Faculty Spotlight

Scott Gregory

Co-Director Dr. Gregory was interviewed by NewBooksNetworks 

Dr. Scott Gregory talked about his monograph, Bandits in Print, in this NBN episode

Bandits in Print: "The Water Margin" and the Transformations of the Chinese Novel (Cornell UP, 2023) uses the classic novel The Water Margin (Shuihu Zhuan) to examine the world of print in early modern China. Scott W. Gregory traces the way this beloved novel about outlaw heroes, honor, corruption, and brotherhood was adapted and changed by different editor-publishers. While in other contexts print and printing brought stability to texts, Scott shows how in the Ming print itself was an agent of textual change.

Bandits in Print is a refreshing take on this traditional novel, one that highlights how malleable Water Margin really was. This book is sure to appeal to those interested in Chinese literature, Ming history, and print culture, as well as those who want to know more about the interaction between manuscript and print in the early modern world.

Wenhao Diao

Co-Director Dr. Wenhao Diao led a project "Teaching LCTLs in K-12 Schools."

The project “Teaching LCTLs in K-12 Schools” was supported by a grant from the Title VI Language Resource Center, CERCLL, at the University of Arizona. Please visit the official website: https://teaching-chinese.arizona.edu/?fbclid=IwAR0iouUcII5Wljax2NJxs5Kk…

The themes here were developed from surveys and interviews involving 221 K-12 Chinese language teachers from across the United States. The resource page is designed for teacher trainers and novice teachers alike to identify various kinds of professional development opportunities and teaching materials. We hope you will find the information useful! 

Jeehey Kim

Screening of Witnesses to Democracy: The Journey of a Mother and a Photographer & Conversation with Kim Newton and Dr. Jeehey Kim

Time: January 25, 2024.

Witnesses to Democracy: the Journey of a Mother and a Photographer is an award-winning documentary film that tells the story of three people brought together by the tragic killing of college student Lee Han-yeol, whose death propelled the South Korean Democracy movement in June 1987. The film introduces us to Eunshim Bai, the mother of the slain student, Professor Emeritus Kim Newton, and Woo Seokhun. Newton, a former freelance photographer in Seoul, returned to South Korea a few years ago in the midst of a modern-day social uprising to participate in the making of this important social documentary.

Albert Welter

"In Search of Zen Studies:  The Central Role of Chan/Zen Syncretism"

Time: November 11, 2023.

Zen enthralled the world throughout much of the twentieth century, and Zen studies became a major academic discipline in its wake. Interpreted through the lens of Japanese Zen and its reaction to events in the modern world, Zen studies incorporated a broad range of Zen-related movements in the Asian Buddhist world, ranging from India to Japan and places in between. As broad reaching as the scope of Zen studies was, it was clearly rooted in a Japanese context, and aspects of the “Zen experience” that did not fit aspirations framed by modern Rinzai Zen orthodoxy tended to be marginalized and ignored.

Scott Gregory

Co-Director Dr. Gregory's new book is now available to download!

Center co-director Dr. Scott Gregory's book investigating the classic Chinese novel The Water Margin (Shuihu Zhuan) has been published by Cornell University Press. Bandits in Print reveals how the various editions of The Water Margin can provide the reader with vastly different experiences and furthers that finding by contending the editor-publishers shaped the novel through creating their own print editions.
Bandits in Print is available as a free e-book download under a Creative Commons license or for purchase as a hard copy.

For more information  https://tinyurl.com/BanditsInPrint

Jiang Wu

Professor Jiang Wu awarded a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship

Time: April, 2023

Jiang Wu, head of the University of Arizona Center for Buddhist Studies, is one of 171 scientists, writers, scholars and artists awarded a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship. Wu was awarded $60,000 to fund his project "Scripture and Modernity: The Obaku Buddhist Canon in East Asia and the West," an examination of the canon delivered by Longqi to Japan which led to the founding of Ōbaku-shū, one of three major schools of Japanese Zen Buddhism originating in China. Wu said he was thrilled to be named a fellow and called the honor a "gratifying moment that comes after so many years of hard work and research." 

For the full media coverage, see: https://humanities.arizona.edu/news/professor-jiang-wu-awarded-guggenhe…


Rae Erin Dachille

"Applying the Antidote: A Tantric Perspective on Body, Representation and Imagination"

Time: February 15, 2023

Place: Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center, 1299 Oread Ave, Lawrence, KS

This event is organized and sponsored by KU Center for East Asian Studies and KU Department of Religious Studies. 

Abstract: Desire, hatred, and ignorance lie at the very root of suffering, from a Buddhist perspective. And yet, tantric teachings reveal ways in which these three poisons can also be used on the path to liberation. Likewise, the body itself is defined as both an obstacle to and an instrument of liberation. In this talk, I share my findings from a fifteenth-century debate on a tantric ritual practice known as body mandala to explore the ways in which bodies, texts and images function as antidotes. Tantric adepts engaging in body mandala transform the body into a celestial palace inhabited by buddhas through ritual acts of imagination. I show how two Tibetan authors navigate the boundaries of bodies and texts in the body mandala debate and why their maneuvers are relevant to contemporary debates on representation and the category of the “human.”

Jacqueline Barrios

Book of the City exhibition, at Tucson Humanities Festival

Time: October 25-26, 2022

As a part of this year's Tucson Humanities Festival, the opening reception for the Book of the City exhibition was launched on Tuesday, October 25 from 6-9PM, followed by a dance performance at 7pm. Jacqueline Barrios hosted a follow-up Respondents' Panel at the MOCA on Wednesday, October 26, from 11am-12pm. 

Event overview: 

Join us as we celebrate the collective works to come out of the Big Book Field Studio: Design Methods and the Canon, where an interdisciplinary team of architects, artists, and students joined forces in a public, applied and urban humanist studio based on the Charles Dickens’ 1850 novel, David Copperfield. Enjoy light refreshments and tunes from our resident DJ as you view the premiere of a new dance work and browse original installations to emerge from the project. From stereographs of bus shelters to a figurine installation collected from thrift stores, from ‘zines paying tribute to the Tanque Verde Swap Meet to choreography inspired by the El Tiradito shrine – this is a Victorian novel like you’ve never encountered before, a Dickensian vision in the desert, a collective Tucsonan tale of the city.

This exhibition is a featured event as part of this year’s Tucson Humanities Festival<https://humanitiesfestival.arizona.edu/>, and in the spirit of its theme this year of “community,” we hope you will help us manifest the ways literature might be an instrument to gather and collectivize this evening. As recipient of the inaugural Opening the Canon Award<https://humanities.arizona.edu/news/prof-barrios-receives-opening-canon-award> from UArizona’s College of Humanities Fearless Inquiries initiative, the Big Book Field Studio seeks to surface the emergent questions a book can inspire in the hands of a fearless reader.  Do join us in this showcase of works that display the unique author-ity of nine new readers who explored what it means to make such books matter in our time.

Jenny Lee

Research Professional News
"Navigating global research collaborations in a world of political upheaval"

Time: 9am, Tuesday October 25
Place: Online

Lee's topic will be on US-China research collaborations and the effects of the FBI’s China Initiative.


Qing Zhang

Arizona Linguistics Circle 16 Plenary Talk
"Co-operative production: A multidimensional approach to social meaning"

Time: 10:40-11:55, Saturday October 22
Place: ENR 2 Building, Rm 210. 1064 E Lowell St, Tucson, AZ 85719

Abstract: In this talk, I present an on-going research project that has grown as a result of COVID-19 restrictions on travel and in-person contact. Situated in the tumultuous development of US-China relation since the outbreak of COVID-19, the project investigates the speech styles of the spokespersons of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). In this talk, I focus on the performance of Zhao Lijian at MOFA’s daily press conferences. A micro-celebrity on Chinese social media and notoriously dubbed the “supreme wolf warrior” in Western media, Zhao has become a sociolinguistic icon of China’s changing diplomatic style from restraint to bellicosity in the global geopolitics of a rising China and its threat to the Western status quo. He combines a range of linguistic and semiotic resources in the performance of a widely recognized combative persona. Focusing on rhotacization, a salient phonological variable in Northern Mandarin and Standard Putonghua, I examine how it takes on new/additional meanings—higher order indexicalities—through intersecting ways.

Data are collected through digital ethnography from multiple (social) media platforms. In this talk, I examine 1) video clips of Zhao’s press conferences posted in official social media accounts, 2) social media participants’ commentaries about 1), and 3) reproduction and recontextualization of Zhao’s speech by other state media agents and Chinese netizens.

Analysis reveals that rhotacization takes on higher order indexicality through a co-operative process involving the speaker and other participants. It comes about as variation is taken up in the performance of personas and embedded in semantic content. It gets reproduced, specified, and contested through the uptake practices of other participants. Through these intersecting ways, phonological variation exerts real-world significance by participating in the co-performance of China’s confrontational persona and the larger project of “telling China’s story and spreading China’s voice” in global geopolitics.