- PhD, University of Hawaii, 1986
- MPhil, University of Hong Kong, 1981
- BA, University of Hong Kong, 1975
I specialize in the intellectual history of late imperial China. With abiding interests in Confucianism as a dynamic and multifaceted tradition, my work is situated at the intersection of various fields: history, philosophy and religious studies. Apart from Cheng-Zhu Confucianism in the Early Qing: Li Guangdi and Qing Learning (2001), and Mirroring the Past: The Writing and Use of History in Imperial China (2005), I have edited several volumes, and published scores of book chapters and articles in a variety of major academic periodicals, including Journal of the History of Ideas, Journal of Chinese Religions, Philosophy East and West, Journal of Chinese Philosophy and Journal of World History.
I am completing a book on the jinwen (New Script) classical commentaries in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century China. While the work is primarily an investigation of the distinct hermeneutical disciplines and philosophical concerns of a Confucian exegetical tradition, it also explores the interpretive possibilities opened up by contemporary Western theories of reading and understanding.
Here at Penn State, I direct the Asian Studies Program. I also work with various academic publishers and organizations in multiple editorial and administrative capacities. I am co-editor of the book series on ‘History of Chinese Thought,’ National University of Taiwan Press. I serve as Associate Editor and Book Review Editor with the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, and sit on the editorial board of Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy. I am a member of the Steering Committee of both the ‘Confucian Tradition Group’ and ‘Religions in Chinese and Indian Cultures: A Comparative Perspective Consultation Group’ of the American Academy of Religion. For a decade, I have chaired the University Seminar on Neo-Confucianism at Columbia University.
“Private Historical Writing in Late Imperial China.” In Daniel Woolf, Jose Rabasa, Edoardo Tortarolo, and Masayuki Sato, eds., The Oxford History of Historical Writing, Vol. 3. Oxford and London: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. 60-79.
“Li Guangdi and the Philosophy of Human Nature.” In John Makeham, ed., Dao Companion to Neo-Confucian Philosophy. Dordrecht and New York: Springer Publishing, 2010. Pp. 381-398.
Philosophy of the Yi: Unity and Dialectics. Co-edited with Chung-ying Cheng. Journal Supplement Series to the Journal of Chinese Philosophy. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
The Imperative of Understanding: Chinese Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, and Onto-Hermeneutics. Editor. New York: Global Scholarly Publications, 2008.
Mirroring the Past: The Writing and Use of History in Imperial China. With Q. Edward Wang. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2005. (“Outstanding Academic Title,” Choice)
Awards and Service:
Co-editor of book series, ‘History of Chinese Thought,’ National University of Taiwan Press (2009 - present)
Associate Editor and Book Review Editor of the Journal of Chinese Philosophy (2001 - present)
Visiting Fellow, Research Centre for Chinese Philosophy and Culture, Chinese University of Hong Kong (2006)
Visiting Professor, City University of Hong Kong (2005)