Apply Today! MLA Travel Grant

The Executive Committee of the Ming-Qing Forum of the Modern Languages Association is pleased to announce the Geiss-Hsu Travel Grant to support participation in the 2024 MLA annual convention by scholars of the Ming and adjacent periods. Convention participants (panel presenters, discussants, or organizers) may apply for grants of up to a maximum of $2,000 to reimburse the costs of conference travel, registration, and lodging.

Selection will be based on need, with preference given to graduate studentsjunior faculty, and faculty at institutions that provide limited funding for research travel.

Awards will be announced in early December, with funds provided after the conference. For full consideration, please apply using this link by November 20, 2023. Please direct questions to Rania Huntington:

Fall Awards Announcement

The Board of Directors of the Geiss Hsu Foundation is delighted to announce awards made during the fall application cycle. Congratulations to the awardees!


Books in Ming China, a Rare Book School Course at Princeton

In collaboration with the Princeton University Library, Rare Book School will offer a new course on Books in Ming China as part of the School’s 2024 course roster. Intended for scholars already familiar with Ming studies, this course will introduce participants to the collection of some 2,000 Ming books held at the Princeton libraries. Students will have the chance to conduct research in Princeton’s Gest Collection of East Asian Materials and generate ideas for current and future research projects in Ming Studies.  

Global Voices in Ming Studies: A Roundtable on New Books by International Scholars of the Ming

To support emerging scholars, the Society for Ming Studies will host a roundtable on new books by international Ming scholars at the Society’s meeting-in-conjunction at the Association for Asian Studies Conference in Seattle. Funding from GHF will allow three junior scholars who are based at institutions outside of North America and have recently released books with non-US publishers to travel to the conference to participate in the roundtable.

More UW Press / Geiss Hsu Foundation Open Access Books: Three Translations

University of Washington Press will add three titles to the collection of UW Press / Geiss Hsu Foundation Open Access Books: Jiang Yonglin’s translation of The Great Ming Code / Da Ming lü, first published in 2005; the annotated translation of Further Adventures on the Journey to the West, prepared by Qiancheng Li and Robert Hegel and published in 2020; and the 2021 annotated edition of The Lady of Linshui Pacifies Demons, translated by Kristin Ingrid Fryklund, with an introduction and notes by Mark Edward Lewis and Brigitte Baptandier.

New Approaches to the Study of Traditional Chinese Food Culture: A Workshop

By examining the ways that food and drink shaped, and were shaped by, a wide range of cultural practices in imperial China, the workshop at the University of California, Santa Barbara will highlight the Ming dynasty’s pivotal place in their development. The workshop will also provide a venue for participants to hone their papers prior to submitting them for publication in a special issue of the open-access, peer-reviewed Journal of Chinese History, which will be guest-edited by the workshop’s organizers.

Performance Theory in Early Modern China 

This workshop, which will be held at Harvard University, reconsiders the significance of critical writings about theater and musical performance in early modern China (1500 – 1800). How did artists, intellectuals, and critics reflect on experiences of watching or listening to live performance? How did the act of writing about theatrical spectatorship become an artform in and of itself? What might these texts offer for theater and performance studies across the world today? 

Wulong / Fifth Dragon Conference

An award from GHF will support the SEUSS-FLIC Annual Conference, which will be held at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from February 23 – 25, 2024. Organized around the theme of “Family, Friendship, and Community,” panel sessions will focus on the benefits of familial and community networks and the tensions that sometimes arose between these relationships and obligations to family, society and the state. Mark Halperin, Professor of Chinese at the University of California, Davis, will give a keynote address.  


Games and Play in Chinese and Sinophone Culture. Edited by Li Guo, Douglas Eyman, and Hongmei Sun (University of Washington Press, forthcoming May 2024)

The rising scholarly field of game studies examines games as global, interconnected phenomena, but little has been published on the history of games and gaming in China and this volume begins to fill that gap with a perspective that counters Western-focused views of gaming. Among the topics explored in Games and Play are rock carvings of board games, weiqi cultures, scholars’ and courtesans’ games, gambling, games based on literature, internet-game addiction, video-game politics, and the appropriation of Chinese culture in video games.  

More Swindles from the Ming: Scams, Sex, and Sorcery by Zhang Yingyu. Translated by Christopher Rea and Bruce Rusk (Columbia University Press, forthcoming May 2024)

This companion volume to The Book of Swindles: Selections from a Late Ming Collection (Columbia University Press, 2017) translates the remaining 40 stories from A New Book for Foiling Swindlers, Based on Worldly Experience, by Zhang Yingyu, that were not included in the 2017 selection. Together, the two volumes make the entirety of the original book available to an English-speaking audience.

Three Impeachments: Guo Xiu and the Kangxi Court by R. Kent Guy (University of Washington Press, forthcoming October 2024)

Bringing together a rich trove of sources, Three Impeachments traces the process of impeachment, review, condemnation, and restoration to provide unique insights into the Kangxi golden age. Part I reveals that the highly lauded accomplishments of the Kangxi emperor were not his alone, but the result of collaboration between Manchu elite, the newly formed Chinese Martial Banner Army, and Chinese scholars. Part II, which focuses on Guo Xi’s impeachments, sheds new light on dynastic history and political agency. 

Spring Award Selections

The Geiss Hsu Foundation (GHF) is pleased to announce six awards made during the spring application cycle in support of projects that advance scholarship and interpretation of the Ming dynasty and adjacent time periods and peoples.

Arizona State University I Sookja Cho, associate professor of Korean and comparative literature, Arizona State University, with Joonyoun Kim, professor of Chinese language and literature, Korea University

An award supporting Translating the China and East Asian World Portrayed in Choson Korean Literature, an interdisciplinary workshop on China and East Asia in premodern Korean literature, which will take place at Arizona State University on December 8, 2023

China Institute in America

An award supporting the exhibition Treasures for Buddha: The Legendary Offerings from Nanjing Dabao’en Temple at the China Institute Gallery from October 24, 2023 to May 16, 2024, which will showcase objects discovered during the excavations of the Dabao’en Temple in Nanjing 

Modern Language Association of America I Rania Huntington, Executive Committee of the Ming-Qing Chinese Languages, Literature and Culture Forum, Modern Language Association of America

An award supporting membership dues, conference travel, lodging, and registration for at least five scholars of Ming or Ming-adjacent fields to attend the Modern Language Association of America Convention in Philadelphia from January 4-7, 2024

Society for Ming Studies I Thomas Kelly, President, Society for Ming Studies

A three-year award supporting the work of the managing editor of the Journal of the Society for Ming Studies, including funding travel to the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference

UChicago Global and the University of Chicago Center in Beijing  I Judith Zeitlin, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in Chinese Literature, University of Chicago

An award supporting a recording and workshop performance of the opera Ghost Village, based on Liaozhai’s Strange Tales by Pu Songling

Universidad de Granada I Antonio José Mezcua López, Universidad de Granada, with Xiaolin Duan, North Carolina State University

An award supporting an interdisciplinary workshop in January 2024 at Universidad de Granada, Spain, that will bring together experts on West Lake in order to produce the first broad-based, edited volume showcasing West Lake from multiple lenses

National Humanities Center Announces Geiss Hsu Fellow

Congratulations to Xiaolin Duan, associate professor of Chinese history in the Department of History at the North Carolina State University, who has been appointed to the Geiss Hsu Fellowship at the National Humanities Center for the 2023-2024 academic year. During her fellowship, Duan will work on an individual research project titled Three Cities of the Early Modern Pacific: Connections and Conflicts between the Ming Dynasty and the Spanish Empire and will have the opportunity to share ideas in seminars, lectures, and conferences at the Center. 

The National Humanities Center is the world’s only independent institute dedicated exclusively to advanced study in all areas of the humanities. Through its residential fellowship program, the Center provides scholars with the resources necessary to generate new knowledge and to further understanding of all forms of cultural expression, social interaction, and human thought. Through its education programs, the Center strengthens teaching on the collegiate and pre-collegiate levels. Through public engagement intimately linked to its scholarly and educational programs, the Center promotes understanding of the humanities and advocates for their foundational role in a democratic society.

New Voices in Ming Studies: Nine Research Presentations

All 2023 Association for Asian Studies Conference attendees are invited to the New Voices in Ming Studies: Nine Research Presentations session, to be held during the Society for Ming Studies’ Annual Meeting on Friday, March 17, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. Nine graduate students will give ten-minute research presentations that highlight their primary arguments, key sources, and the ways in which their research connects to the Ming. An initiative of the Society for Ming Studies, the session aims to encourage Ming research and engagement at the junior scholar level and to bring to the fore questions, research materials, and methodologies that productively challenge and enlarge the study of Ming China. The Geiss Hsu Foundation funded the students’ travel to the conference through an award to the Society for Ming Studies.

GHF-Funded Book Wins AAS Prize

The Geiss Hsu Foundation is delighted to share that Aurelia Campbell has been awarded the Bei Shan Tang Monograph Prize in Chinese Art History for her monograph What the Emperor Built: Architecture and Empire in the Early Ming. The prize will be awarded at the Association for Asian Studies Conference 2023 Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. ET at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. In 2018, GHF awarded a subvention to the University of Washington Press in support of the book’s publication.

Apply Now for Spring Funding!

GHF is now accepting applications through March 1, 2023.

Project awards fund activities that confirm GHF’s mission, such as exhibitions, performances, K-12 outreach, conferences, and more. 

Subvention awards support not-for-profit presses in publishing print and open-access books that align with the Foundation’s mission and goals.

Image: A GHF project award supported the conference “How Is China Governed? From Ming Statecraft to Xi’s New Era,” which took place at the University of British Columbia from September 9-12, 2022.