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Lea Pao's research interests include German and Austrian poetry, the history of information and its theories, and graphic narrative theory. Her current book project explores the ways in which ideas about information—and the history of twentieth-century information theory—can shape our thinking about poetry’s social, cultural, and linguistic work, and vice versa.
She is the translator of Q. G. Li’s Tian Shu into German, as Buch des Himmels (Letter P Verlag, 2012), and the co-translator of Peter Janich’s What is Information? (University of Minnesota Press, 2018). She is editing, with a team of scholars associated with Penn State's Center for Humanities and Information, two books on the relation between information, literature, and society: Information: A Reader, and Information: Keywords (both forthcoming from Columbia University Press).
At Stanford, she teaches courses on German literature, crime fiction, and poetry and poetics.