Campus & Community

Fairbank Center welcomes new postdoc fellows, visiting scholars, and associates

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The John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard welcomes six postdoctoral fellows and 13 visiting scholars, visiting fellows, and visiting associates. Each of these scholars, fellows, and associates will be completing specialized research projects and will present their work in a free and open lecture.

Of six postdoctoral fellows, five are An Wang Postdoctoral Fellows, named after generous gifts from An Wang (1920-1990), the founder of Wang Computers. The Taiwan Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship is funded jointly by the Fairbank Center and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, based in Taiwan.

The five new An Wang Postdoctoral Fellows are as follows:

Calvin Chen is a product of the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. He has been teaching at Mount Holyoke College in the field of politics. Chen has researched the township and village enterprises in China. The title of his study is “Economic Reform, Local Networks, and the Politics of Production in Contemporary China.”

Chen Xi did his master’s level work at Peking University, and then received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 2005. He is a specialist in comparative politics and Chinese social movements and protests. At the Fairbank Center, he will be revising his manuscript on “Conflict, Stability, and Political Change in China, 1977-2002.” This study describes and explains how the transition from state socialism to market socialism has transformed the patterns of state-society contentious interactions.

Song Mingwei took his first M.A. at Fudan University in Shanghai, and then got his second from Columbia in 2003. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 2005. At the center he will be writing about Chinese youth (qingchun). For much of the 20th century, youth has been a theme of intellectuals and revolutionaries in China, who used it to give voice to their yearnings for enlightenment, cultural reformation, political revolution, and national renaissance. His study is titled “Long Live Youth: National Rejuvenation and Bildungsroman in 20th-Century China.”

Martin Dimitrov is teaching at Dartmouth College. His secondary education was in Bulgaria, but his graduate work has been in the United States. He received his M.A. degree from Franklin and Marshall College, and then took a Ph.D. degree in political science from Stanford in 2004. He is examining the most recent political configurations in both Russia and the People’s Republic of China. His research topic is “The Dark Side of Federalism: Decentralization and Corruption in China and Russia.”

Wu Shenqing received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2004, and she is a faculty member at the University of Kentucky. Her research is on “Classical Lyric Modernities: Poetics, Gender, and Politics in Modern China (1900-1937).” It examines the transformation of classical-style poetry in 20th century China.

The Taiwan Studies Postdoctoral Fellow is as follows:

Paul Festa took an M.A. at Cornell University in 1999 and received his Ph.D. from the same institution in 2005. He has trained in anthropology and is studying popular culture in Taiwan. His work is titled “Manly Vice and Virtue: State Specters, Secular Rituals, and Public Culture in Taiwan.” It is an ethnographic study of male sociality, a pervasive yet unexplored aspect of public life in urban Taiwan. Festa describes the custom of male cohorts regularly engaging in gambling, drinking, and hunting.

A total of 13 visiting scholars, visiting fellows, and visiting associates will be in residence at the Fairbank Center for the fall semester. They are as follows:

Norman Tak-lam Chan is an official with the government of Hong Kong, and has served as deputy chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. He graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and has carried out postgraduate study at Oxford University. He worked to defend the stability of the financial system in Hong Kong during the Asian financial crises of 1989. At the Fairbank Center he will be exploring the feasibility of setting up an Asia-wide currency. His project is titled “Asian Monetary Cooperation: From Asian Bond Fund to Asian Currency Unit?”

Gao Shenpeng took his M.A. degree in modern Chinese history from Guizhou Normal University in 1990, and received his Ph.D. from Zhongshan (Sun Yat-sen) University in Guangzhou in 1994. He works at the Center for Development of the Guangzhou Provincial Government, a think tank belonging to the provincial government. While at Harvard, he will be researching “Ren Zhongyi: A Pioneering Reformer and Practical Democracy-Oriented Statesman.”

Han Seunghyun received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2005. He has been enjoying a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, since 2004. His field is modern Chinese history, particularly that of the historically important city of Suzhou. At the Fairbank Center he will be working on “Political and Cultural Aspects of Elite Activism in Early 19th Century Suzhou.” He is interested in the commercial wealth and cultural confidence of market town elites in the 18th century and the cultural atmosphere that enabled the expression of such confidence in the 19th century.

Miriam Levering received her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1978. She has been serving as professor of religious studies and chair of Asian Studies at the University of Tennessee. She is interested in the teachings, career, and social and political context of the Song dynasty Chan monk Dahui Zonggao (1089-1163). She will be translating into English one of the texts associated with this monk, the “Dahui shu” (Dahui’s Letters) and at the same time will be completing her manuscript on “Buddhism in Chinese Culture: The Chan Master Dahui Zonggao.”

Martin Andrew has been an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force since 1977 and has served at the Australian Defense Force Academy. He has an M.A. from the Northern Territory University and was briefly at the Fairbank Center doing research in 2002. As an expert in PLA studies (examination of the People’s Liberation Army of the PRC), including Chinese policing and military activities, he has a number of publications to his credit. At the Fairbank Center he will be researching “People’s War: Perpetuation of the Myth,” which will inject a new perspective of realism into accounts of China’s civil war in the 1940s, revising what has become an untouchable myth in the PRC.

Sebastian Heilmann is a professor of comparative government, specializing in the political economy of China, at Trier University in Germany. He took his M.A. at Tuebingen University in 1990 and his Ph.D. at the Saar University in 1993. His most recent book, published in German, is “The Political System in the PRC.” During his time at Harvard he plans to investigate “Central Party Organs and the Initiation of Economic Reforms” and “Democratic Reforms within the CCP.”

Lee Jongchul received an M.A. in economics from Chung-Ang University in Seoul, and his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Albany in 1993. He currently teaches at Chung-Ang University. The research question he has outlined for the coming year is “Did Structural Transformation Lead to Regional Convergence in China?” The purpose of this research will be to decompose the sources of regional convergence to see whether structural transformation is leading to regional income convergence or divergence in China.

Song Yiping has one of the most widely recognized faces in China. She is a news anchor for China Central Television International, broadcasting out of Beijing. She graduated from the Beijing Broadcasting Institute in 1995 and is completing M.A. work at the School of Journalism and Communication of Peking University. In China, she has hosted the “Fortune China” program, a weekly 30-minute talk show with distinguished guests from the business community, a daily live 30-minute financial news program with on-site guest interviews, and from 2000 to 2003 the “News 60 Minutes” daily broadcast of domestic and international news. At the Fairbank Center her field of investigation is “Interactions between the Media, Government, and Business.”

Takahara Akio recently moved from his teaching job at Rikkyo University to the Graduate School of Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo. He studied at the University of Sussex, where he received his M.A. degree in 1983 and his Ph.D. in 1988. He is a specialist on wages in the PRC, as reflected in his book “The Politics of Wage Policy in Post-Revolutionary China.” He served at the consulate-general of Japan in Hong Kong from 1989 to 1991. He has become interested in the field of international relations, especially in the interaction of China and Japan. His current research topic is “International Relations in East Asia and the Asia-Pacific: Politics of Marketization in China.”

Wang Weibin teaches at Hiroshima Shudo University. He took an M.A. in the field of international politics and foreign relations from Peking University in 1989, received a second M.A. from Osaka University in 1995, and received a Ph.D. in international politics from Kyoto University in 2000. His recent book, published in Japanese, is “The Foreign Policy of China and Japan: Process of the Normalization of Diplomatic Relations in the 1950s.” His topic while a visiting scholar is “The Impact of United States Policy on China-Japan Relations.”

Xu Baoyou received an M.A. in 1985 from Peking University. His field is international and comparative politics. He is currently chief of the Asia-Pacific Studies Division of the Institute of World Socialism of the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau of the PRC. His forthcoming book is titled “Towards Modernization: Renovation and Transformation in Vietnam,” and it reflects his specialization in the modern history of Vietnam. At the Fairbank Center this coming year his research will be on “The Characteristics and Reform of Party-Government Relations in China and Vietnam during the Transition Period from a Planned to a Market Economy.”

Yu Tiejun is currently an associate professor at the School of International Studies, Peking University, where he received his M.A. degree in 1997 and his Ph.D. degree in 2000. His research is focused on international relations theory, East Asian security, and China-Japan-U.S. trilateral relations. During his stay at the Fairbank Center, he will be mainly working on the topic titled “The Development of the U.S.-Japan Alliance in the Post-Cold War Era and Its Implications to China.”

Zhao Haijun is chairman and president of the Luoyang Chundu Group Co., Ltd. He is an entrepreneur who has managed to find time to write and publish about key economic issues facing China today. He received an M.B.A. from the Xian Transportation and Communication University and was briefly a visiting scholar at the Wharton School in 1996. He is interested in examining the pressures and opportunities that now beset China in a time of rapid economic and social change, and at the Fairbank Center he plans to study “The Effect and Influence of the American Political System on the Development of State-Owned Enterprises in China.”