Victor H. MairProfessor of Chinese Language and Literature
Victor H. Mair, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1976. He also holds an M.Phil. degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London). He has been teaching at the University of Pennsylvania since 1979.
Professor Mair specializes on Buddhist popular literature as well as the vernacular tradition of Chinese fiction and the performing arts. Among his chief works in these fields are Tun-huang Popular Narratives (Cambridge University Press, 1983), Painting and Performance: Chinese Picture Recitation and Its Indian Genesis __ (University of Hawaii Press, 1988), and T'ang Transformation Texts: A Study of the Buddhist Contribution to the Rise of Vernacular Fiction and Drama in China (Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies, 1989).
Throughout the 1990s, Professor Mair organized an interdisciplinary research project on the Bronze Age and Iron Age mummies of Eastern Central Asia. Among other results of his efforts during this period were three documentaries for television (Scientific American, NOVA, and Discovery channel), a major international conference, numerous articles, and The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West (Thames and Hudson, 2000).
Professor Mair is the founder and editor of Sino-Platonic Papers and General Editor of the ABC Chinese Dictionary Series at the University of Hawaii Press. He has been a fellow or visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong (2002-2003), the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, 1998-1999), the Institute for Research in Humanities (Kyoto University, 1995), Duke University (1993-1994), and the National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 1991-1992).
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