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University of Pittsburgh


Katherine Carlitz

Affiliated faculty with the primary appointment in the Asian Studies Center as Assistant Director of Academic Affairs and China Studies Coordinator


Office Location

Asian Studies Center
4108 WWPH
Phone: 412-648-7371

Office Hours

By Appointment


  • PhD, University of Chicago, 1978. Thesis: The Role of Drama in the Chin p’ing mei.
  • MA, University of Chicago, 1974, Chinese literature

My primary interest is in giving students the keys to opening the vast storehouse of Chinese culture—through language, literature, and contemporary media. I teach a variety of courses on Chinese culture, from love to philosophy to law. My courses often mix past and present, since there are powerful currents from the past that still shape Chinese culture today, and new contemporary perspectives that constantly change our views of the past. Does the evolving Chinese legal system show traces of the Confucian past? Did the arranged marriages of old China preclude the desire for romantic love? And how, in fiction and drama, have Chinese answered these questions for themselves? These are some of the questions my classes address.

Selected Publications

  • The Rhetoric of Chin p’ing mei. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.
  • “The Daughter, the Singing-girl, and the Seduction of Suicide.” In Paul S. Ropp et al., eds., Passionate Women: Female Suicide in Late Imperial China. Leiden: Brill, 2001.
  • “Style and Suffering in Two Stories by ‘Langxian.’” In Theodore Huters et al., eds., Culture and State in Chinese History. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997.