Robin Wang Presenter

Robin Wang

Robin R. Wang is the 2016-17 Berggruen Fellow at Stanford University and Professor of Philosophy and Director of Asian Pacific Studies at Loyola Marymount University.  Robin also serves as President of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy and is the author of Yinyang: The Way of Heaven and Earth in Chinese Thought and Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Robin edited Chinese Philosophy in an Era of Globalization, (2004) and Images of Women in Chinese Thought and Culture: Writings from the Pre-Qin Period to the Song Dynasty (2003).  She has done fieldwork on contemporary female Daoists in China since 2005.  

Robin’s Sessions:

Saturday, August 26th, 10:00am to Noon

The Immortal Sisters Panel: Righting the Gender Balance, Daoist Ways to Empowering Women with Livia Kohn and Max Dashu

Daoists have always lived in a highly gendered society, Chinese culture codifying life in terms of yin and yang and seeing females as weak and inferior. Daoist balance this in three different ways. First, the Daode jing counterbalances male-centered culture by extolling yin-type values and forms of behavior, without however yet reversing or overcoming established stereotypes. Daoist communities, second, do away with stereotypes and actively promote gender neutrality, leveling the playing field between the sexes, classifying people on the basis of personal skill and social contribution rather than sex. Daoist monastics and immortals, third, actively ungender practitioners. Thus, all monastics wear the same hairdo and the same vestments, participate equally in the tasks of the institution, and address each other in an intentionally ungendered way. They thereby create a new level of androgynous living, actively liberating the individual from the confines of the appropriate.