Dr Alison Hardie


After degrees in Literae Humaniores at Oxford and Chinese at Edinburgh, I spent 16 years working in China trade and investment, based in Beijing and Hong Kong. After returning to the UK, I competed a doctorate on Chinese garden history at the University of Sussex, and then worked at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne from 2000, and the University of Leeds from 2006. Since taking early retirement from the University of Leeds in 2015, I have been a Visiting Fellow in Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks and have taught at the University of Iceland and on a postgraduate course in Asian Art at SOAS. I continue to carry out academic research on the cultural history of late imperial China, currently with a focus on drama.

Research interests

I have completed a monograph on the 17th century dramatist, poet and politician Ruan Dacheng, and am translating one of his plays. I am preparing for publication, as editor, a major anthology of Chinese garden literature in translation, to be published by Dumbarton Oaks. My current research is on 'current affairs drama' (plays presenting current or very recent political and social events) of the Ming-Qing transition, with a focus on the work of the Suzhou School playwright Li Yu (Xuanyu).

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • M.A., Literae Humaniores, University of Oxford
  • M.A., Chinese, University of Edinburgh
  • M.St., Chinese Studies, University of Oxford
  • D.Phil., History of Art, University of Sussex

Professional memberships

  • British Association for Chinese Studies
  • European Association for Chinese Studies

Research groups and institutes

  • Literary studies