Female Chinese historians topic of upcoming lecture

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Photo of China.

Talk on women and Chinese history set for Feb. 21.

KALAMAZOO—The contributions of Chinese women writers in China’s historiography will be outlined in a talk by a visiting Chinese scholar at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in 2028 Brown Hall on Western Michigan University's main campus.

Dr. Clara Wing-chung Ho, a professor of history at Hong Kong Baptist University, will present the talk, “Were Chinese Women Interested in History? Evidences From Their Works in the Ming-Qing Period.” It is free and open to the public.

According to Ho, Ban Zhao of the Eastern Han Dynasty is the only woman historian included in a collective biography of Chinese historians. In a widely circulated dictionary of Chinese historians, which offers a total of 2,643 entries, just six entries are dedicated to women and only two of them lived entirely in the Imperial era.

Ho will give an overview of the various themes covered in different genres of historical works by women in Ming-Qing China, and also highlight some interesting and ambitious arguments presented in those works. She proposes that a thorough study of women’s views on different aspects of history, and a multi-angled comparison with men’s views, will provide a unique view of China’s past.

Ho is currently a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at Northeastern University. She is the editor and author of several books related to women and Chinese history. Ho earned her doctoral degree in history from the University of Hong Kong.

For more information, visit wmich.edu/chinesestudiescenter or contact Christina Paruch, Chinese programs coordinator, at hige-lightcenter@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3951.