Hsiao-wen Cheng

[photo of Hsiao-wen Cheng]
Assistant Professor
East Asian Religions
Contact Information
Office Address: 
856 Williams Hall
Office Hours: 
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:30-5:30, by appointment
Email Address: 



PhD, History, University of Washington, Seattle
MA, Chinese Language and Literature, National Taiwan University
BA, Chinese Language and Literature, National Taiwan University

Research and Teaching Interests: 
Gender & Sexuality
Chinese Religions and Intellectual History
Chinese Medical History
Premodern Chinese Anecdotal Writing
Song Dynasty (960-1276)
Recent Courses: 

EALC 008: East Asian Religions
EALC 230/630: Gender and Religion in China
EALC 242/642: Medicine and Healing in China
EALC234/634:  Daoist Traditions
EALC 301: Major Seminar: Daoism
EALC 731: Han-Song Medical Texts
EALC 733: Song Dynasty Texts

Work in Progress: 

Manless Women: Medicine, Celibacy, and Female Sexuality in Medieval China
Sexual Anomalies and the Temporality of Norms in Medieval China

Other Professional Activity: 
Faculty Fellow, Penn Humanities Forum, 2015-2016 Forum on Sex
Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School, 2013-2014
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica (Taiwan), 2012-2013


Selected Publications: 

"Before Sexual and Normal: Shifting Categories of Sexual Anomalies from Ancient to Yuan China." Asia Major, forthcoming in 2018.

"Manless Women and the Sex–Desire–Procreation Link in Song Medicine." Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity, forthcoming in 2018.

Review of Man Xu, Crossing the Gate: Everyday Lives of Women in Song Fujian (960-1279) (SUNY Press, 2016). Nan Nü, forthcoming.

Review of Rebecca Doran, Transgressive Typologies: Constructions of Gender and Power in Early Tang China (Harvard University Asia Center, 2016). China Review International 23.2 (2018).

“What Was Good Writing (or Reading) in Eleventh-Century China? Rethinking Guwen and Its Relation to Daoxue.” Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture 4:2 (November 2017)

Review of Beverly Bossler, Courtesans, Concubines, and the Cult of Female Fidelity: Gender and Social Change in China, 1000-1400 (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Asia Center, 2013). Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China 16.1 (2014).

“Authority or Alternative? Rethinking Gender and the Circulation of Medical Knowledge in Song China, 960-1279.” Gender Forum: An Internet Platform for Gender and Women’s Studies, 24 (2009). Cologne, Germany: English Department, University of Cologne.

“A Theme and Its Variations: Reflections on the Theory Traveling from Dai Zhen (1724-1777) to Ling Tingkan (1757-1809) and Zhang Xuecheng (1738-1801)” (In Chinese). Studies in Chinese Literature, 19 (2004). Taipei: Department of Chinese Literature, National Taiwan University.