Li Yu

Li Yu

Professor of Chinese

Hollander Hall Rm 351
At Williams since 2005


B.A. East China Normal University
M.A. Ohio State University, Chinese
Ph.D. Ohio State University, Chinese

Areas of Expertise

Chinese language pedagogy
History of Reading in Late Imperial China

Scholarship/Creative Work

Edited Volume:

  1. Yu, Li. Section Editor. (under contract) New Trends in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. Volume IV of Palgrave Handbook of Chinese Studies, edited by Zhengdao Ye.

Pedagogical Materials:

  1. Yu, Li. 2019. Project Leader for the Video Project of the Performed Culture Approach: Phase I (Theoretical Concepts). National East Asian Language Resources Center.
  2. Yu, Li. (In Progress). Project Leader for the Video Project of the Performed Culture Approach: Phase II (Teaching Techniques), Phase III (Language and Cultural Points). National East Asian Language Resources Center.
  3. Yu, Li. 2016. Let’s Learn Mandarin Chinese: 64 Basic Mandarin Chinese Words and Their Uses. Singapore: Tuttle Publishing. [This is a revised and expanded edition of an existing title.]

Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters:

  1. Yu, Li. (under review). “The Performed Culture Approach,” in New trends in teaching Chinese as a foreign language, Volume IV of The Palgrave Handbook of Chinese Language Studies, edited by Zhengdao Ye. Palgrave.
  2. Yu, Li. (under review). “Cong keben dao wenben: Meiguo gaoxiao yougaoji zhongwen ‘lingyu kecheng’ linian xin tansuo” [From textbook to text: An exploration into the idea of “domain course” for advanced/superior level Chinese curriculum in U.S. colleges].
  3. Yu, Li. 2020. Tiyan wenhua jiaoxuefa: yuanyuan yu hexin 体演文化教学法:渊源与核心 [The Performed Culture Approach: Intellectual History and Core Concepts]. Guoji hanyu jiaoxue yanjiu 国际汉语教学研究 [Journal of International Chinese Teaching], 2020(2):40-47.
  4. Yu, Li. 2020. “Standards of Validity and Essay Grading in Early Qing Civil Service Examinations,” to appear in Standards of Validity in Late Imperial China, edited by Ari Daniel Levine, Joachim Kurtz, and Martin Hofmann. Leiden: Brill.
  5. Yu, Li. 2012. “Character Recognition: A New Method of Learning to Read in Late Imperial China.Late Imperial China. Volume 33, Number 2, December 2012, pp. 1-39.
  6. Yu, Li. 2012. “Integrating Film Narration into the Lower Intermediate Level Curriculum.” Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, Volume 47, No 2, pp. 33-63.
  7. Yu, Li. 2011 “Wenhua zai nali: Wenhua jiaoxue yu waiyu jiaocai.” Chinese version of “Where is Culture: Culture Instruction and the Foreign Language Textbook” selected to be published as featured article in the journal Guoji hanyu jiaoxue dongtai yu yanjiu [International Chinese Language Teaching and Learning].
  8. Yu, Li. 2011 “An Introduction and Translation to A Suzhou Chantefable Classic from Pearl Pagoda,” in The Columbia Anthology of Chinese Folk and Popular Literature edited by Victor Mair and Mark Bender. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 565-584.
  9. Yu, Li. 2010. “Performance in Performed Culture: A Student’s Notes”, a bilingual version, in Performed Culture Approach, edited by Galal Walker. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Foreign Language Publications. pp. 173-85.
  10. Yu, Li. 2009. “Where is Culture: Culture Instruction and the Foreign Language Textbook.” The Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, Vol. 44:3, pp. 73-108.
  11. Yu, Li. 2008. “Exploring Learners’ Intercultural Behaviors: Applying the Performed Culture Approach in Chinese Language Pedagogy.” The Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, 43:3, pp. 121-46.
  12. Yu, Li. 2007. “Meiguo daxue zhongwen jiaoshi shizi peiyang moshi fenxi” [On Models of Teacher Preparation of U.S. College Chinese Language Teachers.] Shijie Hanyu Jiaoxue [Chinese Teaching in the World]. No. 1, pp. 114-23.
  13. Yu, Li. “Zhongwen jiaoshi peixun xiangmu SPEAC moshi shuping” [A Desccription and Critique of a Chinese Teacher Training Program: The SPEAC Model.] Guoji hanyu jiaoxue dongtai yu yanjiu. No. 4.
  14. Yu, Li. 2004. “Tiyan wenhua jiaoxuefa xuexi shouji: Performance” [On the Concept of “performance” in the Performed Culture Approach in Chinese Language Pedagogy.] Guowai hanyu jiaoxue dongtai, 4, 22-7.
  15. Yu, Li. 2004. “Learning to Read in Late Imperial China.” Studies on Asia: Series II, Vol I, No. 1, pp.7-29.
  16. Yu, Li. “Representation of Ethnic Minorities in Chinese Propaganda Posters, 1957-1983.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture (MCLC) Resource Center Publication. (Available at
  17. Yu, Li. “Dianying yiming chutan” [A Preliminary Analysis of the Chinese Translation of English Film Titles]. Huadong shifan daxue xuebao [Journal of East China Normal University], 1995:3.

Book Reviews and conference reports

  1. Yu, Li. (In press). Book Review of China’s Development and Dilemmas: Authentic Readings for Advanced Learners, by Chih-p’ing Chou, Yongtao Zhang, Yunjun Zhou. (Boston: Cheng & Tsui Company, 2019). Chinese as a Second Language: The journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, USA.
  2. Yu, Li. 2011. Featured Book Review of Chinese: Communicating in the Culture, by Galal Walker & Yong Lang (Columbus, OH: Foreign Language Publications, 2004-2007). Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association. February 2011, Vol. 46:1, pp. 115-122.  
  3. Yu, Li. 2010. Book Review of Chinese Measure Word Dictionary: A Chinese-English English-Chinese Usage Guide, by Jiqing Fang & Michael Connelly (Boston: Cheng & Tsui Company, 2008). Modern Language Journal. Spring 2010, Vol. 94, Issue 1, pp.15-6.
  4. Yu, Li. 2010. Featured Book Review of Ma Xiaotiao, a popular Chinese series reader. The Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association. 45:1 (2010), pp. 103-115.
  5. Yu, Li. 2009. Book Review of Fundamentals of Chinese Characters, by John Jing-Hua Yin. China Review International4., 2009, pp. 579-588.
  6. Yu, Li. 2009. Book Review of Chinese Breeze Graded Reader Series, Level 1: 300 Word Level, edited by Yuehua Liu & Chengzhi Chu. (Beijing: Peking University Press, 2007-8). The Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association. 44, No.2, pp. 107-112.
  7. Yu, Li. 2003. Book Review of King Arthasiddhi: a Mongolian Translation of “The Younger Brother Don Yod” by Marta Kiripolská (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2001.) Journal of Central Asian Studies2.
  8. Yu, Li. 2001. “Conference Report of Beyond Peony Pavilion: Performances, Ethnicity and Cultural Processes in China.” AAS Newsletter, Vol. 46, No. 4, Winter Issue 2001. p. 19.
  9. Yu, Li. 2001. Book Review of The Eternal Storyteller: Oral Literature in Modern China. Edited by Vibeke Bordahl. (Surrey: Curzon Press, 1999.) Journal of American Folklore. Volume 14, Winter 2001, No. 451.  119-121.


  1. Jillian Stallman and Li Yu. (Translation in progress). Chuncao (Spring Grass) by Qiu Shanshan.
  2. Yu, Li, with Ruirong Gu. (Trans.) 1996. Chunlai Cao Ziqing  (The Grass Grows By Itself) by Osho, Shanghai: East Publishing Center.  (200 pages)

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

Research Fellowship, Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows.” University of Heidelberg, Germany. October 2009-September 2010.

Winner of the national competition for Council of Graduate Schools/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award in the field of Humanities and Fine Arts for 2002-2003.

Percy Buchanan Best Graduate Paper Award for the Area of China and Inner Asia at the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs (MCAA), 2003.

The Michio Nagai Award for Best Papers (1st place) at the Sixth Midwest Conference on Asian History and Culture, May 2002.

Presidential Fellowship for outstanding research, Graduate School, The Ohio State University, 2001-2002

Professional Affiliations

Member, Association for Asian Studies
Member, Chinese Language Teachers Association
Member, Modern Language Association
Member, Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing

Current Committees

  • Committee on Admission and Financial Aid (CAFA)

Previous Posts

Director of Chinese, ALLEX Summer Teacher Training Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, Summer 2017, 2018

Chair, Department of Asian Studies, Williams College, 2015-18

Visiting Lecturer, Master Teacher and Trainer, Training Program for Teachers of Chinese and Japanese, SPEAC program, The Ohio State University, Summer 2003, 2004, 2011, 2012

Adjunct Lecturer of Chinese Language, Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures, Emory University, 2003-2005

Lecturer of Chinese, East Asian Languages and Literatures, Ohio State University, 2000-2001

Coordinator and Instructor, Chinese Individualized Instruction, Ohio State University, 1998-2000

Graduate Teaching Associate (Instructor of Chinese), East Asian Languages and Literatures, Ohio State University, 1995-2000

Instructor of Chinese, International Exchange Center, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PRC, 1993-1995


虞莉, 1994年毕业于上海华东师范大学对外汉语系。2003年取得美国俄亥俄州立大学东亚语言文学系博士学位。主要研究领域为汉语教学法及中华读书文化史。曾任教于中国上海华东师范大学、美国俄亥俄州立大学、爱默蕾大学。2009年于德国海德堡大学欧亚文化传播研究所访学一年。2005年执教于威廉大学亚洲研究系至今。