I currently serve as Associate Professor and Director of Chinese Studies and affiliate faculty in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies at William & Mary. From 2007–2016 I taught at the University of South Carolina—Columbia, where I directed both the program in Chinese and the Center for Asian Studies at the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies. Since 2014 I’ve also held an appointment as Visiting Professor (讲座教授) in the College of Chinese Language and Literature at Henan University in Kaifeng.
My current research addresses the historical connections between China and the Middle East from the nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, with a focus both on the history of translation between Chinese and Arabic literary and intellectual fields and comparative approaches to translation within these and other traditions. More broadly, my research and teaching have covered the cultural history of China from roughly the seventeenth century to the present, with a particular focus on East-West literary relations and the connections between literature, intellectual history, and print media. In 2012 I began the long journey to learn how to read Arabic and to incorporate Arabic-language sources in my research, and I’ve benefited from the generosity of many teachers, colleagues, and friends who have made this transition in my research possible.
I also contribute regularly as a translator. China from Empire to Nation-State (Harvard University Press, 2014), my translation of the introductory essay to Wang Hui’s four-volume Rise of Modern Chinese Thought, was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015, and my translation of What Is China? by Ge Zhaoguang (Belknap/Harvard, 2018), received the same distinction in 2019. Earlier translations include Jin Tianhe’s The Women’s Bell, the first full-length tract on women’s rights in China, which appeared in The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory (Columbia University Press, 2013).
Courses I have offered at William & Mary include: “May Fourth at 100,” “Twentieth-Century Chinese Literature in Translation,” and “What is China?,” a first-year writing-intensive seminar that incorporates the book by Ge Zhaoguang that I recently translated. Because I started out as a first-generation college student at Fairhaven College at Western Washington University, I am very interested in working with students from this group and thinking about how we can make critical languages and Chinese Studies a welcoming and supportive place for students of all backgrounds.