Campus & Community

Fairbank Center announces postdoc fellows, visiting scholars

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The John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard has announced the scholars who will be resident at the center for the 2004-05 academic year. Each of these scholars will be completing specialized research projects and will present his or her work in a free and open lecture.

The newly arrived An Wang Postdoctoral Fellows, funded by a grant from the An Wang Foundation, are as follows:

Eugenia Lean, a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, teaches at Columbia University. Specializing in modern Chinese history, her work is about the assassin Shi Jianqiao, as related to female sentiment and the making of a modern public in 1930s China.

Adam Yuet Chau received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University. He will examine textual materials dealing with what he terms the “textographic fetish” in Chinese religion and politics, which emphasizes the perceived importance of the written word.

He Yinan recently received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she majored in political science. Her dissertation is about China’s relations with other nations of Asia, with a focus on interstate reconciliation.

Rebecca Nedostup is a new faculty member at Boston College. She received her Ph.D. in modern Chinese history from Columbia University. Her work at the center will concern the economics of using symbolism from popular religion to mobilize masses of people for political purposes. Her work focuses in Republican China in the 1920s and 1930s.

Joseph Dennis will be preparing a study on regional histories (fangzhi) in premodern Chinese history. He will look at how these local gazetteers were compiled, how they were printed and funded, and who were the readers of these publications in the Ming dynasty.

Asaf Goldschmidt has studied both Chinese premodern history and the sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Ph.D. He teaches at Tel Aviv University. Goldschmidt is proposing a new definition of medicine in China during the Song dynasty.

The Harvard-Yenching Postdoctoral Fellow is funded by the Harvard-Yenching Institute and is intended to encourage younger scholars who are in the fields of library science and print culture.

This year’s fellow is Hilde DeWeerdt, who received her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1998. A faculty member at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, DeWeerdt will be looking at the examination culture in 12th and 13th century China to show how the state-sponsored examinations for civil posts were vehicles for the exchange of ideas in political and literary debates. She is also compiling a bibliography of research tools for Song dynasty history.

The Taiwan Studies Postdoctoral Fellow is co-funded by a grant from the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation and by the Fairbank Center.

This year’s fellow is Wang Chin-shou, a new Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. At the Fairbank Center he will be investigating the process of increasing democratization and how this trend has been breaking down the old client relationships in Taiwan between 1987 and 2001.

The following new visiting scholars have secured funding from a variety of sources for their year at the Fairbank Center, and will be working with various Harvard faculty.

Huang Jianli is from the history department at the National University of Singapore. His research is on local government in wartime Chongqing between 1937 and 1945. He will arrive in October.

Goh Yenseng, also of Singapore, is from the National Institute of Education of Nanyang Technical University. His field is linguistics and he will be working with James Huang and Feng Shengli, who are Harvard specialists in Chinese linguistics. He will arrive in January 2005 to spend six months at the Fairbank Center.

Hu Zhongxiang is from the Beijing Instrument Industry Corp. He will be investigating the unique economic phenomenon of what is termed the “Taiwan Straits economy” and the transformations taking place on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Stephanez Corcuff is now at the University of La Rochelle in France and his term at the Fairbank Center will be through March 2005. His field of study is Taiwanese democracy and the political changes taking place in Taiwan as a result of the moves toward a more open political system.

Liao Mei is from Fudan University in Shanghai. Her field is Chinese intellectual history during the late Qing period, when Western imperialism was bringing with it new ideas and concepts that challenged the traditional, established ways of thinking within China.

Shaw Ping is affiliated with the Institute of Communications Management at National Sun Yat-sen University. She will be writing on Taiwanese women’s culture in the new era of globalization.

Song Yiping is a midcareer professional who is well known to many people in China. A news anchorwoman with CCTV in China, Yiping will examine the patterns of interaction between the media, the public, the government, and business.

Liu Tik-Sang is a specialist on local popular religion in contemporary China. He teaches at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. While at Harvard, he will be investigating issues of family and kinship in the popular religion of south China.

For full information on these scholars and all Fairbank Center programs, visit