Ying Zhang

Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Chinese Studies
Faculty
I am a historian of medieval and early modern China (14-18th centuries). I am particularly interested in exploring the history of Chinese political institutions, literati culture, and gender and family. My current research is focused on examining the intersection of bureaucracy, law, and society in the Ming dynasty.
 
My first monograph is Confucian Image Politics: Masculine Morality in Seventeenth-Century China (University of Washington Press, 2016). It argues that the rise of print culture, regime change, and the proliferating approaches to moral cultivation together gave shape to a new political culture, in which power negotiations took place through participants’ invocations of Confucian ethical ideals in political organizing, power struggles, and negotiation over politically and socially sensitive issues. In this process, Confucian masculine virtues became reinforced. 
 

Confucian Image Politics Book Cover


My second book-length publication is Religion and Prison Art in Ming China (1368-1644): Creative Environment, Creative Subjects. Brill Research Perspectives series (Leiden: Brill, 2020). Drawing on scholarship on premodern Chinese philosophy, religion, aesthetics, poetry, music, and visual and material culture, it illustrates how prisoners understood their environment as creative and engaged it creatively. It offers a literature survey on the characteristics of premodern Chinese religion and art that helps situate the questions of “creative environment” and “creative subject” within multiple fields of scholarship.
 

Religion and Prison Art in Ming China Book Cover

 



Some of the themes that I have worked on:
 
Premodern Chinese ethics, political thought, institutions, and religion; 
Print culture, material culture & comparative early modernities; 
Chinese feminism & global feminisms 
 
More about me:
 
I am passionate about bringing faculty and students together from different disciplines. 
 
I am Director of the Institute for Chinese Studies (since 2019) [Read my reflections on this leadership role and my thought on teaching in this latest EASC newsletter on p. 2 and p. 7.]
 
I enjoy coordinating these groups and workshops: 
History of the Mind Seminar (since 2018)
The Premodernist Group (since 2012)
The Humanities Institute Working Group “Confinement” (2016-2018)
 
I received education in three different countries…
 
Ph.D. History and Women's Studies, University of Michigan (2010) 
M.A. Women's Studies, University of Cincinnati
M.A. Comparative Cultures, Osaka Prefectural University (Osaka, Japan)
B.A. English Literature, Remin University of China (Beijing, China)
 
…and have traveled to these places for fellowships in recent years
 
Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University (UK) (2019)
 
Member, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study (IAS, Princeton) (2017-2018)
 
 
 
Areas of Expertise
  • East Asian History
  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality History
  • Comparative Empires
  • Power, Culture, and the State
  • Global Early Modern History
  • History of Religion
Education
  • Ph.D. History and Women's Studies, University of Michigan (2010)
  • M.A. Women's Studies, University of Cincinnati
  • M.A. Comparative Cultures, Osaka Prefectural University (Osaka, Japan)
  • B.A. English Literature, Remin University of China (Beijing, China)

Picture for Zhang.1889

Phone:
614-292-0156
Fax:
614-292-2282
363 Dulles Hall, 230 Annie & John Glenn Avenue, Columbus, OH, 43210