Alia Breitwieser Goehr

Alia Goehr
Teaching Fellow
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Teaching Fellow, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, Department of Comparative Literature, The College

After completing a BA in Chinese at Reed College and living in Taiwan for several years, I came to the University of Chicago, where I received a PhD in Comparative Literature in 2021. My dissertation, “The Genius of Form: Jin Shengtan’s (1608–1661) Transformative Literary Program,” reframes a historically important early modern Chinese literary project as a philosophical and soteriological endeavor. In so doing, my work questions the disciplinary lines that modern scholarship has drawn among literature, philosophy, and religion. My current research recovers the social and philosophical motivations undergirding Ming- and Qing-dynasty works of Chinese literature and literary criticism to illuminate a contentious field of moral-philosophical debate in which thinkers drew on such diverse intellectual resources as Neo-Confucianism, Buddhist doctrines and practices, vernacular fiction, drama, and classical prose (to list only a few) to articulate innovative social and cultural possibilities. My teaching invites students from diverse academic backgrounds to approach literary history as intellectual history, to reflect on what was at stake in each historical work of writing as a mode of world-making. In the spaces between research and teaching, I enjoy pattern drafting and sewing and hiking among the mountains and deserts of the southwestern US. I also aspire to ultra-distance trail running.