LLC Ming and Qing Chinese Candidate Statement (Fall 2020 Election)



I am an associate professor of Chinese literature and the inaugural director of the Translation and Interpreting Program at The Ohio State University. My research interests encompass traditional Chinese theater and song culture, literary thought, print culture, gender and sexuality studies, and literary translation. My work has sought to bridge the Yuan and the Ming/Qing periods, the early modern and the modern era, as well as Chinese and world literary traditions. I currently serve as an elected delegate for less commonly taught languages for the MLA General Assembly (2020-2022).

I am the author of Theaters of Desire: Authors, Readers, and the Reproduction of Early Chinese Song-Drama, 1300-2000 (Palgrave Macmillan), the editor of Red Is Not the Only Color: Contemporary Chinese Fiction on Love and Sex Between Women (Rowman and Littlefield), the lead editor of How To Read Chinese Drama: A Guided Anthology (Columbia University Press, forthcoming, with Regina Llamas), a co-editor of How To Read Chinese Drama: The Language Text (under advance agreement with Columbia University Press, with Guo Yingde, Wenbo Chang, and Xiaohui Zhang), and a co-editor of Ecologies of Translation in East and South East Asia, 1600-1900 (under advance agreement with Amsterdam University Press, with Li Guo and Peter Kornicki). I have guest edited a special issue on Yuan and Ming sanqu songs for the Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture (forthcoming May 2021) and helped facilitate an essay cluster on “Queering the Confucian Family Romance” for Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature (forthcoming 2021). My research on Chinese literature and literary thought has appeared in journals such as Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture, Monumenta Serica, CHINOPERL, and Journal of Chinese Religions; essays and book chapters on translation history have been published in Representations, East Asian Publishing and Society, Towards a History of Translating, and Sinologists as Translators; and work on gender and sexuality has appeared or is forthcoming in Lesbian Histories and Cultures, The Cambridge History of Gay and Lesbian Literatures and Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature.

 If elected, I see my role as someone who would like to build bridges between the study of the Ming-Qing period and other fields. Beleaguered by the propagandistic diminishment of the humanistic study of the past and the budgetary Realpolitik of the pandemic, the continued study of early modern China cannot be taken for granted, but needs to be seeded and supported through specific initiatives at different levels. I believe we cannot count on dedicated tenure-track positions alone to carry the field forward, but must embed the study of the Ming and Qing periods more broadly within Chinese and world literary studies. Scholarly organizations such as the MLA can play an important role in this regard.

To foster such dialogue, I would seek to build cooperation with other fora within the MLA (e.g., the other two LLCs related to China and East Asia, Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, Genre Studies, MS Opera and Musical Performance, TM Book History, TC Translation Studies, TC Women’s and Gender Studies, TC Sexuality Studies, TC Adaptation Studies). I also believe it is crucial to reach out to PhD students in a range of Chinese and other fields and create opportunities for Ming/Qing expertise to become part of their professional toolkit. In addition to conventional research panels, the Ming-Qing Forum could organize state-of-the-field panels, workshops for Ming-Qing resource and project development and showcases for collaborative work around research and translation initiatives. While the job market pits young PhDs against one another, it is important to develop opportunities for cooperation so that the scholarly capacity of the field as a whole can expand and become part of the broader scholarly conversation across the MLA.

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