Ping Yao

College of Natural & Social Sciences
Department of History
Office KHB4022

Professor Emerita, Department of History

Research Interests   

Gender and Religion in Premodern China

Educational Background

Ph.D. in History, 1997: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MA in Anthropology, 1992: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MA in History, 1985: Fudan University, Shanghai, China                    

BA in History, 1982: East China Normal University, Shanghai, China

Honors and Awards

2017 Scholar Grant, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange

2016 Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grant, Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies

2014 Distinguished Woman Award, Cal State LA

2011 Fulbright Scholar, U.S. Department of State

2010 Outstanding Professor Award, Cal State LA

2008 Visiting Professor, Women's Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School

2006 Academic Excellence Award, Chinese Historians in the United States

2005 Faculty Research Award, National Endowment for the Humanities

Selected Publications


Chinese Autobiographical Writing: An Anthology of Personal Accounts. Coauthor. University of Washington Press, 2023.

An Exploration into Medieval Times. Coeditor. Shanghai Classic Publishing House, 2023.

Teaching History in America: From Students to Professors. Coeditor. Peking University Press, 2022.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality in China: A Brief History. Routledge, 2021.

Women's Lives in Tang China, 3rd edition. Shanghai Classic Publishing House, 2020.

Chinese Funerary Biographies: An Anthology of Remembered Lives. Coeditor. University of Washington Press, 2019.

Gender and Society in Tang China. Peking University Press, 2018.

East Asia: A Documentary History. Coauthor. Cognella Academic Publishing, 2016.

Pathmakers: Conversations with Prominent Historians. Coeditor. Peking University Press, 2015.

Women and Gender in Chinese Buddhist Tradition. Chinese Historical Review Special Issue, Spring 2015.

Gendering Chinese Religion: Subject, Identity, and Body. Coeditor. State University of New York Press, 2014.

Western Scholarship on Chinese History Series. Coeditor. Shanghai Classic Publishing House, 2012.

Western Scholarships on Chinese History – History of Religion. Volume editor.

Western Scholarships on Chinese History – Intellectual History. Volume editor.

Western Scholarships on Chinese History – Women’s History. Volume editor.

Discovering History in America. Coeditor. Peking University Press, 2010.                      

Chinese Thought and Chinese Society. Coeditor. Shanghai University Press, 2010.                                      

Sharing the World Stage: Biography and Gender in World History. Coauthor. Houghton-Mifflin, 2008.                                             

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

"Coping with the Loss of a Child: Evidence from Tang Funerary Writing." Journal of Chinese History (2021).

"Between Topics and Sources in the History of Sexuality in Imperial China." In Chiang, ed., Sexuality in China: Histories of Power and Pleasure. Univ. of Washington Press, 2018.

"Changing Views on Sexuality in Early and Medieval China." Journal of Daoist Studies 8 (2015).

“Power in the Family and the State.” Coauthor. In Benjamin, ed., Cambridge History of the World 4. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2015.

“Discourse on Gender and Sexuality." Coauthor. In Benjamin, ed., Cambridge History of the World 4. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2015.

“Tang Women in the Transformation of Buddhist Filiality.” In Jia, Kang, and Yao, eds., Gendering Chinese Religion. SUNY Press, 2014.

"Historicizing Great Bliss: Erotica in Tang China (618-907)." Journal of the History of Sexuality 22.2 (2013).

“Women in Portraits: An Overview of Surviving Epitaphs from Ancient and Medieval China.” In Ho, ed., Overt and Covert Treasures. Hong Kong Chinese Univ. Press, 2012.

"Cousin Marriages in Tang China (618-907)." Chinese Historical Review 18.1 (2011).

“Women’s Epitaphs in Tang China (618-907).” In Judge and Hu, eds., Beyond Exemplar Tales: Women’s Biography in Chinese History. Univ of California Press, 2011.

"Good Karmic Connections: Buddhist Mothers and Their Children in Tang China (618-907)." Nan Nȕ10.1 (2008).

"Contested Virtue: The Daoist Investiture of Princesses Jinxian and Yuzhen and the Journey of Tang Imperial Daughters." T'ang Studies 22 (2007).

"Childbirth and Maternal Mortality in Tang China." Chinese Historical Review 12.2 (2005).

"Until Death Do Us Unite: Afterlife Marriages in Tang China, 618-906." Journal of Family History 27.3 (2002).

"The Status of Pleasure: Courtesans and Literati Connection in Tang China (618-906)." Journal of Women's History 14.2 (2002).

Academic and Professional Positions

2017-2020       Member, T’ang Studies Society Board of Directors

2016-               Member, Global Chinese Histories 250–1650 Series Editorial Board, Amsterdam University Press

2016-2018       Chapter President, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Cal State LA

2015-2022       Member, Harvard University Board of Overseers Visiting Committee

2011-2017       Director, Asian and Asian American Studies Program, Cal State LA

2009-2015       Member, T’ang Studies Editorial Board

2009-               Member, Journal of Daoist Studies Editorial Board

2008-               Member, Chinese Historical Review Editorial Board

2007-2009       Member, Council of United Societies of China Studies

2007-2009       President, Chinese Historians in the United States