I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a crayon. Yet only in recent years have I begun to engage in visual scholarship. I find it thrilling to explore what words and pictures can say together.
I am currently in the early phases of a graphic narrative on “recorded conversations” (yulu) between teachers and students in Ming dynasty China and the ways the composition, circulation, and consumption of these texts illuminate problems facing liberal arts educators today: how can we promote open dialogue, respectful dissent, and challenging debate between teachers and students? This project steps outside the scholarly tradition that has regarded early modern yulu as authoritative repositories of each master’s doctrines. Instead, I consider them as literary creations in which teachers and students engaged in vigorous debate, jockeyed for legitimacy, expressed dissent, joked seriously, and established their place in a venerable tradition of master-disciple exchanges with roots in both Chan (Zen) encounter dialogues and Confucian “masters literature.” Here is a preliminary sketch relating to that project.
Published Graphic Narratives
“Caution: No Trigger Warning,” Inside Higher Ed, August 21, 2018
In this article I reflect on the experience of helping a student develop coping strategies for reading a text she found disturbing.
“Reflections on Chinese Student Experiences at Macalester,” The Mac Weekly, November 7-December 5, 2019.
In this series of articles I explore cultural stereotypes and ideological obstacles Chinese international students face when studying on American college campuses.