I came to the study of art and design in China the long way. My first extended experience of Chinese language learning was in a British colony --my junior year in college at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I finished up a BA in History at Kalamazoo College and was off to Taipei for intensive language study at the National Normal University Mandarin Training Center. My two-year sojourn was punctuated by dragon boat races, long study sessions over oolong tea and dumplings,and very little art. I returned to the States to study at the University of Chicago, where I took Chinese art history courses for the first time. After a year at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, followed by a year of what I would admit to be half-hearted teaching of ESL at independent high schools in the Boston area, I moved across the country to the University of Oregon to start work in my new field of art history with the magisterial Ellen Johnston Laing, and later, with the always Chuck Taylor-clad Charles Lachman. Eventually, I made my way to Stanford. While there, I studied with Rick Vinograd and learned about joy of reading books and looking at handscrolls with Hal Kahn. My final extended sojourn in Asia was in Yokohama, first to make a last-ditch attempt at brushing up my then uncertain Japanese language skills at the Inter-University Center (which now, I am chagrined to say, have returned to a state of uncertainty). I stayed in Yokohama a second year to bury myself in Tokyo-area archives and museums and write the dissertation. I came back to a final year at Stanford as Geballe Graduate Fellow at the Humanities Center. The day after I submitted my dissertation, I moved to Portland, Oregon (memorably, the U-Haul truck broke down four times along the way. And yes, it was a sign). From 2001-2006 I taught at Lewis & Clark College, and from 2006-2010 at Reed College. In the spring of 2010 I had a wonderful six-month stint as a Smithsonian Institution Senior Fellow at the Freer-Sackler Galleries in Washington, DC. In 2016 I returned to D.C. from my new home in Edmonton, Alberta, where I am a professor at the University of Alberta, as the Ailsa Melon Bruce Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts (CASVA). As my fortune cookies predicted, I have and I am still crossing the great waters, but I am also settled down happily among the polite Canadians here in Edmonton. And on China's National Holiday three  years ago, I became a Canadian myself.

Please check out my blog, Staring at the Ceiling

View curriculum vitae.