Mengdie Zhao is a scholar of Chinese literature with interests in legal history and gender studies. She received her PhD in Chinese literature from Harvard University in 2022. Prior to joining NYU Shanghai, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Southern California.
Currently, Mengdie is working on her book project, tentatively titled Shades of Justice: Law, Legal Culture, and Literary Experimentation in Early Modern China. This project examines the formation of new literary genres and narrative patterns in crime stories from the 15th to the early 20th century, coinciding with the expansion of the judicial infrastructure. Additionally, the book undermines unconventional critiques of law and presents alternative visions of justice as depicted in these popular literary texts.