Campus & Community

Fairbank Center welcomes postdocs, scholars

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The 2006-07 Fairbank Center Postdoctoral Fellows

The Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard has announced its 2006-07 class of postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars, and visiting fellows. Each year, a small but distinguished group of scholars are named to spend an academic year at the center revising their dissertation manuscripts for publication (postdoctoral fellows) or giving seminars and consulting with other researchers on campus (visiting scholars and visiting fellows).

“The center has hosted visiting scholars since its inception in 1955, and we have had an active postdoctoral fellowship program since 1981,” said Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean William C. Kirby, who also is the director of the center. “We look forward to these accomplished researchers becoming part of our center community, indeed part of the Harvard community, in the coming year. We welcome them all,” Kirby added.

The 2006-07 Fairbank Center
Postdoctoral Fellows

Lee Haiyan is an An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow. She is an assistant professor in East Asian languages and civilizations at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her project at the Fairbank Center is titled “How We Learned to Love Strangers: A Study of Social Imaginaries in China.” The project studies how identities, values, and solidarities are negotiated in contemporary China through the figure of “the stranger.” The stranger might be the wanderer, the bandit, the class enemy, the migrant, the foreigner, the ghost – all well-known tropes in Chinese social imaginaries, which can tell us much about changing constructions of identity and difference, emotion and ethics, and civility and citizenship. By canvassing a wide range of materials, she hopes to contribute to the interdisciplinary studies of public culture, democracy, and globalization.

Liu Yu is an An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in spring 2006. She is a political scientist who will be researching her dissertation topic, “From the Mass Line to the Mao Cult: The Production of Legitimate Dictatorship in Revolutionary China.” The research explains the puzzle of Mao’s “legitimate dictatorship,” how people fanatically supported him as a totalitarian leader whose policies destroyed their own lives. It discusses Mao’s unique practice and discourse, the Mass Line, and posits that this was not a mechanism of representation, but was rather only a means of policy implementation.

Eugenio Menegon is an An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow. He currently teaches in the Department of History at Boston University. He has published widely in English, Chinese, and Italian. At the Fairbank Center his research will be on “Ancestors, Virgins, and Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China.” Starting in the late 16th century, Catholic missionaries introduced their own version of European culture and religion to late-Ming and Qing courtiers, officials, scholars, and commoners. This research will investigate the neglected ritual and religious dimensions in the life of Catholic communities in late imperial times in order to contextualize the experiences of those Chinese who believed in the “Teaching of the Lord of Heaven” (Tianzhujiao), as Catholicism was known in China.

Liu Hwa-jen is the Taiwan Studies Postdoctoral Fellow. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research project is titled “When Labor and Nature Strike Back: Taiwan and Korea Compared.” In this study, the post-World War II labor and environmental movements in Taiwan will be compared with those in Korea, a country sharing similar experiences in colonial heritage, geopolitical position, divided statehood, authoritarian government, and a breakneck speed of state-led industrialization.

He Zhaohui is the Harvard-Yenching Library Postdoctoral Fellow. He received his Ph.D. in Ming history from Peking University in 2004 and was a visiting scholar in the history department at the University of Minnesota during the 2005-06 academic year. At the Fairbank Center, he will be investigating authorship and copyright in early modern China. In the newly developing field of printing culture, the topics of authorship and copyright have yet to be fully explored. In China, cultural production and political practice were closely combined, unlike early modern Europe where men of letters were blocked from pursuing a political career.

M. Taylor Fravel is the Chinese International Relations Postdoctoral Fellow. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2004 and currently teaches as an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his fellowship at the Fairbank Center, he will be completing a book manuscript, tentatively titled “Securing China: Explaining Cooperation and Escalation in Territorial Disputes.” China has settled 17 of its 23 territorial disputes, often to improve ties with neighboring states during periods of regime insecurity. China has used force in six disputes to bolster its claims, but has rarely seized large amounts of land on the battlefield.

The 2006-07 Fairbank Center
Visiting Scholars, Associates, and Fellows:

Chou Chuing Prudence is a visiting scholar at the Fairbank Center who will hold a Fulbright Fellowship. She received a Ph.D. in comparative and international education from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1992, and is a professor in the Department of Education at National Chengchi University. Her teaching efforts focus on comparative education, classroom management, special education issues in the People’s Republic of China, gender equity education, and other special topics pertaining to higher education. During her stay at the Fairbank Center she will conduct research within the broad context of American doctoral training of China specialists. She will address the ways in which young generations of China experts interpret the role of their U.S.-based doctoral training in their lives, both personally and socially. Prem Shankar Jha is a visiting fellow. He received his master’s of arts degree in 1961 from Oxford University, where he specialized in philosophy, politics, and economics. He went on from Oxford to spend five years at the United Nations in New York, later serving as economic editor with The Times of India from 1968 to 1986. He has held several positions as editor and correspondent for additional papers and in 1990 commenced service as information adviser to the prime minister of India. Since 1990 he has served as columnist and consultant to The Hindu, The Hindustan Times, Outlook, Business India Intelligence, The Business Times, and The Khaleej Times. In the coming year he will be working on his latest project, a book comparing the future prospects of China and India, outlining the potential of the two countries as revealed by economic projections, and examining both public awareness of and political response to the conflicts to which their mutually rapid growth is giving birth.

Lee Nam Ju is a visiting scholar. He has been an assistant professor in the department of Chinese studies at Sungkonghoe University since 2000 and a member of the editorial board for “Creation and Criticism” (The Quarterly Changbi), one of the most influential literary and intellectual journals in South Korea, since 2004. He received his Ph.D. from Peking University in 1997. His interests center on the role and influence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the development of Chinese civil society. He argues that certain branches of civil society are already following a “dependent development” trajectory and in the future are likely to transform into new entities closely resembling today’s NGOs. His research this year will focus on the development of NGOs in China, NGO activists’ perceptions of the civil society in China, and the Environmental Movement (the most active branch of civil society) in China since 2005.

Li Peisong is a visiting fellow. He is currently deputy secretary general and an associate research fellow of the China Reform Forum, a nongovernmental academic organization devoted to the study of domestic and worldwide issues. He holds a master’s degree in economics from Renmin University and has worked on several important policy proposals to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Vice President Zeng Qinghong. His research interests center on China’s financial reform, international economics, and the Sino-U.S. relationship – subjects he will study in greater detail during his time at the Fairbank Center.

Luo Wen-Jia is a visiting fellow. He is a former minister from the Council for Hakka Affairs of Executive Yuan, Taiwan. He studied at National Taiwan University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations in 1989. Over the next year he will focus on a research project reviewing the political implications of China and Taiwan’s close economic interdependence before 2008, seeking solutions to the problem of China’s new policies and aggressive economic measures from a Taiwanese perspective.

Rudolf Wagner is a visiting scholar. He is currently both professor and chair of the Sinology Department at the Institute of Chinese Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Munich in 1969, and has been a member of the Berlin Science Academy since 1995. He is a leading specialist on Chinese religious and philosophical thought, and has published numerous studies in both English and German. In the coming year, he will be conducting research on Ernest Major and the first Chinese-language newspapers.

Xu Baoyou is a visiting fellow. He received an M.A. in 1985 from Peking University. His field is international and comparative politics. His forthcoming book is titled “Towards Modernization: Renovation and Transformation in Vietnam.” This coming year he will continue his research on the characteristics and reform of party-government relations in China and Vietnam during the period from a planned to a market economy. The Fairbank Center is pleased to be extending his initial stay at the center by an additional year.