It’s really true that in Jiangnan the scenery is fine,
and in the season of falling flowers I meet you once again.
I was born in Kiang-nan, China. This area was saturated in Confucianist and Buddhist traditions and has been permeated with western culture since modern history. In this sense, I prefer to display my name as Yui-Tseu Waung, pronounced in my mother tongue, the Wu language, and spelt in the Wade-Giles system.
I puzzle over identity politics from my life. While my family is of Persian descent, I was nurtured with the ‘classic Chinese culture’ from my family and exposed to the indigenous culture in the Kiang-nan region of China.
After completing my schooling in mainland China, I undertook university studies and live in Taiwan for nearly ten years. Underpinning my desire to study in Taiwan was the notion that Taiwan both planned a future of ‘modern China’ and was a place that had preserved the most ‘traditional’ aspects of ‘Chinese culture’.
However, in Taiwan, I observed two contradictive dominating perspectives regarding identity politics: ‘De-Sinicisation’ and ‘Sinocentrism’. Their Proponents both aim to demonstrate their distinguishments from ‘China’.
With the curiosity about ‘China’, I went back to China to ponder ‘Chineseness’. The working experience at the Nanjing Museum allowed me to help the planning and execution of an exhibition on the history and cultural heritage of the Grand Canal of China.
This was a collaborative project between UNESCO and the Chinese government and I greatly enjoyed the practice of ‘Chineseness’ and communications with foreign scholars and officers.
I obtained a double-degree M.A. in the Department of Political Science at the National Taiwan University and in the Department of History at the National Chengchi University.
My dissertation for my master’s degree in political science explored the evolution of China studies in America, which regarded Prasenjit Duara’s research as a case.
My dissertation for my M.A. in History focused on reviewing the perspective of Wei Yuan (魏源), a modern Chinese Confucian elite, who had committed to reconstructing hierarchical interaction order at the domestic and international levels of China. Here, I also investigated his vision of international relations in modern China and its influence on Gongyang (公羊) theory.