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East Asian Studies and Chinese Studies Faculty

Craig Benjamin, Professor of History, The Frederik Meijer Honors College. B.A. & Ph.D., Macquarie University. Research interests: ancient central Asia, ancient Inner Eurasia, world history, big history.

Meghan Cai, Assistant Professor of Chinese. B.A., University of Minnesota -Twin Cities; M.A., University of Wisconsin -Madison; A.B.D., Arizona State University. Research interests: medieval Chinese literature and culture, miscellany and ephemera studies, modern reinterpretations of classical Chinese tropes.

Jason Herlands, BA Middlebury College, PhD University of Michigan. Jason’s research centers on modern and contemporary Japanese literature and the theme of intoxication, but he also pursues interest in Japan’s film and visual arts, postwar liberation and counter-cultural movements, food-ways and food cultures, and gender and sexuality studies.

Wei Gu, Assistant Professor of Education, B.A., Nanjing University, China; M.Ed., Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University. Research interests: elementary teacher education, comparative education.

Sufen Lai, Professor of English. B.A., Tunghai University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Illinois. Teaches classical literature and mythology in a comparative context; trained in comparative literature, particularly East-West relations.

Yan Liang, Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures. B.A., Nankai University; M.A., Peking University; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara. Research interests: Late Imperial Chinese literature, vernacular fiction, and Chinese popular culture.

Kin M. Ma, Assistant Professor of Geography and Planning, M.S., Ph.D., Michigan State University. Research interests: remote sensing, geographic information systems, cartography, forest resources, natural resource management, geography of Asian countries: China, Taiwan, Japan, North and South Korea.

Kimberly McKee, Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies, B.A., George Washington University; MSc, London School of Economics; Ph.D., The Ohio State University. Research Interests: Asian international adoption; Asian American Studies.

Peimin Ni, Professor of Philosophy, B.A., M.A., Fuda University; Ph.D., University of Connecticut. Teaches Asian philosophy and serves Editor-in-Chief of the Chinese and Comparative Philosophy book series. Research interests: Asian and comparative philosophy, with emphasis on Confucianism and modern West.

Jeremy Robinson, Associate Professor of Japanese. B.A. and M.A., University of Colorado; Ph.D., University of Michigan. Research Interests: Japanese poetry and poetic theory, Japanese theater, humor, and folklore.

Patrick Shan, East Asian Studies and Chinese Studies Program Coordinator, Associate Professor of History. B.A., Henan University; M.A., Liaoning University; M.A., Ph.D., McMaster University. Research interests: Modern Chinese history.

Geling Shang, Associate Professor of Philosophy. B.A., Fudan University; M.A., Old Dominion University, Tubingen University; Ph.D., Temple University. Research interests: Taoism and Buddhism, especially Zhuangzi, with a comparative approach.

Kirsten Strom, Associate Professor of Art History. B.A., University of Illinois at Chicago; M.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Ph.D., University of Iowa. Teaches Asian Art, covering arts of India, China, and Japan.

Wanxiao Sun, Associate Professor of Geography and Planning. B.S., Nanjing University; M.S., Chinese Academy of Sciences; Ph.D., University of Mainz, Germany, Postdoctoral Researcher, UC Berkeley. Research interests: remote sensing, image classification, information fusion, mapping plant functional types, Geographic Information Systems, computer cartography, and 3D visualization and simulation.

Yosay Wangdi, Research Interests: East Asian Religions and Indian History.

Shinian Wu, Professor of English. B.A., Xian Institute of Foreign Languages; M.A., Ph.D., Northern Arizona University. Research interests: Theoretical and applied linguistics; second language acquisition; sociolinguistics; assessment and evaluation.

Yan Yu, Professor of Sociology, B.A., M.A., Beijing Foreign Studies University; Ph.D., Florida State University. Research interests: work and family, gender and family, immigration and family.

Gang Xu, Associate Professor of Geography and Planning. M.S., The Chinese Academy of Sciences; Ph.D., Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. Research interests: economic geography, geographic information systems, globalization, tourism, China, Japan, and East Asia.

Huei Lan Yen, Research Interests: Chinese Diasporas in Latin America.

Peter Zhang, Associate Professor of Communication Studies. B.A., Xian Jiaotong University; M.A., Nankai University; Ph.D., Indiana University. Research interests: rhetoric, media ecology, Deleuze, McLuhan, Virilio, Flusser, I Ching, interality, Chan/Zen. A part list of his publications is available at:

Yi Zhao, Associate Professor of Political Science. B.A., Peking University; M.A., Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; M.S. L., Yale Law School; Ph.D., Yale University. Research interests: Chinese politics, legal development in China, and comparative judicial politics.