Jing Tsu is a cultural historian and literary scholar of modern China at Yale University. The first tenured professor appointed in East Asian Languages and Literature and Comparative Literature, her research spans literature, linguistics, science and technology, internationalization, regionalism and globalization, and US-China relations. She is a member and former chair (2014-2021) of the Council on East Asian Studies and a Senior Research Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, and affiliate faculty at the Jackson School for Global Affairs.
Tsu has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, and Financial Times and has authored or co-edited five books. Her most recent book, Kingdom of Characters: The Language Revolution That Made China Modern (Riverhead, Penguin Random House, 2022), was named among the "100 Notable Books of 2022" by The New York Times and the "Best Nonfiction of 2022" list by The Washington Post. It has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The New Yorker, The Economist, Wired, Science, Nature, Physics World, The Times, The Spectator, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), NRC (The Netherlands), and Frankfurter Allgemeine (Germany). The book tells the story of how China and its language entered the information age dominated by the western alphabet. In Spring 2023, Tsu is delivering Yale's William Clyde DeVane Lectures: "China in Six Keys."
Tsu is widely recognized for her original approach, interdisciplinary synthesis and perspective on China. She has held fellowships and honors from The Society of Fellows (Harvard), Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard), New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), and John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
Courses TaughtGLBL 251 / EALL 256 / EAST 358 / HUMS 272 / LITR 265: China in the World (Spring)
GLBL 376 / GLBL 552: Asia Now: Human Rights, Globalization, Cultural Conflicts (Spring)