Yuhang Li


(608) 263.1175

218 Elvehjem

Yuhang Li

Office Hours
Thursdays 11:00 am-1:00 pm or by appointment
University of Chicago, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.A.
Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China, B.A.
Research Interests
Chinese Art, Gender and material practice in late imperial China. Lay Buddhist women, the cult of Guanyin and image making, women artists. History of Chinese textile and costume, opera and Chinese visual culture, Qing court art and Empress Dowager Cixi.



Becoming Guanyin: Artistic Devotion of Buddhist Women in Late Imperial China, under contract with Columbia University Press, forthcoming, July  2019.

Co-edited with Judith Zeitlin, Performing Images: Opera in Chinese Visual Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,  2014.

Mingqing foxiang [Buddhist Sculptures of the Ming and Qing Dynasties]. Taibei: Yishu tushu gongsi, 1997.

Selected Articles:

“Mofang Guanyin faze: mingdai nüxing wangsheng de wuzhi meijie” 摹仿觀音髮簪: 明代女性往生的物質媒介(Mimicking Guanyin’s Hairpin: the Material Mediums for Women’s Transcendence) in Gao Yanyi (Dorothy Ko), Lai Yu-chi and Ruan Yuan (Aida Yue Wong) eds., Kanjian xingbie 看見性別(Seeing Gender). Taipei: Shitou chubanshe, forthcoming 2019.

“Producing Empress Dowager Cixi as Guanyin for Missionaries’ Eyes.” Orientations, Vol. 46, Number 6 (November/December 2018): 62-73.

“Narrating Morality on Textiles,” in Judith Zeitlin and Yuhang Li eds., Performing Images: Opera in Chinese Visual Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press2014. pp.74-87.

“Sensory Devotions: Hair Embroidery and Gendered Corporeal Practice in Chinese Buddhism,” in Sally M. Promey ed., Sensational Religion: Sensory Cultures inMaterial Practice. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. pp.355-375.

“Rethinking Empress Dowager Cixi through the Production of Art.” Co-authored with Harriet T. Zurndorfer, Nannü: Men, Women, and Gender in China, Vol.14, issue 1 (2012): 1-20.

“Oneself as a Female Deity: Representations of Cixi Posing as Guanyin.” Nannü: Men, Women, and Gender in China, Vol.14, issue 1 (2012): 75-118.

“Communicating with Guanyin through Hair: Hair Embroidery in Late Imperial China.” Journal of East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine, 36 (2012):131-166.

Edited Project:
Nannü: Men, Women, and Gender in China: Special Issue on Rethinking Empress Dowager Cixi through the Production of Art. Co-editor with Harriet Zurndorfer. Vol.14, issue 1, 2012.

Cai Jiudi [Judith Zeitlin], “Chongshen yu fenshen: mingmo xiqu zhong de ‘hundan’”[Doubling and Splitting the Phantom Heroine in Early Seventeenth-Century Drama], in Hua Wei ed., Tang Xianzu and Mudanting, Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiu yuan zhongguo wenzhe yanjiusuo, 2005, 511-536.

Works in Progress:


“Fragrant Orchid as Feminine Body: An Analysis of Ma Shouzhen’s Orchid Painting and the Emergence of Courtesan Painters in Early Modern China.”

“Remediated Antiquarianism: A Case Study of Qianlong’s Copy of Li Di’s “Two Chicks.”



AH203 Survey of Asian Art

AH 307 Early Chinese Art: from Antiquity to 10thCentury

AH308 Later Chinese Art: from 10thCentury to Contemporary

AH411 Topics in Chinese Art: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art

AH411 Topics in Chinese Art: Beijing: Staging Royalty in Late Imperial China

AH411 Topics in Chinese Art: Opera and Chinese Visual Culture

AH 576/876 Proseminar: Issues of Gender in Chinese Art

AH 576/876 Proseminar: Gender and Material Practice in the Cult of Guanyin

AH 576/876 Proseminar: Needle, Thread, Silk and Tapestry