Doris Sung

Doris Sung

Assistant Professor of Art History, Asian Art


  • PhD, York University, Toronto
  • MFA, York University


Dr. Sung’s research focuses on early modern, modern and contemporary art of East Asia, cultural interactions between Asia and Europe, and gender and visual culture.

Her book titled Women of Chinese Modern Art: Gender and Reforming Traditions in National and Global Spheres, 1900s–1930s will be published by De Gruyter in December 2023. This book is the first comprehensive study of the contributions of women embroiderers and traditionalist painters to the development of Chinese modern art and the revaluation of Chinese cultural heritage on the international stage during the late Qing and early Republican period (1900s–1930s). Dr. Sung has published book chapters and articles on Chinese women artists active in the 20th and 21st centuries and is a contributor of articles on modern and contemporary Chinese art to Grove Art/Oxford Art Online. She is a co-principal investigator of “Global Makers: Women Artists in the Early Modern Courts,” a digital humanities project to encourage and support sustained, interdisciplinary consideration of the role Early Modern women played in the hands-on production of visual and material culture in the courts of Europe and Asia (c. 1400-1750). She is one of the research leaders of the international “TEAM (Teaching, E-learning, Agency and Mentoring)” for AWARE (Archives of Women Artists Research and Exhibitions).

Before joining UA, Dr. Sung was assistant curator at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) where she worked on Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, an exhibition organized by PEM, National Museum of Asian Art (Freer|Sackler) and the Palace Museum, BeijingShe held the position of project coordinator for the international research and digital humanities project “A New Approach to the Popular Press in China: Gender and Cultural Production, 1904–1937.” Dr. Sung is also a visual artist and an independent curator and has curated exhibitions on the works of Chinese-Canadian women artists, new art of the Asian diasporas, and experimental calligraphy. She earned her Ph.D. in humanities, and MFA in visual arts from York University, Toronto.

Courses Taught

  • ARH 555: Asian Seminar: Global Makers: Women Artists in Early Modern Courts (co-taught with Dr. Tanja Jones)
  • ARH 555: Asian Seminar: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art (Graduate seminar)
  • ARH 455: Topics in Asian Art
  • ARH 355: The Art of Imperial China
  • ARH 356: Art of Japan
  • ARH 354: Art of South and Southeast Asia
  • ARH 254: Survey of Art III: Asian Art

Select Publications

  • Chinese Women Artists in the Early Twentieth Century” in AWARE (Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions) research database (October 2021).
  • “Redefining Female Talent: The Women’s Eastern TimesThe Ladies’ Journal, and the Development of ‘Women’s Art’ in China, 1910s–1930s.” In Women and the Periodical Press in China’s Long Twentieth Century: A Space of their Own?, edited by Michel Hockx, Joan Judge, and Barbara Mittler, 121–140. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.
  • Grove Art Online Oxford Art Encyclopedia entries: “China, Twentieth Century: Exhibitions,” “Shenbao (newspaper),” “Yin Xiuzhen,” and “Zao Wou-Ki [Chao Wu-chi; Zhao Wuji].”
  • “Naistenlehdet, 1900-Luvun Alun Uudet Ilmaisukanavat” [New Channels of Expression: Voices in Women’s Magazines in the Late Qing and Early Republican China]. In Enemmän Kuin Puoli Taivasta: Kiinalainen Nainen Historiassa, Yhteiskunnassa Ja Kulttuurissa [More than Half the Sky: Chinese Women in History, Society and Culture], edited by Tiina Airaksinen, Elina Sinkkonen, and Minna Valjakka, 341–46. Helsinki: Art House, 2016. (In Finnish)
  • The Birth of a Database of Historical Periodicals: Chinese Women’s Magazines in the Late Qing and Early Republican Period.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Fall 2014). Co-authored with Liying Sun, and Matthias Arnold.

Selected Presentations

  • October 2022. “Art In Conversation: Women Artists in Late Imperial China.” Birmingham Museum of Art.
  • September 2021. “The Transcultural Art Practice of Chinese Embroiderer Shen Shou (1874–1921).” Feminist Art History Conference, organized by American University, Washington D.C.
  • March 2021. “’Who Would Understand the Joy of the Fish?’: Jin Taotao’s Painting Treatise and Gender Repositioning in the Elite Art World.” Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference, online (Panel organizer, chair, and presenter).
  • March 2021. “Where Are the Women in Contemporary Chinese Art?” Guest lecture presented at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. (Online)
  • December 2020. “Why Have There Been No Great Chinese Women Artists?” Public webinar for TEAM: Teaching, E-learning, Agency, Mentoring, sponsored by AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions. (Online)
  • February, 2020. “Affirming Their Roles: An All-Women Art Society in 1930s Shanghai.” presented at CAA 2020, Chicago, Illinois.
  • October, 2018. “Women Artists as Valuable Citizens: An All-Women Art Society in 1930s Shanghai.” Presented at SECAC 2018, Birmingham, Ala.
  • July 2017. “The Global Experience and Patriotic Virtue of Artist Jin Taotao (1884–1939).” Presented at the International Conference on “Chinese Women in World History,” Academia Sinica, Taipei.
  • March 2017. Panel organizer and presenter for the panel “Leaving Their Footprints: Asian Artists in Early Twentieth-Century Paris.” Association of Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference, Toronto.
  • April 2016. Panel organizer and presenter for the panel “Chinese Women Artists Making Their Mark: Public Identity and Agency from the High Qing to the Contemporary.” Association of Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference, Seattle.
  • October 2014. “A Chinese Woman in Paris: Pan Yuliang and the Development of ‘Women’s Art’ in China.” Presented at The Fifth Annual Feminist Art History Conference. American University, Washington DC.
  • May 2014. Panel co-organizer and presenter at the workshop “A Medium on the Edge: The Chinese Women’s Periodical Press in China’s Long 20th Century.” Berkshire Conference on the History of Women 2014. University of Toronto.