Mårten Söderblom Saarela

Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellows are early career scholars who are ordinarily no more than five years past the granting of the doctorate and who are financed in part or in whole by the MPIWG. These scholars carry minor responsibilities (no more than 10% of their time) within their research unit.
Department II
1. September 2015 to 31. August 2018

I received my PhD from Princeton University in 2015, and hold an MA in Sinology from the School of Oriental and African Studies. I am a historian of late imperial China, interested in the cultural and intellectual history of language. In addition to my current project on Manchu, a continuation of my dissertation work, I'm working on a few other projects of varying on scope on linguistic matters in China and beyond.

I use LaTeX for as much of my writing as possible. To increase its use within the humanities, and East Asian studies in particular, I have written a Guide to LaTeX for East Asianists. The guide was last updated in 2012, and many important issues are not covered, or are covered inadequately. One day I will update it. In the meantime, I'm making the current version available here.

Selected publications: 

Söderblom Saarela, M. (2016). Alphabets avant la lettre: phonographic experiments in late imperial China. Twentieth-Century China, 41(3), 234-257. doi:10.1080/15215385.2016.1205789.


Söderblom Saarela, M. (in preparation). The lexicography of languages of the Chinese periphery to c. 1800.


Söderblom Saarela, M. (2014). Shape and sound: organizing dictionaries in late Imperial China. Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America, 35, 187-208.



Max Planck Institute for the History of Science 
Boltzmannstraße 22 
14195 Berlin