Assistant Professor of Asian Studies (Chinese)
"Currently I am researching cross-cultural interactions between China and the West during the 1930s. I am focused primarily on how these presentations of culture were made to the Western other and how the specifics of those presentations affect authenticity and understanding between China and its interlocutors. The most interesting thing about this topic is how it provides such a penetrating tool for defining the past and how it sheds light even on contemporary cross-cultural interactions."
Years at Knox: 2009 to present
Ph.D., Chinese, 2009, University of Minnesota.
M.A., Chinese, 2005, University of Minnesota.
M.A., Chinese Language and Literature, 1995, Nanjing University.
B.A., Chinese Language and Literature, 1992, Nanjing University.
Chinese literature, culture, film, and language.
Selected Professional Accomplishments
Research Grant, University of Minnesota Graduate School Thesis, 2007.
Shohara Fellowship Award, Chinese Program in East Asian Languages, Literature and Linguistics, University of Minnesota, 1999.
"Homemade Faces in a Foreign Mirror: Mimetic Authenticity in Sino-Western Cultural Interchange during the 1930." East Asia Seminar Series, College of Liberal Arts of University of Minnesota, 2008.
"Reversed Oriental Gaze: Redefining Chinese Arts and Culture." New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS), State University of New York, New Paltz, 2005.
"Illness as Female Living Conditions in the Early Stories of Lu Yin and Ding Ling." Fourteenth Annual Graduate Student Conference on East Asia, Columbia University, 2005.
Campus & Community Involvement
Member, Association of Asian Studies, (AAS).
Member, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, (MCLC).
Member, Asian History and Studies, (H-ASIA).
What Students Say
"Professor Du's enthusiasm and passion comes clearly through her lectures. She is approachable and willing to make time for students outside of class. Her classes are filled with classic novelas, movies, and anecdotes, and the pieces are chosen with deliberate consideration and thoughfulness. It is clear that Professor Du puts a lot of effort, work, and thought into her lectures."
-Christina Warner, Psychology Major
"I first met Professor Du as a second year Chinese student. At that point, I thought I had Knox all figured out; it was my second year of college, obviously I knew it all. I remember one of my first classes with Weihong, when I began to showcase my shaky speaking skills. It was an unnerving experience, one that made me want to give up and try from scratch with something different, anything but enduring the embarrassment that I felt from trying to speak Chinese. To my dismay at the time, it was clear from the get-go that Weihong was absolutely not about to give up on me. Though I didn't always articulate my feelings, she made a point to consistently make sure we were all aware that she was available for any of her students to ask questions or practice speaking outside of class time. Suddenly I found myself sitting in her office for one, even two hours, speaking completely in Chinese. Professor Du's dedication and encouragement contributed to my heartfelt investment in a challenge that, before, I saw as completely insurmountable. I would leave her office feeling like I was on top of the world, and feeling like I could do anything. So, when I had the opportunity to take an independent study with her (an independent study is ultimately a one-on-one class), I was elated. It was called "Occidentalism, Orientalism, and Chinese Culture." I was able to see yet another side to Weihong, one that was incredibly well versed in Chinese culture and literature, but still so interested to hear my ideas and my point of view on the matters. The classes that I took with Professor Du will always be remembered with supreme fondness. She teaches all of her students with an unparalleled sense of dedication, knowledge, and kindness that Knox College is privileged to have."
-Bridget Dooley, Elementary Education Major and Chinese Minor