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Alexander, Katherine L. Assistant Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • In her research, Katherine Alexander explores the least-preserved aspects of early modern China’s literature and culture, popular literature, in order to better understand the lives of people most often overlooked by official histories. In her current research she explores a genre of performance literature called baojuan (precious scrolls), analyzing it in terms of the people composing, publishing and reading them in the context of China’s turbulent 19th century. She explores morality tales told in these texts for the social tensions they addressed, particularly in speaking to intended audiences of minimally literate or illiterate non-elites. Dr. Alexander’s work shows how Chinese at the time used baojuan as one way of restoring social and religious stability after the Taiping War divided the empire. This gives her the opportunity to explore complex, compelling issues of interactions between elite and popular cultures and between vernacular literature and religious traditions.

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • CHIN 1012 - Introduction to Chinese Civilization
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    An interdisciplinary introduction from ancient to modern times. Arts, literature, politics, social relations, religion, and material culture are studied in terms of significant themes and ideas pertaining to the civilization of China. Taught in English.
  • CHIN 3200 - Adv Wrtg Topics on Chinese & Japanese Literature and Civilization
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Provides an introduction to the academic study of Chinese and Japanese literature and culture with a focus on writing skills in English through a survey of standard academic writing conventions. Review and assessment of selected textual materials, class presentation, critique, and revision. Recommended for majors. Taught in English. Same as JPNS 3200.
  • CHIN 3361 - Women and the Supernatural in Chinese Literature
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2019
    Explores the relationship between the worlds of women and the supernatural in Chinese literature, from ancient to modern times. Focuses on selected significant works of classical and vernacular fiction, religious texts, and poetry. Taught in English.
  • CHIN 5070 - Graduate Academic Writing
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Considers the act of academic writing both in terms of mechanics and in terms of habits of effective writers themselves, so that students, building upon a base knowledge of the expectations of the academy, develop approaches to help themselves gain the confidence to excel at the writing required of them in graduate school and beyond.
  • CHIN 5680 - Topics in Early Modern Literature
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Examines a specific problem or issue in early modern literature (e.g., the relationships among religion, folklore, and early fiction; the issue of genre and traditional fiction); the role of elite versus popular cultures in the composition of fiction; or the relationship of the state and censorship and the southern philosophical schools to the publication of fiction. Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours. Knowledge of Classical Chinese at the level of CHIN 4220 is required.
  • JPNS 3200 - Adv Wrtg Topics on Chinese & Japanese Literature and Civilization
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Provides an introduction to the academic study of Chinese and Japanese literature and culture with a focus on writing skills in English through a survey of standard academic writing conventions. Review and assessment of selected textual materials, class presentation, critique, and revision. Recommended for majors. Taught in English. Same as CHIN 3200.

Background

International Activities

global connections related to teaching and scholarly work (in recent years)

Other Profiles