Huiqiao Yao is originally from Beijing, China. Now she is a PhD candidate majoring in pre-modern Chinese literature. She received her BA in Chinese language and literature from Renmin University of China and got her Master's degree in premodern Chinese literature from Columbia University. Her MA thesis focuses on the discourse of demons and the ambiguous magical identity of Auntie Sheng in The Three Sui Quash the Demon's Revolt (三遂平妖傳). Currently, she is completing her dissertation entitled "Popularizing the Sage: Wang Yangming and Vernacular Confucian Hagiographies in Late Imperial China." which focuses on the legacy depicted in the biographies of various genres on the late-Ming philosopher Wang Yangming (1472-1529). She hopes to unravel how different writers engaged this Confucian figure as a public discourse in which both the literati and the masses were able to express their political or religious views as well as articulate their self-identities. Apart from her research, she writes and translates poetry in both Chinese and English as well as listens and writes comments on Japanese Enka (演歌) music.
Introduces you to traditional Chinese civilization for the purposes of this course defined as: "the totality of a culture's perception of itself and the world it occupies and the ways in which that self-perception is expressed in society, politics, religion, philosophy, and the arts." The content of the course is arranged in thematic units, each unit being placed in the context of a specific historical period. We will examine the religious symbolism of ancient Chinese bronze vessels, Chinese theories of nature based on concepts like Yin and Yang, the great medieval religions of Taoism and Buddhism, and other topics. Over the semester you will learn to think more like the Chinese of centuries past to exercise your imagination, and to explore a world that is different from your own.