We Are Knox...
Assistant Professor of Asian Studies
At Knox Since: 2009
Weihong Du joined Knox as assistant professor of Asian studies in the fall
of 2009. Her primary academic interest is in Chinese literature, culture,
film, and language. She holds her master's degree in Chinese from the
University of Minnesota and her master's and bachelor's degrees in Chinese language and literature from Nanjing University. She will receive her Ph.D. in Chinese from the University Minnesota this spring.
What brought you to Knox?
Before seeing the job posting, I hadn't heard much about Knox, actually. But after doing some research on the college, I became more and more interested in its history, reputation, and diversity. What really sealed the deal for me, however, was the enormously positive impression that the search committee for my position gave me during my interview. It was such a memorable experience because of their hospitality for a fellow scholar. Also, the Chinese program here is still just beginning to develop and I am happy to be part of its growth.
Have there been any surprises since coming here?
Actually, I was more surprised by the little things. For example, I was surprised by both the content and the volume of e-mails that are sent each day. People e-mail about everything here! Also, I never expected that Roger Taylor, Larry Breitborde, and Tom Axtell would be such a musical force!
What has been your most memorable experience since coming to Knox?
The President's Reception for faculty members really sticks out. I had such a good time meeting so many different people. I only wish that I would have had the time to get to know everyone that was there.
Describe your current research/creative work. What is most interesting about this work?
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.
If you weren't a professor, you would be...?
Well, I was an editor before I coming to the U.S., so maybe that!
What is your favorite thing about Galesburg?
The history of the town and college, and maybe the houses. I relocated here from Minneapolis, and there isn't such a clearly displayed variety of homes spanning so many different decades.
What do you do when you're not teaching or researching?
I spend as much time as I can with my baby! He's five months now and getting bigger by the second.