Sarah Babcock

Sarah Babcock

Specialization: Pre-Modern Chinese Literature and Buddhism

Research Focus:

Sarah studies the interchange between aesthetics, Buddhism, and literature during the Song dynasty. Specifically, she is working on analyzing the miscellany collection by the prolific Northern Song monk Juefan Huihong (1071-1128 C.E.), using methodologies from literary and religious studies.

Ph.D. Dissertation (tentative):
Using the Poetry Eye to Look at the World: The Convergence of Literatati Culture and Chan Buddhism in the Miscellany of Juefan Huihong (1071-1128 C.E)

Personal Statement:

I am fascinated by traditional cultures and classical literature, but I am also interested in the modern interpretation, reaction, and (sometimes) dismissal of these ancient works and practices. I see culture as a dynamic interchange between ideas and practices from the past, present, and the projected future. Consequently, I’ve found that culture is best accessed from a multidisciplinary approach that may cut across temporal boundaries.My hobbies include hiking, yoga, reading English and Russian literature, vegan cooking, and watching ballet performances and period drama movies.

Academic History

  • M.A., Asian Studies, University of California Santa Barbara
      M.A. Thesis: Jade Belt and Monk’s Robe: Literary Exchanges between Poet Su Shi and Chan Master Foyin of the Song Dynasty
  • B.A. Chinese Language, University of California Berkeley

Additional study of Chinese language:

  • 2009: Mandarin Training Center, Taiwan Normal University
  • 2007: “Princeton in Beijing” Summer Program
  • 2001-2002: International Chinese Language Program, Taiwan National University


  • “My Hometown Grows Up,” translation of contemporary Taiwanese short story in Journal of Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series, 21 (July 2007): 95-104.

Conference Papers

  • 05/08/2014
    “Encounters Between Monks and Literati in Nighttime Chats in a Chilly Hut.” Presented at the Buddhist Studies Roundtable, UC Berkeley.
  • 11/3/2012
    “Lame Mr. Liu, Uncle Yuancai, and a Barefoot Monk: Eccentric Aesthetes in Master Huihong’s Nighttime Chats in a Cold Studio (1121).” Presented at the American Oriental Society Western Branch Conference, Scottsdale, AZ.
  • 4/22/2012
    “Teaching the Nuances of Chinese Optative Verbs to English Speaking Learners: Integrating Sociocultural Pragmatics.” Presented at the 6th UC Language Consortium, San Diego, CA.


  • Dr. Ronald Egan, Department of East Asian Languages, Stanford University
  • Dr. Hsiao-Jung Yu, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies
  • Dr. Xiaorong Li, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies
  • Dr. Xiaobin Ji, Department of History

Teaching Experience


  • Winter 2013           EACS/RS 23: Chinese Buddhism              Dr. Steavu-Balint
  • Fall/Winter 2012    Chinese 1: Elementary Modern Chinese     Dr. Chen
  • Fall/Summer 2011 Chinese 1: Elementary Modern Chinese     Dr. Chen
  • Winter 2011           EACS 4A: East Asian Pre-Modern   Dr. Egan & Dr. Saltzman-Li
  • Winter 2008           EACS/RS 21: Zen Buddhism                     Dr. Hillis
  • Winter 2007           Chinese 1: Elementary Modern Chinese    Dr. Chen

Additional Teaching Experience:

  • 9/2010-6/2011     Chinese Instructor, Laguna Blanca Upper School
  • 9/2003-6/2006     Chinese Instructor, Dharma Realm Buddhist University


  • 2015: Taiwan Center for Chinese Studies Research Grant for Foreign Scholars in Chinese Studies
  • 2014: Chinese Government Scholarship
  • 2013: UCSB Graduate Opportunity Fellowship
  • 2010-2013: Pai Hsien-yung Endowment Fellowship
  • 2009: Taiwan Huayu Enrichment Scholarship
  • 2006 – 2008: UCSB Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship
  • Summer 2007: UCSB Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship
  • 2001 – 2002: Taiwan Ministry of Education (MOE) Scholarship