Shih-Shan Susan Huang
Ph.D., Yale University
Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Advisor
109 Herring Hall
Shih-shan Susan Huang’s current research focuses on the 10th-to-14th-century Daoist and Buddhist visual culture in China. Prior to joining the Rice faculty, she taught at the University of Washington, Seattle, and was a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University. Her dissertation, “The Triptych of Taoist Deities of Heaven, Earth, and Water and the Making of Visual Culture in the Southern Song China (1127-1279),” has been awarded the Blanshard Prize at Yale University. Her recent publications appeared in Artibus Asiae, Orientations,Ars Orientalis, and the Journal of Daoist Studies. Her book has been granted the 2008-09 Junior Scholar Award and the 2010-2011 Publication Subsidies Award by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (CCK), as well as the Milliard Meiss Publication Fund awarded by the College Art Association (CAA) and the Geiss Subvention Award (James P. Geiss
Foundation) in Spring 2011.
Huang’s first book, Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China, was published by the Harvard University Asia Center Publication (distributed by Harvard University Press) in 2012. It investigates a long neglected topic: the visual culture of Daoism, China’s primary indigenous religion, and asks questions regarding the visuality, meaning, and function of Daoist images. Being the first of its kind to appear in any language, this book intends to present a comprehensive mapping and study of Daoist images found in various media—paintings, diagrams, drawings, and woodblock prints scattered in various sources, especially those preserved in the Daoist Canon compiled in the15th century. The book is divided into two parts: the inner and the outer chapters. Individual chapters feature such topics as body and cosmos, the True Form Charts, materiality and performance of Daoist ritual, and Daoist liturgical painting.
Huang’s next book-length project deals with the early Buddhist print culture during the tenth to the thirteenth centuries. She is interested in expanding the study to the cross-cultural context, drawing comparative examples from the visual materials of the Tangut Xi Xia, the Khitan Liao, the Jurchen Jin, and the Goreyo Korea. Preliminary studies appear in the edited volume on Knowledge and Text Production in an Age of Print: China, 900-1400 (Brill, 2011) and the peer-reviewed journal Ars Orientalis (2011). She will publish further study in Chinese on the related topic in a forthcoming edited volume on the transformation of images based on the 2012 international symposium held in Academia Sinica,Taipei.
Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China. Harvard University Asia Center (2012).
“Media Transfer and Modular Construction: The Printing of Lotus Sutra Frontispieces in Song China,” Ars Orientalis 41 (2011): 135-163.
“Daoist Imagery of Body and Cosmos, Part II: Body Worms and Inner Alchemical Body,” Journal of Daoist Studies 4 (2011): 33-64.
“Daoist Imagery of Body and Cosmos, Part I: Body Gods and Starry Travel,” Journal of Daoist Studies 3 (2010): 57-90.
“Tianzhu lingqian: Divination Prints from a Buddhist Temple in Song Hangzhou,” Artibus Asiae vol. 67, no. 2 (2007): 243-296.
“Summoning the Gods: Paintings of Three Officials of Heaven, Earth and Water and Their Association with Daoist Ritual Performance in the Southern Song Period (1127-1279),” Artibus Asiae vol. 61, no. 1 (2001): 5-52.
“Early Buddhist Illustrated Prints in Hangzhou.” In Knowledge and Text Production in an Age of Print: China, 900-1400, ed. Lucille Chia and Hilde de Weerdt, pp. 133-65. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers (2011).
"Cong Daozang de tu tan Songdai daojiao de kongjianxingi yu wuzhixing 从《道藏》的「图」谈宋代道教的空间性与物质性" (Spatiality and Materiality in Song Daoism)《艺术史研究》13 (2011).
“Imagining Efficacy: The Common Ground between Buddhist and Daoist Pictorial Art in Song China,” Orientations, vol. 36, no. 3 (April 2005):63-69.
“Zhongguoren shi ruhe guiyi fojiao de: Tulufan muzang jieshi dexinyang gaibian,” in Dunhuang tulufan yanjiu [Dunhuang and Turfan Studies] vol. 4 (China, 1999), pp. 17-37. Translation of Valerie Hansen,“How the Chinese Converted to Buddhism: What the Turfan Graves Reveal about Religious Change.”