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Diana Shuheng Zhang

PhD Candidate


  • M.A. University of Washington. Asian Languages & Literatures. 
  • B.A. (Hons. in Triple Majors) Brown University. Philosophy, Classics, East Asian Studies. 

Research Interests

Post-Gupta scribal and artisanal activities through epigraphical and technological approaches, ca. 500-1000 CE South Asia (Deccan and Central India), Central Asia, and along the Silk Road to East Asia. 

Research Languages: Sanskrit, Prakrits, Tocharian, Kharosthi, Hindi, Telugu, Classical Chinese, Classical Japanese, German. 

Research Writing Systems: various early and medieval Brahmic scripts in Central and South Asia; historically continued and discontinued graphemic variants of the Chinese scripts. 

Research Methods / Skills: Epigraphic -- paleography, historical linguistics, dialectology; Techonological -- metallurgy, lithology, chirographic analysis, etc.

Selected Publications

Selected Articles:

“A New Inscription of the Pāṇḍuvaṃśins of Dakṣiṇa Kosala: Philadelphia Museum of Art Copper-Plates of Nannarāja I, Year 7.” Indo-Iranian Journal 65:4 (2022), 305-339. Co-author: Daud Ali. [Link]

“A Tang Period ‘Sanskrit-Chinese Thousand-Character Primer’,” in Jinhua Chen ed., Transmission of Buddhism in Asia and Beyond: Essays in Memory of Antonino Forte (1940-2006), 533-564. Singapore: World Scholastic, 2022. [Link]

“How to Ride Your Elephant: Sanskrit Dream Omens in Tocharian Manuscripts.” Tocharica et Archeologica: A Festschrift in Honor of J. P. Mallory. Edited by Victor H. Mair. Forthcoming 2024.

“Between the Eyes and the Ears: Ethnic Perspective on the Development of Chinese Philological Traditions, First Millennium AD.” Sino-Platonic Paper 300 (2020), 1-49. Co-author: Victor Mair. [Link]

Book Reviews: 

Review of Robert Ford Campany, The Chinese Dreamscape: 300 BCE-800 CE. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2020. Review published in Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR) BOOK REVIEWS 43 (2021), 205-208. [Link]

Review of Yurou Zhong, Chinese Grammatology: Script Revolution And Literary Modernity, 1916-1958. Columbia University Press, 2019. Review published on MCLC [Modern Chinese Literature and Culture] Resource Center, April 2020: [Link

Courses Taught

As Teaching Assistant: 

  • SAST 004 / COML 012 - India's Literature: Love, War, Wisdom, and Humor (Fall 2021, Prof. Gregory Goulding)
  • SAST 003 / HIST 086 / RELS 164 - History, Culture and Religion of Early South Asia (Spring 2021, Prof. Daud Ali)
  • SAST 050 / PHIL 050 / RELS 155 - Introduction to Indian Philosophy (Fall 2020, Prof. Deven Patel)


American Institute of Indian Studies Junior Fellowship 2023-25 (Daniel H. H. Ingalls Memorial Fellowship Awardee, 2023)

CV (file)