Chinese female historians topic of lecture by visiting scholar

Dr. Ho, Hong Kong University

The contributions of Chinese women writers in China’s historiography will be outlined in a talk by a visiting Chinese scholar at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in Room 2028 of Brown Hall on Western Michigan University's main campus.

Dr. Clara Wing-chung Ho, a professor of history at Hong Kong Baptist University, will present the talk. Titled “Were Chinese Women Interested in History? Evidences from their Works in the Ming-Qing Period,” it is free and open to the public.

According to Ho, Ban Zhao, of the Eastern Han Dynasty, is the only woman historian included in a collective biography of Chinese historians. In a widely circulated dictionary of Chinese historians, which offers a total of 2,643 entries, just six entries are dedicated to women and only two of them lived entirely in the Imperial era.

Ho will give an overview of the various themes covered in different genres of historical works by women in Ming-Qing China, and also highlight some interesting and ambitious arguments presented in those works. She proposes that a thorough study of women’s views on different aspects of history, and a multi-angled comparison with men’s views, will provide a unique view of China’s past.

Ho is currently a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at Northeastern University. Her research interests include women, gender, children, eunuchs, and historiography in Imperial China and she is the editor and author of several books related to women and Chinese history. Ho earned her doctoral degree in history from the University of Hong Kong.

For more information about the event, call (269) 387-3951 or visit