Great Wall of China

Dedicated to the languages, literatures, linguistics, and cultures of East Asia

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures prepares students for B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in Chinese and Japanese, and has a thriving program in Korean language and literature. 

Don’t worry about not being acknowledged by others; worry about failing to acknowledge them.
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Confucius, Analects, tr. Roger T. Ames and Henry Rosemont, Jr.

In the Spotlight

Professor Haiyan Lee publishes new book "A Certain Justice". This book is a much-needed account of the hierarchy of justice that defines China’s unique political-legal culture.

To many outsiders, China has an image as a realm of Oriental despotism where law is at best window dressing and at worst an instrument of coercion and tyranny. In this highly original contribution to the interdisciplinary field of law and humanities, Haiyan Lee contends that this image arises from a skewed understanding of China’s political-legal culture, particularly the failure to distinguish what she calls high justice and low justice.

In the Chinese legal imagination, Lee shows, justice is a vertical concept, with low justice between individuals firmly subordinated to the high justice of the state. China’s political-legal culture is marked by a mistrust of law’s powers, and as a result, it privileges substantive over procedural justice. Calling on a wide array of narratives—stories of crime and punishment, subterfuge and exposé, guilt and redemption—A Certain Justice helps us recognize the fight for justice outside the familiar arenas of liberal democracy and the rule of law.

"I loved my time at Stanford. I made an abundance of friends and contacts who continue to bless my life and shape my scholarship. I was able to ease into teaching with opportunities to TA, co-teach, and design my own courses. I had excellent guidance and a long leash to develop a project that often felt neither here nor there but that came together in unexpected, interdisciplinary ways. In my dissertation years, the excellent research support, conversations and lunches at the Stanford Humanities Center, and contemplative spaces of the arcades and sculpture gardens taught me to trust my training and intuition. I’m indebted to the wonderful faculty, staff, and students in EALC and its adjacent programs."

- Mei Li Inouye, Ph.D. in Chinese '20
Assistant Professor of Chinese at Centre College

Read More From Mei Li Inouye

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