Wagner, Rudolf G. 1941-

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WAGNER, Rudolf G. 1941-

PERSONAL: Born November 3, 1941, in Wiesbaden, Germany; son of Ott-Heinrich (a chemist) and Renate (maiden name, Frank; later surname, von Weyrauch) Wagner; married Dagmar Dohna, 1969 (divorced 1989); married Catherine Vance Yeh (a scholar), December 30, 1989; children: Martha, Tina. Education: Attended University of Bonn, 1962–63, and University of Heidelberg, 1963–65; University of Munich, Ph.D., 1969. Hobbies and other interests: Squash.

ADDRESSES: Office—Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg, Akademiestrasse 4-8, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Free University, Berlin, Germany, assistant professor, 1972–79; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, research fellow, 1980–81; University of California, Berkeley, research linguist, 1982–85; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, research fellow, 1985–87; University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, professor of Chinese studies, 1987–.

MEMBER: European Association of Chinese Studies (general secretary, 1992–96; president, 1996–98), Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.

AWARDS, HONORS: Leibniz Award, German Research Association, 1992.


(Editor, with Wolfgang Kubin) Essays in Modern Chinese Literature and Literary Criticism, Brockmeyer (Bochum, Germany), 1982.

(Editor) Literatur und Politik in der Volksrepublik China (translations of Chinese fiction, with commentary), Suhrkamp (Frankfurt, Germany), 1983.

Reenacting the Heavenly Vision: The Role of Religion in the Taiping Rebellion, Center for Chinese Studies, University of California (Berkeley, CA), 1983.

The Contemporary Chinese Historical Drama: Four Studies, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1990.

Inside a Service Trade: Studies in Contemporary Chinese Prose, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1992.

The Craft of a Chinese Commentator: Wang Bi on the Laozi, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2000.

Language, Ontology, and Political Philosophy: Wang Bi's Scholarly Exploration of the Dark (Xuanxue), State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2003.

A Chinese Reading of the Daodejing: Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2003.

(Editor) Joining the Global Public: Word, Image, and City in Early Chinese Newspapers, 1870–1920, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), in press.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Research on the life and times of cultural broker Ernest Major of Shanghai, China.

SIDELIGHTS: Rudolf G. Wagner told CA: "My primary motive for scholarship and writing is the enjoyment that comes with the full exercise of one's mental faculties. The choice of Chinese studies added to the challenge. My main interest is in the study of the interaction between a text and the horde of other texts against which it is battling, from whom it is borrowing, and whose tutelage it is. In the particular Chinese case, these countertexts have been, more often than not, of a political nature. I have been mostly interested to engage in fields of research for which a relatively substantial scholarly literature already existed, but which somehow seemed to have failed to come up with an elegant and economical explanation of key features."