Assistant Professor and Director of the Chinese Program
Dr. Yun-Chu Tsai is an Assistant Professor of Chinese and Director of the Chinese Program in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Her research interests include Chinese modernity, medical cannibalism and globalization, and the history of food in China. Her research, “You Are Whom You Eat: Cannibalism in Contemporary Chinese Fiction and Film,” explores how the emergence of subjectivity is represented through the trope of cannibalism. Her research project (1) historicizes Chinese discourse on the potential economic and health benefits of eating human flesh and gives prominence to the ethical issues of this practice, and (2) examines how the traditional cultures of food and medicine are incorporated into the contemporary discourse of modernity and globalization. Most importantly, it (3) reflects on the Chinese Dream and how its reinforcement and expansion of China’s strength in market economy comes at the expense of ethical values. Her research demonstrates that contemporary writers explore the trope of cannibalism as an allegory of cooperation between tradition and modernity, while also examining people’s desire to cannibalize – metaphorically and literally – in a market economy.
At The Citadel, Dr. Tsai teaches contemporary Chinese literature and film, as well as Chinese language and culture at all levels. In summer, she directs The Citadel’s Study Abroad Program in Taiwan. She is also Advisor of The Citadel’s Chinese Club.
Ph.D. East Asian Languages and Literatures (University of California, Irvine) M.A. English (State University of New York) B.A. English (National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan)