Tiger Profile: Ellen Soulliere

Updated: May 10

Honorary Research Associate, School of Humanities, Massey University, University of New Zealand


Ellen started her study of Chinese language in 1967 at Wellesley College, the second year Mrs Lin had been teaching at Wellesley. After graduating from Wellesley with a major in History, she spent two years as a Wellesley-Yenching Tutor at Chung Chi College, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Subsequent to her time in Hong Kong, Ellen returned to the US and earned her Master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Princeton University, with her areas of interest being Chinese cultural history of the Ming and Qing periods, History of Chinese Art, and Chinese Intellectual History; she completed her PhD. in East Asian Studies from Princeton with her doctoral thesis entitled Palace Women in the Ming Dynasty: 1368-1644.

After moving to New Zealand, Ellen completed a Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She served for many years as Wellington Regional Director of Massey University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages. She presently is an Honorary Research Associate of the School of Humanities. Her research interests include Chinese history, the history of Chinese women, the history of Chinese art and material culture, second language acquisition in English and Chinese, linguistics, applied linguistics and translation. She currently is in the process of completing two book-length manuscripts. One is on women in the imperial family of the Ming dynasty. The other is on history, language, and culture in Chinese and English-speaking academic cultures in New Zealand.


Recent publications include:

Soulliere,E. (2018) Chinese visual culture traditions: looking back and looking forward. New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies. Vol. 20, number 2, December, 2018.


Soulliere, E. (2016). The writing and re-writing of history: imperial women and the succession in Ming China, 1368-1457. Ming Studies. 73: 1-28.


Soulliere, E. (2016). Empresses of the Ming Dynasty: 1368-1462 from the History of the Ming Dynasty in Renditions, a Chinese-English Translation Magazine. No, 85. The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.


Soulliere, E. (2014). Women in the imperial household at the close of China’s Ming dynasty, 1573-1644. in University of San Francisco, Asia-Pacific Perspectives. Vol. XII, number 1, fall/winter 2013-2014.

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