“On the Proper Use of Books”

This morning, I was on the verge of disappearing down a rabbit-hole of reading antique handicraft patterns in search of a new project when the following article thankfully drew me back from the edge: "On the Proper Use of Books," in Dorcas: A Magazine of Women's Handiwork, February 1885, 38-40. I skimmed it with a sense…Read more “On the Proper Use of Books”

Taiwan Votes: Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies blog post

I'm really honored to have been invited to add my voice to this collection of blog posts about Taiwan's presidential election, gathered by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.  Please read the whole thing - the Taiwan experts have very important insights into many aspects related to the election. Alphabetically I come first,…Read more Taiwan Votes: Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies blog post

Knit together

A few years ago, I called my grandparents' home on my grandma's 90th birthday, mostly hoping to wish her birthday greetings and chat a little, but also, for a brief moment, hoping to accompany her, however implicitly, in the mourning for her younger sister whose death had come not even two weeks earlier. My grandpa…Read more Knit together

Just another archival misdirection

Last Wednesday, I was chatting with a librarian about her project cataloguing what are supposed to be rare tune books, hoping that she might have found some from China. Of course, since archival boxes reveal things that aren't on their labels, as anyone who spends time in archives knows that such boxes are wont to…Read more Just another archival misdirection

“I too am afraid” 「我也怕」

Last night, a Taiwanese friend messaged me  about the US presidential election. My succinct response: 「我也怕」 ("I too am afraid.") Maybe this goes without saying, but I didn't sleep much. I began the morning with a email from a distressed student, unable to attend class because of their emotional state after the results of the…Read more “I too am afraid” 「我也怕」

Salty olives and sweet wine

This semester, my first on the other side of the table when it comes to graduate students, I've found myself returning to comfortable old favorites in the Early Modern [Chinese] Fiction course I've been assigned to teach. Lacking any restrictions other than the loose ones posed by the title of the course, I've elected to…Read more Salty olives and sweet wine

A long footnote to the last nine years

『又一句是受人之恩忘不得。 忘恩負義之人名叫做昧良心。想想從前如何待你。 你却反而無情。豈不是豬狗不及麼。』 《潘公寶卷》卷上,18a. "And there's another aphorism: Do not forget the kindness you have received. People who forget kindness and betray justice are called those who have no conscience. Think back about how people supported you. If you turn around and are lacking in feeling, is it not worse than being a pig or…Read more A long footnote to the last nine years