David B. Lurie

David B. Lurie

Research Interest

Educational Background

BA: Harvard University (’93)
MA: Columbia University (’96)
PhD: Columbia University (’01)

Interests and Research

In addition to the history of writing systems and literacy, David Lurie’s research interests include: the literary and cultural history of premodern Japan; the Japanese reception of Chinese literary, historical, and technical writings; the development of Japanese dictionaries and encyclopedias; and the history of linguistic thought. Professor Lurie’s first book investigated the development of writing systems in Japan through the Heian period. Entitled Realms of Literacy: Early Japan and the History of Writing, it was awarded the Lionel Trilling Award in 2012. He is currently preparing a new scholarly monograph, tentatively entitled The Emperor’s Dreams: Reading Japanese Mythology. Along with Haruo Shirane and Tomi Suzuki, he was co-editor of the Cambridge History of Japanese Literature (2015), to which he contributed chapters on myths, histories, gazetteers, and early literature in general.

Areas: Japanese History and Literature, Technology of Language in Premodern Japan

Classes Taught

  • ASCE UN1361 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Japan
  • CPLS GU4111 World Philology
  • HSEA GR9875 Graduate Seminar in the Cultural History of Premodern Japan

Selected Publications

Realms of Literacy: Early Japan and the History of Writing (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011)

“The Development of Japanese Writing,” in The Shape of Script: How and Why Writing Systems Change (SAR Press, 2012)

“Language, Writing, and Disciplinarity in the Critique of the ‘Ideographic Myth,’” Language & Communication (2006)