Václav Zheng is a cultural and intellectual historian of early modern Europe, with an emphasis on east-central Europe, especially Czechia and Poland. His dissertation focuses on the Polish Renaissance and the idea of utopianism, exploring various future visions and utopian/uchronian projects vibrant in sixteenth-century Poland. His theoretical interest concerns the philosophical and literary criticism of contemporary historiography, with a particular interest in the problem of argumentation. Graduating from McGill and Johns Hopkins, he has been awarded multiple travel and research grants for “fieldworks” in Eastern Europe.
For the past few years, Zheng has served as a course instructor and teaching fellow in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins. He has designed and taught a variety of thematic and theoretical classes for undergraduates at all levels. At Peabody, he is teaching European (and global) cultural history for the Liberal Arts Program to complement the professional training of our young musicians and artists. In 2023 fall, he is offering two Core I sessions on utopian history.
Zheng started to learn music at the age of five, and he remained a keen amateur clarinetist for more than twenty years.