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Emily Wilcox

Chinese Studies Program Director, Associate Professor of Chinese Studies

Office: Washington Hall 213
Phone: (757) 221-2428
Email: [[eewilcox]]

Dr. Emily Wilcox 魏美玲 joined the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at William & Mary as tenured Associate Professor of Chinese Studies in January 2021. Wilcox was formerly a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Chinese Program at William & Mary in 2011-13 and served as Program Director of the William & Mary Summer in Beijing Program in 2013. She taught at the University of Michigan from 2013 to 2020, where she was most recently tenured Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Studies and Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, as well as Affiliate Faculty in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Wilcox holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been the recipient of major grants and fellowships from the Blakemore Foundation, the U.S. Fulbright Program, the U.S. Foreign Language and Area Studies Program, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. Wilcox publishes actively in both English and Chinese, and she frequently gives lectures around the world, especially in Asia.

Wilcox is an award-winning scholar of modern and contemporary China whose work spans the fields of PRC history, inter-Asia cultural studies, Chinese ethnic minority studies, and transnational Sinophone and Chinese diaspora studies. She is a recognized international leader in the study of Chinese dance and performance. Wilcox’s first book, Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy, was published by the University of California Press in 2018 and won the 2019 de la Torre Bueno Prize® from the Dance Studies Association. It is the first scholarly monograph in the English language to examine the historical development of concert dance in the People’s Republic of China. Those interested in learning more can listen to Wilcox’s New Books Network podcast or view her recorded book talks in English or Chinese. A Chinese translation, titled 《革命的身体: 重新认识当代中国舞蹈文化》 , is forthcoming from Fudan University Press.

Wilcox’s second book, Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia, co-edited with Dr. Katherine Mezur, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2020. It examines the intersection of dance and politics in the East Asia region, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, North and South Korea, and Taiwan. Since 2014, Wilcox has been the lead faculty collaborator for the Chinese Dance special collection at the University of Michigan Asia Library. In 2017, Wilcox worked with UM Chinese Studies Librarian Dr. Liangyu Fu 傅良瑜 to launch the Pioneers of Chinese Dance digital photograph archive and the public-facing exhibition “Chinese Dance: National Movements in a Revolutionary Age, 1945-1965.” Wilcox and Fu are currently co-authoring an Open Access bilingual book about the collection and the exhibition with Maize Books. An active researcher, Wilcox has published more than thirty scholarly articles and book chapters on dance and performance in Asia. A full list, including downloadable pdfs, of her publications can be found here. Wilcox’s current writing projects include a book-length translation of Chinese scholarship on contemporary Chinese ethnic and folk dance choreography, a co-edited collection on teaching Chinese film, a co-authored special issue on inter-Asia dance, and a new monograph on China's international dance exchanges during the Cold War.

Wilcox regularly serves in leadership positions in professional associations and editorial boards. She was President of the Association for Asian Performance in 2015-2017 and a Board Member of the Society for Dance History Scholars in 2014-2016. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Dance Studies Association and runs the Dance Studies Association Asian and Asian Diaspora Dance Studies Working Group. Wilcox was a member of the University of Michigan Press Executive Committee in 2019-2020, and she currently serves as co-editor with Mary Gallagher of the “China Understandings Today” book series sponsored by the University of Michigan Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies and the University of Michigan Press. Following her move to William & Mary in 2021, Wilcox continues as a Center Associate of the University of Michigan Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies. She also recently joined the Board of the Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China and is a member of the 2021-2023 cohort of the National Committee on US-China Relations Public Intellectuals Program. Wilcox regularly organizes artist residencies, lectures, classes, and performances by dancers and choreographers from China in the United States. She is an avid promoter of international artistic and scholarly exchange and serves on advisory and review boards for several dance research organizations in Asia.

Wilcox is a devoted teacher and mentor who loves working with students at all levels of their scholarly journeys. In 2019, Wilcox received the Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award for outstanding teaching of undergraduates at the University of Michigan. While she was at Michigan, she served as an advisor for master’s and doctoral students in the PhD in Asian Languages and Cultures, the MA in Chinese Studies, the Graduate Certificate in World Performance Studies, and the MFA in Dance. She regularly mentors undergraduate research and serves as an external committee member for graduate students across the US and internationally. As a first-generation college graduate, Wilcox enjoys working with students of diverse backgrounds and is committed to overcoming barriers to higher education for all students. Syllabi for Wilcox’s past and current courses and a list of past and current advisees can be found here. If you are interested in applying to work with Dr. Wilcox, please email her directly at [[eewilcox]] for more information.

Emily Wilcox’s C.V. (pdf)

Photo credit: John R Diehl