics
  • Reception and uses of Sinitic culture in Japan
  • Medieval, early-modern, and modern reception of Heian literature
  • East Asian literary cultures


  • PhD Columbia University


  • EALC398 Writers and Sino-Japanese Cultural Interactions 600-1900
  • EALC/CWL 275 Masterpieces of East Asian Literature
  • EALC 305 - Premodern Japanese Literature in Translation I
  • JPNS 407 Introduction to Classical Japanese
  • EALC199 Adaptation and Appropriation in Japanese Cultural History
  • EALC 550 - Itineraries in Waka Culture

Selected Publications

Journal Articles


Manufacturing Modern Japanese Literature: Anthologies, Awards, and the Ascription of Literary Value. East Asian Publishing and Society 3 1 2013.

Book Contributions

Poetry Matches Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600 edited by Haruo Shirane. Poetry Matches Edited by Haruo Shirane, New York Columbia University Press 2007, p. 592-604.