Yanfang Tang (汤雁方) is the Director of the Confucius Institute at the College of William and Mary. She also serves as the Director of the Chinese Studies Program in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Professor Tang received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1993. Before coming to W&M in 1994, she had taught at Michigan State University and Brigham Young University. Although her doctoral training focused on classical Chinese poetry and East-West comparative literary theories, she teaches a variety of Chinese studies topics including Chinese literary history, culture and society in contemporary China, women and love in Chinese literature, East Asian cultures and film, Chinese behavioral culture, and the history and development of the Chinese language. Professor Tang’s research interests and publications also span a broad range of subjects including traditional Chinese poetry and poetic theories, Chinese thought and thought processes, Yi jing (易经) and its influence on Chinese culture, China-West cross-cultural communication, and the teaching of Chinese as a foreign language.
In an economically and technologically globalized world, tensions between different cultures are by no means diminishing. In fact, as peoples of the different parts of the world come to interact more frequently, misunderstanding due to the lack of understanding of each other’s cultural backgrounds and philosophical beliefs could create potential for greater disagreement and conflict. Professor Tang is firmly committed to the promotion of cultural knowledge and understanding in this age of rapid globalization. By enhancing the study of Chinese language and culture through WMCI at the College and in the local communities, Professor Tang dedicates herself to the expansion of international education at W&M and to the ultimate cause of promoting greater cultural understanding in the world.