Academia Sinica member elected to prestigious American body

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) ‏— Chinese literature scholar and Academia Sinica member David Der-wei Wang (王德威) has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his decades-long contributions in his field, Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s top research institute, said Monday.

The 65-year-old Wang, a member of Academia Sinica since 2004, is the Edward C. Henderson professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University.

Wang’s research interests include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, late Qing fiction and drama, and comparative literary theory and he is best known for creating two concepts in the study of Chinese literature — “lyrical tradition” and “repressed modernities.”

These concepts have since been widely seen as important literary theories and discourses in the field, it added.

Wang also has played an important role in promoting English translation and studies of the works of Taiwanese writers, and was behind an English translation project that introduced the voices of Taiwanese writers, such as Huang Chun-ming (黃春明) and Chu Tien-wen (朱天文), to English-language readers, the statement said.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Wang earned his B.A. in foreign languages and literature from National Taiwan University, and his M.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1982) in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Wang was among the 276 new members announced by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on April 23.

The academy, a 240-year-old organization honoring accomplished artists, scholars, scientists and leaders around the globe, is one of the oldest learned societies in the United States.

Founded in 1780 during the American Revolution by John Adams, John Hancock, James Bowdoin, and other American Founding Fathers, the academy is dedicated to honoring excellence and leadership, and convenes leaders from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives to address significant challenges.

Membership in the academy is achieved through a petition, review, and election process and is considered a high honor of scholarly and societal merit, according to the academy’s website.

It has elected roughly 10,000 members to date.