Professor Juwen Zhang earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania, along with an Urban Studies Certificate. He also studied at the graduate programs in Dartmouth College, and Shenyang Normal University in China.
As a folklorist, Professor Zhang is a Fellow of American Folklore Society (AFS), President of Western States Folklore Society (WSFS), and has also served on the elected Executive Board and other committees of AFS. In 2019, he delivered the Archer Taylor Memorial Lecture at the WSFS. His research interests are in such areas as, rites de passage, ritual studies, folk performance, film and folklore, folk and fairy tale, diasporic identity, and Chinese/Asian American folklore. He has developed and defined these theoretical concepts: “filmic folklore,” “folkloric identity,” “core and arbitrary identity markers,” “vitality and validity of tradition,” and “cultural self-healing mechanism.” His current research projects include translating and studying folk and fairy tales, and folklore of epidemics.
Professor Zhang has extensive experience in teaching Chinese language and culture. Prior to his joining Willamette University in 2002, he taught at Dartmouth College, Middlebury College Summer Language School, Swarthmore College, Haverford College, and Bryn Mawr College. During 2012-13, he taught at Dartmouth College as a visiting professor. Professor Zhang’s language teaching style has integrated the merits from different approaches, emphasizing communicative proficiency. Through visualization and dramatization in reinforcement drills and situational conversations, he tries to make the process of learning Chinese not only efficient, but also pleasant.
Professor Zhang has led groups of students to China for faculty-student joint research projects or post-session courses, and has worked with students on various projects such as making and playing traditional ceramic and bamboo flutes, and facilitating a number of students publishing their translations.
Professor Zhang is the recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship, Faculty Council, Willamette University, 2020.
Courses Taught by Professor Zhang:
- ASIA 201: Gateway to East Asia
- ASIA 210: Making and Playing of Traditional Musical Instruments
- ASIA 258-01: Asian American Folklore and Folklife
- ASIA 258-02: Chinese Food and Medicine
- ASIA 299-01: Folklore and Epidemics
- ASIA 358: Field Studies in China
- ASIA 390, 391: Independent Study
- CHNSE 131, 132: Elementary Chinese (I) (II)
- CHNSE 231, 232: Second Year Chinese (I) (II)
- CHNSE 331, 332: Third Year Chinese (I) (II)
- CHNSE 431: Reading the Humanities
- CHNSE 432: Introduction to Classical Chinese Texts and Thoughts
- CHNSE 490, 491: Reading and Conference
- CHNSE 254: Folklore and Identity
- CHNSE 352: Rites of Passage in Chinese Societies
- CHNSE 499W: Senior Seminar
- IDS 101-24: Chinese Myths and Tales in Films (First-year College Colloquium)
- IDS 101-38: Eat Drink Man and Woman in China (First-year College Colloquium)
- IDS 101-37: Confucius and Aristotle: Everyday Ethics (First-year College Colloquium)
Selected Publications (2019-2022 )
Zhang, Juwen. Oral Tradition in Contemporary China: Healing a Nation. Lexington Books, 2022.
Zhang, Juwen. The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2022.
Zhang, Juwen. The Magic Love: Fairy Tales from Twenty-First Century China. New York: Peter Lang Publishers, 2022. [This book contains 7 tales translated by two students of Chinese Studies Major students in Willamette University.]
Zhang, Juwen. Folklore in the Making of Chinese American Identity. In Handbook of Asian Transnationalism. Ed. Ajaya Sahoo. London: Routledge, 2022.
Zhang, Juwen. Introduction: Glimpses of New Directions in Chinese Folkloristics. Editor of a special issue on Current Chinese Folklore Studies, Western Folklore 81 (1/2): 2022 (forthcoming) [This special issue contains two essays translated by one student of Chinese Studies Major in Willamette University.]
Zhang, Juwen. Introduction: In Search of Hope amid Despair in Folklore of Epidemics. Editor of a special issue on Folklore and Epidemics, Journal of Folklore Research 59 (1): 2022 (forthcoming)
Zhang, Juwen. Making Sense of the Pandemic of Racism: From the Asian Exclusion Act in 1924 to the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in 2021. Cultural Analysis, 2021 (forthcoming)
Zhang, Juwen. Epidemics in Folk Memory: Tales and Poems from Chinese History. Norwich, VT: Old Johnson Place Publishers, 2021.
Zhang, Juwen and Jiang Fan. Fairy Tales from Tan Zhenshan in Contemporary China: An Introduction to the Translation of “A Paper Maiden Turned into a Real Wife.” Marvels & Tales 35 (1): 182-186, 2021.
Wei, Min, Juwen Zhang, and Bill Long. A Tale Told by Tan Zhenshan: “A Paper Maiden Turned into a Real Wife”. Marvels & Tales 35 (1): 186-189, 2021. [Min Wei is a Chinese Studies Major student in Willamette University.]
Zhang, Juwen. Rediscovering the Brothers Grimm of China: Lin Lan. Journal of American Folklore 133 (529): 285-306, 2020.
Zhang, Juwen. Folkloric Identity Is the Thing. Archer Taylor Lecture at the 2019 Western States Folklore Society annual meeting. Western Folklore, 79 (2/3): 215-250, 2020.
Zhang, Juwen. The Concept of Ethnic Genre as a Paradigm Shift. Western Folklore, Special Issue in Honor of Dan Ben-Amos. 79 (1): 13-44, 2020.
Zhang, Juwen. Motif as Symbol in Context. In Contexts of Folklore: Festschrift for Dan Ben-Amos on His Eighty-Fifth Birthday. Eds. Simon Bronner and Wolfgang Mieder. New York: Peter Lang Publishers, 2019. Pp. 343-353.
Zhang, Juwen. Fairy Tales in China: An Ongoing Evolution. In The Fairy Tale World, ed. Andrew Teverson. London: Routledge. 2019. Pp. 335-346.