Connected through Yale and Nanjing University
I met Qian Nanxiu when I was an undergraduate at Yale. She was a graduate student and facilitated the Chinese language table in my residential college. She impressed me with her erudition and patience. She shared her deep knowledge of Chinese literature, culture, and history with us novices with grace and patience. Later we reconnected through mutual friends at Nanjing University, service on an NEH committee, and a shared interest in literary eccentrics and women across Chinese history. Her book about Xue Shaohui is both learned and empathic and I will continue to treasure her insights as I teach Women and Modern Chinese History. Nanxiu was a born teacher and scholar, generous and collegial. She was also a poet and an artist--her holiday cards were always among the most beautiful, whether electronic (or in the past--material). She modeled what it meant to be an intellectual in the best sense--how live a life of the mind, but also how to be an ethical person in the world.
April 10, 2023