The Weatherhead East Asian Institute warmly congratulates faculty members Dorothy Y. Ko and Chün-fang Yü, both of whom were elected Academicians of the Academia Sinica on July 5, 2018. Professors Ko and Yü were among 21 scholars elected at the 2018 biennial Convocation of Academicians. They will join Academia Sinica’s society of Academicians, a group of individuals who have made outstanding academic contributions to the fields in which they work. The Academician title is an honorary lifetime privilege.
Dorothy Y. Ko is Professor and Chair of History at Barnard College. She is a cultural historian who works on gender, technology and art in early modern China. Her latest monograph, a Study of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, is The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China (University of Washington Press, 2017). In her first book, Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in Seventeenth-Century China (Stanford University Press, 1994), she retrieved the social and emotional lives of women from the poetry they wrote. In Every Step a Lotus: Shoes for Bound Feet (University of California Press, 2001), Professor Ko used material culture—embroidered slippers—to reconstruct women’s lives. A later monograph, Cinderella’s Sisters: A Revisionist History of Footbinding (University of California Press, 2005), was awarded the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize of the American Historical Association for the best book in women’s history and/or feminist theory in that year.
Chün-fang Yü is Sheng Yen Professor Emerita of Chinese Buddhism, Department of Religion and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, at Columbia University. Her primary field of specialization is Chinese Buddhism and Chinese religions. Professor Yü is interested in the impact of Buddhist thought and practice on Chinese society as well as the impact of Chinese religious traditions on the domestication of Buddhism in China. She is the author of Passing the Light: The Incense Light Community and Buddhist Nuns in Contemporary Taiwan (University of Hawaii, 2013); Kuan Yin, the Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara (Columbia University Press, 2001); and The Renewal of Buddhism in China: Chu-hung and the Late Ming Synthesis (Columbia University Press, 1981), and is the co-editor of Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in China (University of California Press, 1992), in addition to many articles on the history and ritual practices of Chinese Buddhism.
Academia Sinica, founded in 1928 in Nanjing, supports research activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from mathematical and physical sciences to life sciences, engineering sciences, humanities and social sciences. Academicians are grouped into four divisions: Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Life Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences. A maximum number of ten new academicians is elected in each of the four divisions during the biennial Convocation.