Professor, Languages and Cultures Department
Lala Zuo received her B.A. degree in archaeology from Peking University with a concentration on architecture, and M.A. and Ph.D. in East Asian languages and civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interest touches upon a wide variety of topics on East Asian cultural heritage— ranging from history of art and architecture to historic preservation in modern and contemporary periods. Her forthcoming book, Diversity in the Great Unity: Regional Yuan Architecture (University of Hawai’i Press, 2019), is the first in-depth English-language work to present regional traditions of Chinese architecture based on a detailed study of the timber construction system. In the book, Dr. Zuo presents case studies of twenty known buildings along the Yangtze River built during the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) based on her own fieldtrips and surveys. Although the primary focus of this book is the technical evolution of surviving Yuan architecture, its interdisciplinary approach goes beyond architecture by offering a re-evaluation of Chinese society in light of cultural and religious diversity under Mongol rule. In addition, Dr. Zuo has recently published two articles in Heritage Architecture (quarterly), exploring the preservation of historic monuments, respectively in China and Japan, during World War II. In both articles, she discusses involvement of and international collaboration among scholars in China, Japan and the U.S. during the war. Dr. Zuo is assistant professor of Chinese at the United States Naval Academy.