News and Announcements

100 Years of China's All-Female Yue Opera, April 5–6, 2024

An exhilarating celebration of 100 Years of Women’s Yue Opera, this event ground-breakingly marked the first time that Yue Opera was commemorated in a concentrated, multimedia manner that connected academic and practitioner perspectives outside China. Organized, coordinated, and hosted by UChicago PhD student Susanna Sun, a passionate Yue opera fan and performer, the celebration—which took place on April 5 and 6, 2024—has been commended as “complex and wonderful,” and was made possible by many UChicago faculty members. It consisted of a film screening of five Yue opera film classics, film commentary, a keynote speech by Professor Jiang Jin, a panel of three presentations with comments by specialist faculty, a performance lecture, as well as a six-person roundtable that reflected on Yue opera’s possible future. Accompanied with full attendance at the International House, contemporary Yue opera star actress Jun’an Wang’s stunning performance of Liu Yong was a highlight of this varied and fascinating series of events. This event is dedicated to 100 years of Women’s Yue opera’s history, as well as to women artists.

This event was co-sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago, with support from a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, the International House Global Voices Program, and the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.


William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor Judith Zeitlin has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Please go here for more information.

Ed Shaughnessy, Lorraine J. and Herrlee G. Creel Distinguished Service Professor in Early Chinese Studies, has 5 new publications. Please go to the Faculty Bookshelf page for more information. 

Satoko Ogura Bourdaghs, Lecturer in Japanese Language, received warm recognition from one of her students, Martin Baffico, who was featured in a Senior Spotlight of U. C. athletes.  Read Martin’s interview here.

Congratulations to Xiaorong Wang who recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee! If you'd like to learn more about her dissertation, "Learners' Experiences of Written Complexities Development through Discussion Board Activities in Chinese as a Foreign Language Class," please take a look at the abstract.

Ed Shaughnessy, Larraine J. and Herrlee Creel Distinguished Service Professor in Early Chinese Studies, was interviewed for the Shanghai Review of Books. The article can be found here. Shaughnessy was also interviewed in “We Understand Only a Very Small Part of Ancient China,” Wenhui bao, 15 November 2019.

Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor in Art History and EALC, received an honorary degree from Harvard May 30, 2019.  Click here for more information.

Michael Bourdaghs, Robert S. Ingersoll Professor in EALC, has been awarded a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship to support work on his new book project, “From Postwar to Cold War: Japanese Culture in the Age of Three Worlds.” Previous scholarship on Cold War Japan has focused largely on the U.S.-Japan relationship, but this new book argues that a full understanding of cultural production from the period requires us to also look at how Japanese artists and thinkers actively participated in the Socialist bloc and in the so-called Third World of the nonaligned Bandung Movement. The book had its origins in a course Bourdaghs regularly teaches in EALC, “Japanese Cultures of the Cold War: Literature, Film, Music.” With this year’s award, Bourdaghs joins a long list of EALC faculty who been named Guggenheim Fellows, including Norma Field (1988), Donald Harper (2008), Tetsuo Najita (1981), Haun Saussy (2014), Anthony Yu (1976), and Judith Zeitlin (2011).

Kenneth Pomeranz, University Professor of Modern Chinese History and in the College, is one of this year's recipients of the prestigious Dan David Prize.  The Dan David Foundation of Tel Aviv University awards three $1 million prizes, which "recognize and encourage innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms."  For more information go here.

In June 2019, Paola Iovene and Professor Zhang Huiyu from Peking University organized the workshop "Cultures of Labor, Inequality, and Eviction: Migrant Workers' Literature and Media Practices in Contemporary China" at the UChicago Center in Beijing.

University of Chicago historian and professor Judith Zeitlin, and Beijing based composer Yao Chen collaboratively undertake the creation of an opera, with Yao composing the music, and Zeitlin writing the libretto. Entitled Ghost Village, the opera will be based on a ghost story of the same name that features in Pu Songling’s (1640-1715) masterpiece, Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio.

Discussion of Professor Jacob Eyferth's first book, Eating Rice from Bamboo Roots

Graduate Students

Susanna Sun won the 2024 Furthering Diversity Award from the UChicagoGRAD Advisory Board. The award will be presented to her at a ceremony on May 28, 2024, at Ida Noyes Hall from 5–8 pm. 

Susanna Sun, joint EALC and TAPS PhD student, has organized "100 Years of China's All-Female Yue Opera," a conference celebrating Yue Opera, scheduled April 5–6, 2024! More information can be found here.

Susanna Sun, a joint EALC and TAPS PhD student, had her article “Becoming Awakened: Four Yue Opera Segments in Xie Jin’s Two Stage Sisters” published in CHINOPERL (Chinese Oral and Performing Literature) journal, Volume 42, Number 2.

PhD student Yin Cai presented a conference paper at the 2021 History of Science Society Annual Meeting as part of the Panel “Science and Artisanal Knowledge: Towards a Global History." This presentation was also awarded a travel grant from the National Science Foundation. She also received dissertation research travel grants from both the Center for East Asian Studies (2021) and the Division of Humanities (2022).

Emily Yoon, current Abigail Rebecca Cohen Postdoctoral Fellow, signed a publication deal with Knopf for her upcoming poetry collection, Find Me As the Creature I Am. This will be part of a two-book deal with the publisher. She also was a panelist at two conferences in two conferences in March 2023, the Association for Writers and Writing Programs Conference and the Association for Asian Studies Conference. 

Emily Yoon, current student and 2022 graduate from East Asian Languages and Civilizations, will receive the Abigail Rebecca Cohen Postdoctoral Fellowship. Emily is the author of the poetry collection, “A Cruelty Special to our Species,” which won the 2019 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Awards and was a finalist for the 2020 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and the chapbook, “Ordinary Misfortunes.” She has translated and edited other poetry collections, and her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Times Magazine, Paris Review, and The Cut. She will use her fellowship year to work on creating a book manuscript from her dissertation, “Enclosed Reading: A Feminist Method and Contemporary Korean and Korean American Women’s Poetry.”

Ph.D. student Yiwen Wu is serving as dramaturg for TimeLine Theatre’s 2022 production of The Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh.  Read Yiwen’s discussion of the play in this article in the Chicago Reader.

Anthony Stott has been award a Fulbright IIE dissertation research fellowship, which he will be using toward research in Tokyo whilst affiliated with Waseda University. 

A poem by Emily Yoon was recently featured on National Public Radio.

Yiren Zheng recently published her article, "Listening askance with a seventeenth-century Chinese acousmatic voice," in a special issue of Ecological Soundings, in Parallax.

In June 2020 David Hogue was invited by Professor Byung-Joon Kim 金秉駿 (김병준) to give the talk at an advisor group study meeting at Seoul National University History Department. David discussed the material features and content of the excavated Wang Ji 妄稽 ("The Wild Schemer") manuscript of the Beijing daxue xi Han zhu shu 北京大学藏西汉竹书 ("West Han Bamboo Books Housed at Beijing University"). He was also awarded the 2020 Karen DiNal Memorial Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Academic Writing to First-Year Students in the College for his performance as a Writing Intern in the Humanities Core during the Autumn 2019 and Winter 2020 quarters. Staff of the Writing Program noted that his students "enthusiastically report that [his] leadership, kindness, and expert feedback made them stronger writers in the time they spent with [him]."

Jiayi Chen Submitted "The Ghostly Dicing: Gambling and Deception in Ming-Qing Short Stories" to an edited book titled Games and Play in China from the Premodern to the Contemporary (edited by Douglas Eyman, Li Guo, and Hongmei Sun).

Li Qi received the Helen-Rich Travel Grant ($2,335) for excavation in Zincirli, Turkey during Summer 2018 from the Oriental Institute, as well as an offer for 2019 Chinese Object Study Workshop held at Royal Ontario Museum from August 19-23, 2019.

Alexander Murphy received a 3-month funding extension from Fulbright-IIE Graduate Research Fellowship for continued research at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan (Sep - Dec 2019). Murphy also had a conference paper entitled "Voices Newly Heard: Poetry, Sound Recording, and the Acoustic Imagination in Interwar Japan" accepted as part of a co-organized panel entitled 'Emergent Means: Media, Performance, and Actuality in Interwar Japan' for the Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) in Boston, MA, March 19-22, 2020 (cancelled due to COVID-19). His completed English translation of Yoshimasu Gozo's film entitled "Urakami Gyokudo: His Spirit's Hand... Blood Drops," part of GozoCinefilm project, will be released through Osiris Publishing (Tokyo, Japan) and the Urakami Gyokudo Foundation. 

Yiying Pan receive a one-year "Global Perspectives on Society" Teaching Fellowship at NYU-Shanghai to be started September 2020.

Kyle Peters had various works published this year, including “From Sound to Rhythm: Theories of Self-Formation in Modern Japanese Philosophy,” (Philosophy Department Colloquium, Lake Forest College. February 2020), "The Kyoto and Tokyo Schools in the Sphere of Print: Moving Beyond Academia through the ‘Culture of the Printing Press” (International Association for Japanese Philosophy, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. October 2019.), and "「初期の西田哲学とオートポイエシス-自己形成の二つ形態」[Early Nishida Philosophy and Autopoiesis: On TwoFrameworks of Self Formation]" (East Asian Academy (EAA) Forum,University ofTokyo. August 2019.)

Yuanxie Shi had "A China Carved and Collected: Ningbo Whitewood Figurines in the Long Twentieth Century" published in the Journal of Chinese History, and it can be found here. Shi had works accepted by three conferences this year, as well: AAS in Asia (Kobe 2020); Textiles in Motion & Transit (Leiden, October2020); EACS (Leipzig, August 2020).

Aliz Horvath runs "Humanista: The Podcast" on the role and significance of the humanities in the 21st century. Listen now!

Internal Awards: 

David Hogue was awarded the UChicago GRAD Office GRAD Global Initiative (GGI) "Pitch" Internship Grant for $4,000 to support expenses for his self-designed internship at the Wuhan University Center for Bamboo and Silk Manuscripts. During the period of internship (Jun - Sep 2019), Hogue provided translation services, and the internship culminated in completion of an English translation of a long article by the Center Director , which was published in Bamboo and Silk (Volume 3, Issue 2) in April 2020.

Alexander Murphy served as co-coordinator for the UChicago CAS Workshop "Sound and Society" in the 2019-2020 academic year.


Yin Cai participated in a roundtable panel presentation at the 10th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS 10) in Chiang Mai Thainland, in the "Making and Knowing" sub-section.

Alexander Murphy presented a 60-minute lecture entitled "Overheard in Passing: Rumor, Radio, and Colonial Estrangement in Interwar Japan" for the November meeting of the Kyoto Asian Studies Group (KASG) at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan in November 2019.

Sabine Schulz gave a presentation titled “Periods of Spring and Winter: Japanese Idols as a Cold War Creation and Artifact” at the 26th Annual Japan Studies Association Conference as part of the Japan Since 1945 panel. Schulz was supposed to present “Sixteen Forever: Virtual Idol Hatsune Miku and the Conflicting Desires of Fans” at PopCon, the conference of the Museum of Popular Culture in Seattle this spring as a part of the panel Sounding Youthful in 20th and 21st Century Japan”; due to COVID-19, the conference has been postponed until September and will now take place virtually.

Howard Sum Cheuk Shing was scheduled to present at AAS 2020 and the 19th Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS)in August 2020. He was also accepted and received funding to attend a doctoral school specialist course, “Buddhism and Medicine in East Asia” (Ghent University), in June 2020. While AAS 2020 has been cancelled, the other two events have been postponed until 2021.

Yiren Zheng has published an article in the May issue of positions: asia critique titled "Sounding the Ineffable: Third-Century Chinese Whistling as an Alternative Voice."



Junlin Zhang was born on September 20, 2022, to PhD Candidate Yuanxie Shi, who is currently doing research in Shanghai.  Congratulations, Yuanxie!

Undergrads, Alumni, and More

Hugh Sheperd (谢华)  received the third place in the 21st CHINESE BRIDGE Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Students (final round) . Hugh won the top prize last fall in the Midwest regional contest and entered the final/global stage of competition representing US Midwest. After rounds of preliminaries, the semi-final and the final, Hugh was placed the Third Place. The Chinese Language Program would like to congratulate Hugh on his great achievement and express our gratitude to Yi-lu Kuo, our Chinese IP, for her guidance as his faculty advisor. The Chinese program would also like to thank CEAS for their generous support to our students.

Alumna Yuhang Li has been awarded the 2021 Religion and the Arts Book Award by the American Academy of Religion for her book, Becoming Guanyin: Artistic Devotion of Buddhist Women in Late Imperial China.   The jury says, "Yuhang Li's book provides anglophone readers with an unparalleled and badly needed authoritative study on one of the most important figures in Chinese myth and religious practice, particularly with respect to women's experience in late imperial China. Particularly intriguing are the discussion and artistic representations of the feminization of Guanyin, the impact of material culture, and the self-mutilation practices of virtuous women that include them flesh cutting and plucking out their own hair to use to embroider an image of the deity—all depicted with elegance, clarity, and an appreciation for the complexities of belief and practice.

Recent EALC College graduate Samuel Baureis has been accepted into the highly competitive 2019-2020 Yenching Scholars program at Peking University: "While at the Yenching Academy at Peking University, I plan to continue my study of the philosophical significance of relationships in the Confucian context, specifically friendship, and the consequences such relationships have on ethical and political structures within a comparative philosophical framework. I have chosen to focus on friendship in particular because, out of the five primary relationships in Confucian philosophy, it has received the least attention in contemporary scholarly work. I believe that a philosophical look at the importance of friendship provides a productive jumping-off point for a larger comparative dialogue between Western and Confucian philosophies. In engaging in this topic, I hope to expand the sphere of cross-cultural knowledge held between Eastern and Western countries and enable effective and meaningful dialogue on pressing political and international issues."

First-year College student Lucy Li won Second Place in the 2019 Midwest University Speech Contest.

Alumnus George Sipos will start an exciting new job in March 2019. Read the full article to learn more! click link


Four students in the College won bronze medals at the U.S. Midwest Chinese Bridge Speech Contest, which took place at Lake Forest College for 2018. They competed with students from 15 other universities in the Midwest. Pictured from left to right are Jun
Alumnus David Lebovitz and his wife Xia Chongting 夏崇婷, have become the proud parents of Katherine Ruth Lebovitz, or Xia Yufeng 夏雩風, born June 2, 6:20 p.m., 3.7 kilos at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kowloon.