Huiqiao Yao is originally from Beijing, China. Now She is a second-year PhD student 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, her research interest lies in the interactions between intellectual history and religious narratives in late imperial Chinese literature and culture, especially the legacy of the late-Ming philosopher Wang Yangming. In the following years, 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.
For centuries, Chinese people have thrilled to the adventures of characters such as the Monkey King, Lord Guan, and Wu Song the tiger killer. All of these stories are found in classic novels printed in sixteenth century. The exciting plots and plain-speech storyteller style of these novels have made them accessible in the original to readers even today. Increasingly, however, such stories have found fame throughout Asia and the world through popular culture and new media adaptations. In this course, we will examine both the originals (in translation) and the modern adaptations. We will explore the historical setting of the sixteenth- century Ming dynasty in which the novels were first created, as well as recent films and other cultural creations based on them. The aim will be to uncover the cultural dynamics that allow for such creativity and fluidity. Topics may include Chinese religions, print and popular culture, literary and cross-cultural adaptation, film, graphic novels/manga, video games, and taboos against sex and violence. Readings will be primarily in English; supplementary/alternative readings, including portions of the original texts as well as secondary scholarship, will be made available for readers of Asian languages upon request.