Prof Duncan James POUPARD

Position :
Assistant Professor
Address :
Room 117, 1/F, Leung Kau Kui Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Educational Qualifications
  • PhD Translation, The University of Hong Kong
  • MA Sinology, SOAS, UK
  • BA History, The University of York, UK
Fields of Research/Teaching


Fields of Research

  • Chinese ethnic minorities and translation
  • Translation and script
  • Naxi studies


Areas of Teaching

  • Chinese-English translation
  • Bilingual editing
Research Grants/Projects

Research Grants

  • January 2020 – January 2022: “Between Sino and Tibetan: the translational Sinophone literature of Tibeto-Burman minorities”, funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC 24610519).
  • May 2019 – May 2020: “Investigating Bonpo and Naxi dongba origin myths in northwestern Yunnan”, British Academy Stein-Arnold Exploration Fund (SA1819190000).
Research Statement

My research focuses on the translation of Chinese ethnic minority literature, specifically of the Naxi minority in southwest China, and looks at themes of cultural representation in translation and the issues involved in translating across writing systems. I am interested in furthering recognition and understanding of minority and endangered forms of writing, and have worked with museums and libraries around the world, including the British Library and the Barcelona Museum of World Cultures, on the cataloguing and translation of Naxi manuscripts. I am particularly interested in the revitalization of minority writing via translation and translational practices.


As a proponent of a “new Naxiology” I also do comparative research into historical translation traditions, in particular textual connections and borrowings between Dunhuang manuscripts and the Naxi ritual manuscripts.

  • “With the power of their forefathers: Kinship between early Tibetan ritualists and the Naxi dongba of southwest China”, Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, Octobre 2020.

  • “Escaping Shangri-la: Literary Retranslation of Toponyms in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands”. Journal of Translation Studies 4:1 (2020, New Series), 51–74.

  • “Reading Tibetan in the Original Chinese: Tibetan Sinophone Authors and Translation”. Asian Highlands Perspectives 58 (2019), 79-113.

  • “Revitalising Naxi dongba as a 'pictographic' vernacular script”. Journal of Chinese Writing Systems 3:1 (2019), 53-67.

  • “Translation as Logocentric Imperialism.” Translation Studies 13:1 (2019), 22-42.

  • How the Turtle Lost its Shell: Sino-Tibetan Divination Manuals and Cultural Translation. Himalaya 38:2 (2018), 4-19.

  • “Translation as hybridity in Sinophone Bai writing”. Asian Ethnicity 20:2 (2018), 210-227.

  • “The Lady of Lijiang: Contextualising a Forgotten Missionary Translator of Southwest China”. Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 94:2 (2018), 95-114.

  • “Between the Oral and the Literary: The Case of the Naxi Dongba Texts”. Oral Tradition 32:1 (2018), 27-52.

  • “The translated identities of Sinophone Naxi authors”. The Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese 14:1 (2017), 189-208.

  • “Beyond the pictogram: echoes of the Naxi in Ezra Pound’s Cantos”. Neohelicon 43:1 (2016), 233–249.

  • “Translating a Naxi Hero’s Name: From Ethnic to World Literature”. Journal of Ethnology, 7:4 (2016), 26-33.

Awards and Honors
  • 2016-2017 Li Ka Shing Award for Outstanding PhD Research