Assistant Professor of Chinese
Asian Languages and Civilizations

Education

Ph.D., East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago
M.A., East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago
B.A., Physics and East Asian Languages and Cultures, Beloit College

Regional and Thematic Interests: 

Pre-modern Chinese literature, pre-modern popular culture, popular religion, vernaculars, morality literature, women's history, Taiwan history

Profile

Katherine Alexander's PhD dissertation, "Virtues of the Vernacular: Moral Reconstruction in late Qing Jiangnan and the Revitalization of Baojuan" addresses popular religious literature and culture in Jiangnan during and after the Taiping War. Many caught up in the turmoil believed the destruction to be heaven-sent judgment for society’s ills. The perceived high stakes of moral reform – averting future disasters and shoring up the Qing against collapse – made for a fertile environment in which vernacular morality literature like baojuan proliferated. In addition to revising this dissertation for publication, she is currently working on a project addressing how Qing imperial narratives of female chastity were interpreted and adopted in the frontier city Taiwanfu (present day Tainan, Taiwan), building on the themes developed in her dissertation about the role of religion in supporting or destabilizing the state and prescriptive moralities aimed at female audiences.

Publications:

  • “Glossary of Terms” in Zeitlin, Judith and Yuhang Li. Performing Images: Opera in Chinese Visual Culture. Chicago: Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago Press, 2014. 215-216.
  • “Cat. 48” in Zeitlin, Judith and Yuhang Li. Performing Images: Opera in Chinese Visual Culture. Chicago: Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago Press, 2014. 202-203.