Pauli Tashima

Ph.D., Director of Chinese and Asian Studies, Assistant Professor of Chinese and Asian Studies



Ph.D., M.A., Chinese, University of California at Berkeley
B.A., Chinese and English, University of California at Berkeley

Curriculum Vitae

Study and Research Abroad

  • Peking University
  • National Taiwan University

Research Interests

  • Early and medieval China
  • Historiography, historical narratives
  • Commentarial traditions, reception histories
  • Pre-modern intellectual culture

Teaching Interests

  • Chinese literature and culture (pre-modern and modern)
  • All levels of Chinese language
  • Historical and literary narratives, philosophical masters
  • Chinese films

Personal Statement

As a college freshman, I was initiated into Chinese studies through modern Chinese literature and film, but my interests have since broadened to include pre-modern Chinese history, philosophy, literature, thought, society, art, and material culture. The polymaths of the Chinese past have taught me to appreciate these fields as inseparable from one another. As a teacher, I attempt to impart my students with the same appreciation for the depth and variety of Chinese traditions, built upon each other in exquisitely elaborate ways. In my research, I consistently devote attention to traditional commentaries, as I find it important to hear and “overhear” the conversations held among historical communities of readers and critics, before I bring my own interpretation to bear on a given work. My dissertation, Merging Horizons: Authority, Hermeneutics, and the Zuo Tradition from Western Han to Western Jin (2nd c. BCE –3rd c. CE), examines the explicit debates and implicit dialogues through which early medieval Chinese scholars, critics, exegetes endow a historical text with classical status and authority. My other specialized interests lie in pre-modern Chinese prose essays and narratives, with a focus on the ways in which Chinese thinkers ordered their knowledge, ethical systems, ritual and social norms, insofar as they revolve around issues of governance.

As an instructor, I am developing ways to make my classrooms increasingly student-centered and effective. Thus, I am in support of the Global Village (a living learning community), service learning, and Languages Across the Curriculum (LAC). For language learners, I encourage them to go abroad, having reaped immense benefits myself by studying in Beijing (1 yr.), Mexico City (1 yr.), Tokyo (1 summer), and Taipei (3 yrs). I consider Peking University and National Taiwan University to be key institutions that have spurred my linguistic and intellectual growth in Chinese. One conversation at a time, I hope to mentor UNCG students on an array of study abroad experiences.