Dr. Ropp received a B.A. from Bluffton College in 1966, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in 1968 and 1974, respectively, from the University of Michigan. He has been at Clark since 1984 and is also affiliated with the programs in Women's Studies and Asian Studies.
Current Research and Teaching
Dr. Ropp teaches courses in Asian history, including Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism in China, modern Asia, Chinese civilization, modern China, modern Japan, Chinese women in literature and society, and the People's Republic of China. His research deals primarily with Chinese social and cultural history in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Currently, Professor Ropp is doing research on the traditions of political dissent in Chinese history, from the 4th century BCE to the present. Planned as a series of biographies of famous and/or influential dissenters in China, this study will reveal striking continuities and discontinuities in the exercise of political power in China, in traditions of modes of political dissent, and in the commemoration of great dissenters in cultural memory through China's long history. Professor Ropp is also writing a one-volume history of China, from earliest times to the present, for a World History series edited by Bonnie Smith and Anand Yang, to be published by Oxford University Press.
Co-editor with Paola Zamperini and Harriet T. Zurndorfer, Passionate Women: Female Suicide in Late Imperial China. Contributor of "Introduction," pp. 3-21, and "Bibliography," pp. 143-51. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2001. (Also published as vol. 3, no. 1 issue of Nannü: Men, Women, and Gender in Early and Imperial China.)
Bannished Immortal: Searching for Shuangqing, China's Peasant Woman Poet . Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001.
"The Price of Passion in Three Tragic Heroines of the Mid-Qing: Shuangqing, Lin Daiyu and Chen Yun," in Paolo Santangelo, ed., From Skin to Heart: Perceptions of Emotions and Bodily Sensations in Traditional Chinese Culture. Weisbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2006, pp. 203-228.
Heritage of China: Contemporary Perspectives on Chinese Civilization . Editor and contributor of two essays, "Introduction," pp. ix-xx, and "The Distinctive Art of Chinese Fiction," pp. 309-34. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.
Dissent in Early Modern China: "Ju-lin wai-shih" and Ch'ing Social Criticism . Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1981.
Chinese Women in Literature and Society This course examines the changing role of women in Chinese society from the 17th century to the present, primarily through the reading and discussion of Chinese literature in English translation. Offered every other year.
Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism: Intellectual History of China Explores the three major intellectual traditions of China, with special emphasis on the ethical values of each tradition and their historical and contemporary relevance. Fulfills the Values Perspective. This course is offered every year.
Seminar on Political Dissent in Chinese History By studying the most famous political dissidents in Chinese history, and by examining the consequences of their actions, this course explores the continuities and discontinuities in China's political culture, in the exercise of political power, in the assertion of the individual's right to criticize the powerful, and in the ruler's response to pointed political criticism. Offered periodically.