Yunfei Bai earned his Ph.D. in French, with an emphasis on Comparative Literature at Rutgers University, in 2018. A native of Sichuan, China, he is also fluent in French, English, Tibetan (Ü-Tsang dialect), and Spanish, and has acquired as well a solid reading ability in Sanskrit through courses and field studies in India and Nepal. Yunfei will use his time at the Society of Fellows to complete his first monograph tentatively titled, Translingual Adaptations: Asian Works in the Making of World Literature, which investigates the transmission of literary texts from Asia to France and Argentina in the form of both direct translations from the original languages (Chinese, Tibetan, Sanskrit) and subsequent adaptations of these translations by four key nineteenth- and twentieth-century Western authors, namely, Théophile Gautier, Stéphane Mallarmé, Victor Segalen, and Jorge Luis Borges. His scholarship also broadly considers the tangled relationship between nationalism, Orientalism, minority identities, and the dissemination of world literature under state regulation of the book market.
In addition to a book-length French co-translation of the essays of the Chinese writer Wang Xiaobo 王小波, published in Paris in 2013, his recent articles have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, Comparative Literature Studies, and China Perspectives, among others.