In Memoriam: Nanxiu Qian, 1947-2022

Nanxiu Qian, professor of Chinese literature in the School of Humanities at Rice University in Houston, Texas, died on November 16 after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 75.

“A quiet but powerful intellectual voice in the School of Humanities, Nanxiu Qian was a treasured colleague and friend to faculty and staff alike,” said Kathleen Canning, dean of humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of History. “She was actively engaged in the founding of the new Department of Transnational Asian Studies, which gave her a new home after spending most of her career as a professor of humanities. She cherished her students above all: the drive to teach and advise them sustained her throughout her illness.”

Professor Qian received her master’s degree from Nanjing University in China and then taught there for five years. She earned her doctorate from Yale University. Dr. Qian joined Rice’s faculty in 1993. She was an expert in Chinese literature. Writing in both Chinese and English, Dr. Qian was best known in the West for her work studying the influential fifth-century Chinese text Shishuo Xinyu, (A New Account of Tales of the World).

At Rice, Dr. Qian was affiliated with the Chao Center for Asian Studies, the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies program in the School of Humanities. She was the author of several books including her most recent work Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing China: Xue Shaohui and the Era of Reform (Stanford University Press, 2015).

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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