I Ching


M a r g a r e t J. P e a r s o n

Photo: Chris Weigl

Margaret J. Pearson, Ph.D., studied Chinese literature with Hellmut Wilhelm, and history with Jack Dull and Chan Hok-lam. During her Chinese language studies at the Inter-University Center in Taipei, Taiwan, she translated classical texts by Laozi and Xunzi into modern Chinese; her doctoral dissertation was the first English translation of the political sections of Wang Fu’s Qianfulun. In 1997 she was elected a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, and was elected to life membership there the following year. Since 1980, she has taught Chinese and Japanese history at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Select Publications

The Original I ching: an Authentic Translation of the Book of Changes, Based on Recent Discoveries.  (Tuttle, September 2011)

“Towards a New Reading of Hexagram 44," in The Oracle: the Journal of Yijing Studies (London), vol. 2, no.11 (September 2000),
pp 25-29.

Wang Fu and the Ch'ien-fu lun: a Study with Translations (Center
for Asian Studies, Arizona State University, 1989)

Entries on Wang Fu, Qianfu lun, in Encyclopedia of Confucianism, ed. Yao Xinzhong. (London, Curzon, 2003), 486-488,630-631.

"Ch’ien-fu lun," with Chen Chi-yun, in Early Chinese Texts: A Bibliographic Guide, ed., Michael Loewe. (Berkeley, Institute for East Asian Studies, 1993), 12-15.

Wang Fu, "Thinking of Worthies," in Renditions: a Chinese-English Translation Magazine. (Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1990),

Some Conference Papers and Presentations

“Yin Meanings in the Shijing and Zhouyi,” Annual Meeting, American Oriental Society, St. Louis, Missouri, March 13, 2010.

“Working with your thesis supervisor,” Thesis Writing Group, Wolfson College, Cambridge University, 2004.

“Nation, Gender, and Climate: English Stereotyping of the Female in China’s Great Binary Divide,” Conference on Stereotypes and Binary Divides, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, Cambridge University, June 24, 2005.

“Women in the Book of Changes,” web-based seminar, onlineclarity.co.uk, June 24, 2005.

“Zhang Heng’s Memorial on the Earthquakes of 133,” Text-Reading Seminar, Needham Research Institute, May 13, 2005.

“Yin: a Place of Refuge,” Conference on Peace and Justice,
Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, Asilomar, California, June 21, 2004.

“De-gendering yin and yang in the earliest Chinese texts,” Clare Hall, Cambridge University, May 30, 2002.

"A new reading of hexagram 44 of the Yijing (Book of Changes)," Text-reading Seminar,
  Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, May 1998.

Fellowships and Affiliations

Visiting Scholar, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge,
  1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004-2005, 2006.
Life Member, Clare Hall, Cambridge University, 1999 to present
  Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, Cambridge University, 1997-1998.

Member, University Seminars on Early China, Traditional China, Modern China,
  Columbia University. (chair, Traditional China, 1990-1992)


Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, 1980-2011

History 241: Imperial China
History 242: Modern China
History 247: Rise of Japan

Liberal Studies 2-113: Change In Early China
History 343: Chinese Revolution
History 347: Japan's Modernizers: Samurai, Weavers, Writers, Prostitutes
History 362a: Japanese Women's Diaries
Colloquium: topics in Chinese history (ca. 1500-1990's)
Colloquium: the Northern Expedition (1926-1927)

State University of New York at Albany: Imperial China, Modern China, 1981-1985.

Vassar College, Computers and People, Systems Analysis,

New School for Social Research, Chinese Intellectual History:
  Foundations, 1978-1979

University without Walls, Comstock Prison, 1990-1992
  Imperial China survey, Chinese Intellectual History: Foundations


Chair, History Department, Skidmore College, 2000-2002
Director, Asian Studies Program, Skidmore College, 1986-1990


B.A. in History, Smith College
M.A. in Chinese Studies, University of Washington
  Thesis: Xie Bingying, Participant in the Family Revolution in China.
Inter-University Program (Stanford Center), Taiwan National University, Taipei
Ph.D. in History, University of Washington
  Dissertation: The Worthy Unemployed: Wang Fu and the Comments of a Recluse

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