Sincere condolences to the family and people who knew her.
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Il giorno ven 30 lug 2021 alle ore 08:52 phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki(a)gmail.com>
I am forwarding this note from MIT to share the sad news of Professor Jing
Wang's death, because in addition to being a distinguished scholar, she was
also at one time a member of the Wikimedia advisory board (
). She was also generally a
supporter of open culture. Condolences to those who knew her.
*From:* L. Rafael Reif <office-of-the-president(a)mit.edu>
*Sent:* Thursday, July 29, 2021 11:09 AM
*To:* Phoebe Ayers <psayers(a)mit.edu>
*Subject:* Professor Jing Wang (1950–2021)
Sharing the news of Professor Jing Wang’s passing
View online version
[image: Letterhead for MIT President L. Rafael Reif]
To the members of the MIT community,
With great sadness, I share the news that Jing Wang, S.C. Fang Professor
of Chinese Languages & Culture and professor of Chinese media and cultural
studies, died on Sunday following a sudden health emergency.
Professor Wang’s interests ranged from the classical literature of
premodern China – the subject of her first book, the award-winning *The
Story of Stone* – to groundbreaking work on contemporary Chinese culture,
including the role of advertising and the nuanced ways that activists use
social media to inspire societal change.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and literatures
from National Taiwan University, Jing completed her education in the US,
earning her PhD in comparative literature from the University of
She spent 16 years on the faculty at Duke, rising to chair the Department
of Asian and African Languages and Literature and to direct the Center for
East Asian Cultural and Institutional Studies. In 1996, she published her
second solo volume, *High Culture Fever: Politics, Aesthetics, and
Ideology in Deng's China*.
In 2001, Jing arrived at MIT, beginning with an appointment in Foreign
Languages and Literatures (now Global Languages), a group she would head
from 2005 to 2008. Intense and inspiring, Jing earned the Levitan Award for
Excellence in Teaching, the highest teaching honor in MIT’s School of
Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (SHASS), and was a relentless advocate
for women in academia.
As she developed her ideas for two more provocative books – *Brand New
China: Advertising, Media, and Commercial Culture* (2008) and * The Other
Digital China: Nonconfrontational Activism on the Social Web* (2019) –
she found an additional intellectual home in Comparative Media
Studies/Writing (CMS/W). Since 2019, CMS/W was her primary appointment. She
also went out of her way to serve the Institute, including providing
guidance to MIT on working in China and, this summer, joining the advisory
committee to identify a new dean for SHASS.
You can read more about her life and work
on MIT News.
Passionate about using knowledge to improve people’s lives, Jing founded
the MIT New Media Action Lab
to help non-profits and communities in developing countries explore the
potential of new media, and launched NGO 2.0
an ambitious effort based in Beijing and Shenzhen to promote the use of
information communication technology to help activists achieve their social
goals. On the advisory board of the Wikimedia Foundation since 2010, she
also chaired the International Advisory Board of Creative Commons
Having lost her daughter, Candy
tragically two decades ago, Jing was keenly attuned to the struggles of
others. Warm, caring and generous, she was a gifted cook who made sure that
students from far away had a welcoming place to go for Thanksgiving.
May we honor her memory by making room at our own tables – and by reaching
out now to the many friends, colleagues and students grappling with her
L. Rafael Reif
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Ave | Cambridge, MA 02139
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