Please note that many of the dissertation titles listed here are tentative.
MA: University of Chicago, 2014
History of Chinese handicrafts, especially the textile production; Early Modern Craftsmanship, Technology and Visual Culture. I am interested in the creation and transmission of knowledge, craftsmanship, and political ideals through the social network of production, consumption and circulation. Particularly I am also interested in the visual and textual representation of technology/craftsmanship in the Chinese tradition.
I am interested in Medieval Chinese religion, particularly how and what manuscripts (from Dunhuang, excavations in Turfan, Japanese temple archives etc) and other material sources can tell us about the religious beliefs and practices of the time, and what significance these beliefs and practices had in a wider social context. I also hope to study how these may present a different picture than canonical sources, and if so how these differences could reflect upon issues such as the nature of the source material or distinct regional traditions. I am currently working on a collection of Buddhist gatha, spells, and ritual manuals on a late 10th-century manuscript, hoping to build towards a project on similar miscellanies.
MA: The University of Chicago, 2015
My research interests center on the multiple relationships between literature and material objects during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Not limited to text-bearing objects and their materiality, I am specifically interested in the literary representation and imagination of material objects, as well as texts concerning collecting and displaying various objects. By means of theoretical tools in literature, anthropology, and art history, my research aims to enrich our understanding of not only the various roles played by material objects in people’s everyday life, but also the influence of material culture in shaping textual production and reception in Ming and Qing China.
My dissertation, with the tentative title “City on Edge: Inhabiting Literary Beijing on the Eve of the Manchu Conquest,” studies miscellaneous literature in the textual tradition of “city monograph”. I pay particular attention to the role of Beijing on the cultural map of the Ming Empire and parse how literary representations of the northern capital are connected to and different from the prosperous and sophisticated portraits of contemporaneous cities in Jiangnan. I also explore the permutations that the literary and cultural images of Beijing underwent in the Ming-Qing transitional period, and examine the “afterlife” of such images in the republican era, when nationalist intellectuals employed the idea of a “Ming-Chinese era” to fight against the recent Qing-Manchu past.
I have wider interests in Chinese literature, intellectual history and material culture. My research addresses the following issues: the early modern conceptualization of time and space, historiographical theory and intellectual movements from the sixteenth century onward, and the historical ideas of frontier, centrality, and legitimacy.
MA: Columbia University (East Asian Languages and Civilizations), 2005
Interests: Meiji Buddhist preaching practices, print media, and the advent of Western rhetorical studies in relation to public speech-making; religion and education in modern Japan
Dissertation Title: Moveable Feast: The Place of Sekkyo in Meiji Buddhist Discourse
Awards: 2005-present (currently pro forma status), Neuabuer Presidential Fellowship; 2008-09, Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship
BA: Princeton University, 2007 (English Literature)
MA: Nanjing University, 2013 (Classic Chinese Literature)
Interests: I am interested in early Chinese historiography, particularly in claims made about the supernatural world and ancestral sacrifice in Warring States period historiographical texts. My MA thesis, A Fresh Look at the Ghosts and Spirits of the Zuo Commentary, is about how the Zuo Commentary, in dialogues about ancestral worship rituals and narratives in which animistic gods and the spirits of the dead appear, articulates a theory of statecraft and makes evaluations about the personalities and moral qualities of historical personages. More broadly, I am interested in narrative storytelling (in text, image, or other mediums) and its ability to express worldviews, attitudes, emotional experience, and states of being.
BA: Eotvos Lorand University (Korean), 2013
Non-degree: Osaka University (Japanese language and history), 2010-2011
Non-degree: Shandong Normal University (Chinese language), 2007-2008
I am an advanced PhD candidate specializing in early modern and modern transnational East Asian studies with an additional background in ancient history. I hold a dual MA degree in Japanese and Chinese and an additional BA in Korean and Finnish, and have spent multiple years in all of these four areas as a scholarship holder. I am interested in the mechanisms of transnational flows in Japan, China, and Korea, as well as the dynamics of intellectual history, cultural history, history writing, international relations, and network analysis. I enjoy experimenting with interdisciplinary solutions and novel methods, such as digital tools, to explore innovative approaches to the study of East Asia.
The online version of my most recent book review can be found here: https://newbooks.asia/review/faces-unknown
MA: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2015
I study 20th-century Chinese and comparative literature. I am interested in the participatory aspect of literature, including reader's response and fan work. I hope to understand how literature mediates social relations, constructs a knowledge of the self, and advocates for conscious reforming of the self. In particular, knowledge of the self is concerned with not only the "content" of literature but also "style" and "taste," thus bringing together social theory and formal studies of the arts. I am also broadly interested in Sino-Soviet relations, Marxism, and feminist and queer theories.
MA Peking University, Comparative Literature (2016)
MA Penn State University, Comparative Literature and Asian Studies (2019)
I am interested in modern Chinese literature, sound studies, and media studies. East Asian studies provides a highly interdisciplinary and intellectually diverse platform for me to fully develop my interests. For my dissertation, I wish to explore the question of listening in twentieth century China, focusing on how ideas, technologies, and practices of listening change within different media, and how listening works as a way of subjectivity formation in socialist and postsocialist China.
So Hye Kim
MA: Korea National University of Arts (Cinema Studies), 2010
Interests: Korean independent films and Korean diaspora films
MA: National Taiwan University (Chinese Literature)
My research interests encompass poetics, literature and thought, particularly in pre-imperial and early imperial China. One particular interest is in commentarial traditions—I am interested both in the roots of commentary during a formative period in early China, and the extension and elaboration of commentary throughout later periods of Chinese history. Another focus of research concerns the material loci at which texts formed and came to be organized, especially in manuscript culture. I employ diverse methods, ranging from paleography and codicology to prosodic analysis. Close reading and philological translation are also at the heart of my method. I am interested as well in China’s historic and modern engagement with its past, be it by later reflections on the formative texts of Chinese civilization via commentary, emulation of forms past, or forgery of texts and objects.
My dissertation project, “Historical Poetry, Poetical History, and Authorial Prophesy: Early Chinese verse and the critical voice of Rui Liangfu,” proceeds from a study of several verse texts attributed to a late Western Zhou (~9th c. BCE) figure named Rui Liangfu (The Good
Man of Rui), who is legendary for speaking out against the bad government of his time. The project examines several groups of texts: a corpus of recently unearthed bamboo manuscript texts from the 4th -1st centuries BCE; a group of admonitory odes from the Shijing, the canonical Book of Odes allegedly compiled by Confucius; and peri-canonical Shu (historical) documents. All these texts include rhyming speeches attributed to Rui Liangfu. The project forms a case study of an early author as constructed by legend; I examine the topics of authorship, historicizing interpretations of the Shijing, and the authoritative and prophetic powers of verse. I plan to expand the project into a broader media history of verse in early China, addressing the questions of how canons, anthologies, genres, theories of poetry, and critical practices coalesced or vanished in early China. Material sources, their particular affordances as media objects, and the consequences of their use, are important concerns of this broader study.
Other active research interests include studies of the Laozi (Daodejing; Classic of the Way and Virtue) in manuscript culture, Daoist commentarial traditions preserved in the Dunhuang manuscripts, medieval verse and poetry, and forged texts.
In recent years my research has been supported by the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad program.
MA: Wuhan University, 2016
Currently my interests focus on agricultural appearance of Erligang period, furthermore making a comparison between the discoveries of Central Plain Region, like Zhengzhou Shang City, and Panlongcheng and its surroundings, focusing on the similarities and differences of their characteristic of subsistence economy, analyzing whether the characteristics are identical or not between different regions, besides the fact that these regions shares the highly unanimous archaeological appearances.
MA: Bard College (Teaching English), 2010
MA: University of Michigan (Japanese Studies), 2013
My primary research involves literary depictions of femininity in Taishō (1912-26) era literature, with specific focus on the construction and development of the feminine grotesque - both physical and psychological - in works authored by women. Some of my broader research interests include psychoanalytic theory, genre fiction, canon formation, women's literature, translation theory, and Japanese literary studies as discipline, practice, and field.
MA: Columbia University, 2014
My research interests center on transnational literature, performance, and media in twentieth-century Japan. My dissertation explores the performing arts and media culture of Japan's interwar period with a focus on modes of vocal performance across poetry, popular music, and theater. In particular, I am interested in examining how these embodied practices of voicing intersected with the figure of 'voice' as a figurative heading for aesthetic and political expression via emergent technologies of amplification, broadcast, and sound recording. In so doing, I turn an ear to the overlapping imperial soundscapes of the interwar Asia-Pacific and the transnational network of performers and social actors who generated and traversed them. By tracing these sonic pathways, I hope to arrive at new ways of understanding the cultural politics of race, gender, and mobility across this period.
I study and write about queer authors working in Japan today. More broadly, I am also interested in genre fiction, translation studies, media theory, cultural analytics, and the processes and structures of community and social movement formation.
I am a Ph.D. candidate specializing in late imperial Chinese history. I received my BA in history from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) in 2013.
My dissertation, “Symphonic Spaces, Synthesized Knowledge: Environment, Society, and Governance of Eastern Sichuan Highlands, 1723-1864,” examines the interaction between the Qing statecraft knowledge on environment and local geopolitical strategies in eastern Sichuan highlands from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century. In the eighteenth century, the eastern Sichuan highlands in central China had functioned as a transitional zone for the Qing state, which backed up both the Qing state’s military occupation of the northwestern frontiers and its economic developments of the southwestern frontiers. Such central-level geopolitical policies were both counting on and shaping a dynamic socio-economic network in eastern Sichuan, which paved way for the decade-long “White Lotus” rebellions in this area at the turn of the nineteenth century. My research not only aims to offer an explanation for the outbreak of this crisis, but more importantly, to trace how local reconstruction experiences accumulated through this crisis reshaped central-level statecraft thinking on the intersections of environment, political economy, and community making throughout the nineteenth century and beyond.
Aside from this specific dissertation project, I have developed broader interests in knowledge making, long-distance migration, and the mechanisms of social crisis. My research experiences with archival and fieldwork materials have also inspired me to reflect on issues like the pedagogical usage of local materials and the spatial unfolding of historical dynamics.
MA: University of Hawaii at Manoa (Comparative Philosophy), 2013
My research focuses on the discursive space of the aesthetic in interwar Japan, in particular the conceptual convergence of seemingly disparate discourses in calligraphy, literature, dance, and the philosophy of art. On one side, I approach this aesthetic space according to its historical development out of endemic and introduced artistic trends, practices and theories, working to discursively locate important moments in its emergence and to trace its movements in and across national and transnational frameworks. It is my contention that this space was fundamentally political, and I work to make clear the ambivalent way in which the modern Japanese aesthetic was enmeshed in and alongside the sensible, those networks of perception, action and intelligibility embodied in everyday practices and politico-economic institutions.
My historical research into the aesthetic is structured by my active interest in philosophy, in particular genealogy, ontology and the philosophy of art. Across these fields I am interested in the production of subjectivity, and Kyoto School philosophers like Nishida Kitarō, Miki Kiyoshi and Tosaka Jun are integral to my thinking on these matters. My historical and philosophical work is also influenced by theorists in late-18th and early-19th century German Idealism, contemporary Continental philosophy and modern Chinese philosophy. Most recently, I have been awarded the FLAS for the 2016–2017 academic-year, and I am using it in an effort to further explore historical and philosophical trends within the latter.
My research concerns the transnational cultural phenomena termed “Cool Japan” (クールジャパン) and the “Korean Wave” (한류), in particular Japanese and Korean idol singers, the local music and film talent who have become both de facto and official representatives of government-sponsored soft power policies. I examine the circulation, mediation, manipulation, and discourse surrounding media commodifying Japanese and Korean idols in the original and nonnative loci of reception via the Internet and I hope to elucidate the logic, significance, and implications for the individual, nation, and paradigm of a cultural world order in the export of cultural symbols across borders in an evolving, multifaceted media landscape.
To that end, my research encompasses the Japanese and Korean idol production systems, male and female idols, and the anthropological, economic, musicological, political, sociological, and technological factors involved in the international popularization of Japanese and Korean media. I am particularly interested in the collaboration of the Japanese and Korean governments in promoting popular culture abroad, the transnational adoption of tropes and other genre markers, and the reflexive circulation of cultural products.
I focus on the role of technology in these transnational interactions, particularly as it relates to translation and communication, and I afford specific attention to quantitative and qualitative data analysis and digital humanities in my work.
Yuanxie Shi 史原榭
MA: Columbia University
I am interested in crafts, craftsmen and craftsmanship. For my doctoral research, I plan to examine how artisanal work has engaged in the production of cultural representations of China in a global context; how changes in economic and political systems, alongside the effects of imperialism and colonialism, has impacted local craftsmen; and how local encounters with globalization and industrialization influences such basic craft processes as wood carving, pot throwing, textile dying and weaving.
Susan Dan Su
MA: UC Berkeley (Asian Studies), 2014
My dissertation studies the use of language in the cultural production of Amdo Tibet in the 2000s. I pay particular attention to the diverse ways in which language, ethnicity, and politics intersect and are in conversation with cultural production during this period. I am also attentive to the individuals and organizations involved in the creation of said products and the roles that they play with regard to linguistic regulation and standardization.
More broadly, I am interested in translation studies, multilingualism, critical race theory, and media studies.
H.S. Sum Cheuk Shing
MA: University of Toronto, 2015 (Religion)
My research focuses on medieval Chinese religions, specifically the practices of Buddhism and Daoism. I am particularly interested in the parallels and intersections between these two traditions, especially the visual and material culture of ritual materials. My work also seeks to engage with broader methodological and theoretical concerns in ritual studies, visual culture and religious history.
MA: Dartmouth College (General Liberal Studies) 2019
My main research interest lies in the intersection of cultural studies, film and media studies, and critical theories. I am particularly interested in issues of nationalism, misogyny, technology, and emotions represented and contested in contemporary Chinese popular culture. Because I take a trans-cultural/trans-media perspective on the production and consumption of popular cultural products in today’s China, the subjects of my research include animation, television, and social media across and beyond East Asia. Apart from what is revealed within the text of cultural products, I am also interested in how different cultures and media forms negotiate with (and inform) one another in the process of production.
MA: University of Chicago, 2013
Joint PhD with Cinema and Media Studies
Pao-chen Tang studies in the joint-degree program in the Departments of Cinema and Media Studies and East Asian Languages and Civilizations. He’s currently working on a dissertation that explores how contemporary East Asian cinemas have mobilized the worldview of animism as a cinematic technique to reflect on the concept of personhood against the present-day ecological condition. He has published on Xu Bing’s afforestation, dogs and hot dogs in early cinema (winner of the 2015 Domitor Student Essay Award), the disciplinary dialogue between animal studies and cinema studies, and the digital snow in Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmasterin, respectively, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Early Popular Visual Culture, Reflexion(Taiwan), and Journal of Chinese Cinemas.
With Katerina Korola and Zain Jamshaid, he co-organized the 2016 CMS graduate conference, devoted to slow aesthetics and the moving image. He has also curated several screenings on campus, including Wang Bing’s 14-hour documentary Crude Oil; the rarely seen Taiwanese omnibus film The Wheel of Life (1983, dir. King Hu, Li Hsing, and Pai Ching-Jui); the first public screening in the US, since 1919, of Benjamin Brodsky’s A Trip Through China.
MA: Yonsei University, (English Language and Literature), 2016
I am interested in Korean literature, both contemporary as well as from the colonial era. After studying in South Korea for five years, I became fascinated by the prospect of using theories on literature, nationhood, and ethnicity produced by Korean authors during the colonial era to interpret contemporary Korean transnational and diaspora literature. For my doctorate research, I would like to expand upon this interest, with a broad emphasis on representations of nationhood and ethnicity in Korean literature.
In general terms, I am interested in the ways in which technology has been imagined to intersect with notions of selfhood in late-capitalist Japanese society. My research concerns technology in its role as an affective and bodily force, intimately interwoven with human subjectivity in ways that fundamentally shape our notions of being in the world. I plan to pursue these issues through a study of 20th and 21st century Japanese SF (science- or speculative-fiction) literature and film. This includes texts that can be recognizably placed within the genre of science-fiction as well as texts belonging to SF’s predecessor genres, such as the Gothic horror and mystery stories popular since the Taishō and Shōwa periods. Having built its bubble-era economy on cutting-edge consumer technologies, Japan is often viewed as a “techno-topia,” and I expect this perception to make itself felt in popular media. If we further consider technology to be one of the foundational concerns of SF, then Japanese SF media provide a uniquely apt lens through which to examine the present and future of technological society and our place within it. This in turn will help us re-calibrate our understandings of (post-)modernity, which often takes technology, the network, and so on as self-evident and monolithic analytical entities.
MA: New York University (Cinema Studies), 2014
Joint Program with Cinema and Media Studies
I’m particularly interested in how cinema makes possible mutually illuminating dialogues between Western and Chinese aesthetics. Along this line, I have been writing on some unique genres in Chinese-language cinemas, such as ink-and-wash animation, Teochew opera film, and the Wenyi genre. Three concepts are central to my theoretical investigation: time, space, and rhythm. Beyond cinema studies, I maintain a lifelong interest in Dream of the Red Chamber.
BA: University of Pennsylvania (English and Communication), 2013
MFA: New York University (Creative Writing - Poetry), 2015
I am working on a dissertation on collective consciousness in feminist Korean and Korean American poetry.
I am interested in early modern Japanese prose and novels, especially those produced on both the geographical and political frontiers of imperial expansion. I want to investigate the possibility of engaging the reading of early modern Japanese literature with the larger context of the modernization of East Asia and the influence of Japanese and Western imperialism by bringing in material from areas outside of mainland Japan, especially the colonies and Republican China.
I am an enthusiastic reader of both classical and modern Japanese poetry, and one of my objectives is to seek a way to understand early modern Japanese poetry in relation to traditional poetic forms, western influences and modernization.
I am also very interested in literary, social and culture theory. Thanks to my undergraduate experience as a Cognitive Science major, I am also interested in investigating the possibility of incorporating newly developed theories in modern Cognitive Science into literary theory and criticism.
MA: Shanghai University (Chinese Language and Literature), 2003
MA: University of Colorado, Boulder (East Asian Languages and Civilizations), 2009
Research Interests: late imperial literature and performance. I am particularly interested in the issue of language in understanding and reconstructing the relationship between text and performance. My dissertation works on the literature and performance conducted in Wu dialect in the lower Yangtze river delta (Jiangnan) from the seventeenth century to nineteenth century. I am also interested in media studies, problems of translation, social and historical linguistics, as well as bilingualism.
MA: Columbia University (East Asian Languages and Cultures), 2014
My dissertation examines how several idiosyncratic 17th-century Chinese authors endeavored to explore the extralinguistic aspects of the voice through the portrayals of ventriloquism, whistling, bird speech, and laughter—sounds that escape, resist, or distort speech and language. In so doing, I probe an implicit discursive network centered on the problem of speech during the late Ming and early Qing. Working in the intersections of literary studies, sound/voice studies, and media studies, I persistently reflect on issues including: How do extralinguistic and nonlinguistic forms of expression and communication modify our conceptions of speech and language? How do sounds in literature enrich our acoustic experience? What makes language human? A comparatist in spirit, I also work on early medieval and medieval Chinese literature.
MA: Columbia University (East Asian Buddhism), 2017
My research focuses on Esoteric Buddhism and Buddhist art in East Asia from 7th to 10th century.