Zhong Jingwen was the nation's leading scholar of folk literature and folk arts, and is known as a founder of China's folk studies movement.
Zhong was born on March 20, 1903, in Haifeng County, Guangdong Province. He joined the Zhongshan University faculty in 1927, where he organized the Folklore Society along with historian Gu Jiegang. Following stints also at Zhejiang University, Waseda University in Tokyo and Dade College in Hong Kong, Zhong joined Beijing Normal University in 1949. He remained a leading professor of folklore there until he died in 2002.
His writings include Folkloristic Culturology: Main Ideas and Formations, Studies of Folk Literary Criticism and Its History, and Collected Academic Essays of Zhong Jingwen. Zhong also served as editor-in-chief of Collections of Chinese Folk Literature.