News Release| Fulbright Scholar; Cal State L.A.

February 7, 2012

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please contact the CSULA Public Affairs in advance at (323) 343-3050.

CSULA’s history professor heads to China as a Fulbright scholar

Ping Yao to conduct research on ‘Buddhist Women in Tang China’

Los Angeles, CA  -- Ping Yao, professor of history and director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Program at California State University, Los Angeles, has recently been awarded a 2011-12 Fulbright Scholar grant to travel to China.

A South Pasadena resident, Yao will complete research on her book manuscript, Good Karma Connections: Buddhist Women in Tang China, 618-907, while in Shanghai for six months. She will also offer a seminar series on Western scholarship regarding women in Chinese history and religion in Chinese history at her host institute, Eastern China Normal University (ECNU).

Yao is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, organized by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

“I am honored to be selected as a Fulbright senior research scholar,” said Yao. “I have been invited by the department of history at the ECNU to work with Professor Fasong Mou, an eminent medieval China scholar, whose research has focused on epitaphs of Sui-Tang China as well as on Chinese religions.”

She said, “I will also work with two Shanghai-based scholars—Professor Han Sheng of Fudan University and Professor Yan Yaozhong of Shanghai Normal University—who are both leading figures in the field of medieval Chinese Buddhism.”

Recognized as an esteemed Chinese history scholar, Yao’s research focuses on women’s lives and women’s religious experiences. Since 1996, she has authored and coauthored books and articles, has published in edited volumes, and has translated works from English into Chinese and Japanese, and from Chinese and Japanese into English. Currently, she is serving on the editorial board of three international journals.

Her academic accolades include a 2005 faculty research grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities for a project focusing on women’s lives, and a 2006 Academic Excellence Award given to her by the Chinese Historians in the United States for an article on childbirth and maternal mortality. She was also a visiting professor at Harvard University during 2008-2009 academic year. For four years, she served on the board of directors of the Chinese Historians in the United States, and went on to serve as the first female president of the organization.

A CSULA faculty member since 1997, Yao received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a recipient of CSULA’s 2010 Outstanding Professor Award.

Yao added, “I am eager to act as a cultural ambassador, sharing with Chinese scholars and students my experience and research in the U.S. The intellectual dialog will also help establish future exchange programs between Cal State L.A. and colleges in China.”

For more about Professor Yao: /faculty/pyao/pyao.htm

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit the website at

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