Ewan Macdonald


Associate Faculty Member 

Faculty / College Address:

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 



Research Interests:

Late-imperial vernacular fiction and drama


Ewan Macdonald completed his undergraduate degree in Japanese Studies at the University of Edinburgh, before continuing to study Chinese literature in Taipei for a year. He 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 his MA dissertation project he 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 his PhD research, also at SOAS, in which he argues 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. After his PhD he spent three years at Peterhouse College Cambridge as Carmen Blacker Research Fellow, revising his PhD into a book manuscript and examining the fiction of the Ming-Qing transition. He is currently examining the links between fiction and court theatre as part of the TEXTCOURT project as a junior postdoctoral researcher.

Current Projects:

TEXTCOURT: Linking the Textual Worlds of Chinese Court Theatre, ca. 1600-1800

Recent Publications:

"Loss, Nostalgia, and Hope: the Ming-Qing Transition in the Fiction of 'the Hazy Crossing Ferryman of Xiaoxiang'". Ming Qing Yanjiu 23(2) (December 2019): 135-164.

"Women in Erpai- The Gap Between Rhetoric and Representation". NAN NÜ 20(2) (January 2019): 225-255.



Ewan Macdonald