IU bestows honorary Doctor of Letters upon famous Taiwanese author


Chi Pang-yuan received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from IU President Michael McRobbie. Pang-yuan is one of Taiwan's most renowned contemporary writers and one of the most acclaimed writers in the Chinese language. Courtesy Photo

IU President Michael McRobbie awarded an honorary doctorate to Chi Pang-yuan on Feb. 25 at National Taiwan University.

The Doctor of Letters is the highest academic recognition given by the university. While Chi is a world-renowned author and translator, she is also an alumna of the former Fulbright Scholars program and former IU graduate student.

After coming to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar, Chi taught at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in 1967. Afterward, she came to IU to study comparative literature.

Chi wrote about her years at IU in “The Great Flowing River: A Memoir of China, from Manchuria to Taiwan.” According to an IU press release, Chi was about six credits away from receiving her Master of Arts degree from IU but then had to go back to Taiwan to help her family.

She was also the founding chair of the department of foreign languages and literatures at National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan, according to the press release. Chi worked for National Taiwan University for many years and is a professor emerita.

Credited with exposing the world to Taiwanese literature, Chi translated and edited the publication of “An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Literature: 1949-1974.”

"Professor Chi is one of Taiwan's best-known and most beloved contemporary writers," McRobbie said in the release. “We are honored to have had this association given her subsequent long and illustrious literary career.”

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