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Memoir

Harriet C. Mills
Regents' Proceedings 269

Harriet C. Mills, professor of Chinese language and literature, retired
from active faculty status on May 31, 1990, after a most interesting and
productive career as a teacher and scholar. Born in Tokyo, Japan, of
American missionary parents, Professor Mills attended elementary and
secondary school in China. She pursued undergraduate studies at Wellesley
College, where she received her B.A. degree in 1941. She then entered the
graduate program at Columbia University, where she received her M.A.
degree in 1946 and her Ph.D. degree in Chinese in 1963. Recently, Professor
Mills completed a second M.A. degree in linguistics at the University of
Michigan.

Professor Mills was appointed lecturer in Chinese at Columbia
University in 1959, and was promoted to the rank of assistant professor of
Chinese in 1960. She was recruited in 1966 to the University of Michigan as
associate professor of Chinese, and was promoted to professor of Chinese
language and literature in 1974.

Professor Mills contributed to the strength and vitality of both
instructional and research programs in Chinese language and literature in the
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures (known as the Department of
Far Eastern Languages and Literatures from 1948-86), and was also an
active associate of the Center for Chinese Studies. She specialized in modern
Chinese literature (especially the life and work of China's most prominent
literary reformer, Lu Xun), literary reform policies, and the modern political
woodblock print. Professor Mills authored one of the nation's most
prominent Chinese language textbooks, and has had a major impact on
Chinese language pedagogy. Her presence since the early years of Chinese
studies at the University of Michigan has won the University recognition as
one of the best two or three places in the United States for Chinese studies.
The Regents now salute this distinguished scholar for her long and
dedicated service by naming Harriet C. Mills Professor Emerita of Chinese
Language and Literature.