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Philosophy Professor Receives Prestigious Chinese Literary Award

Philosophy Professor Receives Prestigious Chinese Literary Award

Creighton University philosophy professor Jinmei Yuan, Ph.D., has received the 2009 Maotai Cup People’s Literature Award from the Chinese Writers’ Association for her Chinese-language novella, “Village Luokan.” The Maotai Cup, which is one of the most prestigious Chinese literary awards, recognizes the two best novellas published in China each year.

“Village Luokan” was originally published in December 2008 by People’s Literature, China’s first literary journal and one of the two most prestigious literary journals in that country. In the 10 months following its original publication, “Village Luokan” has been reprinted seven times by various journals and presses.

The novella addresses the topic of social justice, using the work of late American political philosopher John Rawls (1921-2002) as its starting point.

“Luokan is a traditional village, where customs, traditions and habits function as laws to deal with fairness. Relationships and personal feelings often take over the role of “justice,” said Yuan.

As the characters from Luokan leave the village and enter industrialized society, their lives change but their attitudes toward justice remain the same. Yuan explores the conflict between kinship relations and justice in “Village Luokan.”

Yuan has taught philosophy at Creighton since 2001. She has published numerous scholarly articles in the areas of comparative logic, Chinese philosophy, the philosophy of Asian literature and Zen Buddhism.