Campus & Community

Fairbank Center names scholars and postdoc fellows

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The John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard has announced its 2007–08 class of postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars, fellows, and associates.

“We are privileged at the Fairbank Center to have so many highly trained scholars in attendance,” said Professor Martin King Whyte, acting director of the Fairbank Center. “While working on their own research, they attend our seminars and often give talks on campus. In that way, they contribute greatly to the vitality of the Fairbank Center’s intellectual community.”

An Wang Postdoctoral Fellows

Ian Chapman received his Ph.D. degree from Princeton University in 2007. At the Fairbank Center, he will work on a book manuscript based on his dissertation project, relating to medieval Chinese festival culture. The work focuses on constructions of regional, sectarian, and social identities, as well as the specifics of festival programs. He will also begin a second project, on Buddhist lay societies in northern China and Dunhuang, from the Northern Dynasties to the early Song periods.

He Wenkai received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007. His research is titled “Paths Toward a Modern Fiscal State: England (1642–1750), Japan (1868–1895), and China (1850–1911).” According to He, this institutional change enabled the state to use centrally collected revenues from indirect taxes on domestic consumption, as well as the customs to mobilize long-term financial resources either through long-term borrowing or issuing paper notes. For the first time in history, the modern state attained both political and fiscal centralization, enabling it to introduce long-term credit instruments such as paper notes or state bonds into the economy, greatly stimulating financial development and the use of credit instruments.

Fabio Lanza received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2004. His research, titled “A Space for Politics: Inventing Students in Modern China,” focuses on the question of politicization: how people become politicized; and how political subjectivities, such as workers, activists, or students, emerge and come to anchor and inform political action. Starting with the famous May 4th (1919) demonstrations in China, almost all the cardinal moments in 20th century China have been signaled by an upsurge in student political activities. The locus classicus for student activism was Peking University.

Fairbank Center Taiwan Studies Postdoctoral Fellow

Elana Chipman received her Ph.D. degree from Cornell University in 2007. Her research at Harvard is titled “Our Beigang: Culture Work, Ritual, and Community in Taiwan.” Based on 14 months of fieldwork carried out at Beigang, a popular religious transnational pilgrimage center for the goddess Mazu in rural Taiwan, Chipman investigates political tensions and alliances among different factions and interests in the town, as well as between rival pilgrimage sites.

Princeton-Harvard China in the World Program Postdoctoral Fellowship

Zheng Yu received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, in 2007. His dissertation, “Credibility and Flexibility: Political Institutions and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in China,” concluded that China has attracted massive amounts of FDI, not despite its political institutions but partly because of them. While the authoritarian system is a big minus for potential investors who are concerned about political risk, it gives political elites the independence to initiate a set of institutional innovations to attract FDI. Local governments’ ability to attract FDI and promote economic growth is determined by three things: their credibility to deliver central policies; their capacity to maintain consistent policy; and their ability to put in place a legal environment in which contracts can be enforced and property rights established.

Harvard-Yenching Postdoctoral Fellow in Book Culture and Librarianship

Zhang Zhiqiang received his Ph.D. from Nanjing University in 2005. At Harvard, his research is titled “Identity, Transformation, and Modernization: The Dissemination of Western Learning in Modern China and the Development of the Chinese Publishing Industry from 1840 to 1949.” Western influence on China’s publishing industry helped to transition publishing technology from woodblocks to presses and metal type. This influence also resulted in China’s move from traditional string-bound books to newspapers, magazines, and journals — publications that were fairly new in the West in the 1800s. Even the characteristics of Chinese books changed: writing was organized horizontally instead of in traditional vertical columns, hard covers replaced the old-style soft covers, and new binding methods were introduced. The result was that Western-style printed and bound books were often cheaper and easier to distribute.

Fairbank Center Postdoctoral Fellow

Nara Dillon received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2002. She teaches at Bard College. Her research this year is titled “The Paradox of the Welfare State: The Politics of Privilege in Revolutionary Shanghai.” Based on extensive research in the Shanghai Municipal Archives and other libraries in China, this book manuscript explores the politics behind the creation of a limited and inegalitarian welfare state in Maoist China. Even at its peak, the workplace social insurance system only reached a minority of the Chinese population, primarily state employees and permanent workers in the large industrial enterprises. The various injustices at the core of this system, which existed despite the government’s continual pronouncements to the contrary, are the focus of the research.

Fairbank Center Visiting Scholars and Fellow

Chang Xinxin received her Ph.D. from the Party School of the CCP in 2000. Her work at the Fairbank Center is titled “China’s ‘Rise’ in the International Community from the Perspective of China’s Domestic Institutions.” China’s leaders have never fully expressed the domestic considerations of the country’s international rise, although the push for a “harmonious society” — an idea supported by the current leader President Hu Jintao — begins to address this issue. A question to be asked is, What domestic institutional arrangements can ensure the country’s integration into the international economic system while encouraging domestic stability and harmony? Because China is also in the midst of flux and internal economic reforms, confronting the dynamic international sphere becomes especially complex.

Dou Xinyuan received his Ph.D. in 2004. He is currently serving with the Economic and Trade Commission of Guangdong Province in China. At Harvard he will be assisting Emeritus Professor Ezra Vogel in his work on Deng Xiaoping. Dou is familiar with the era of opening and reform in China and is also familiar with the current research about Deng.

Hu Lin Hui-ying has taught at Taiwan Normal Provincial College. Hu was the founder and first director of the Mental Hygiene Center at that university and is also a board member of the National Women’s League of Taiwan. She has published on the behavioral problems of college students. She has much diplomatic experience in traveling and living abroad with her husband, Ambassador Hu Weijen.

Hu Weijen has been the ambassador from Taiwan to Germany and Singapore. He has just left his Singapore posting and will be at the Fairbank Center to reflect on “Taiwan’s Educational Policies and Chinese Culture.” He was at Harvard earlier in his career, and the stay resulted in the book “From Nixon to Clinton: Evolution of the One-China Policy,” which was published in Chinese and is often used as a textbook in university courses. Recently, as ambassador, he was concerned with domestic politics in Taiwan and the broader implications of internal policies; he plans to take time while at the Fairbank Center to review recent developments in these areas of concern.

Huang Fanhua received his Ph.D. in economics from Nanjing University in 2002 and is currently professor of international trade at Nanjing. While a visiting scholar at the Fairbank Center, Huang will explore China’s rapid growth as a leading location for the assembly of a broad range of manufacturing goods and why this growth has not led to a more robust trade surplus. His project is titled “Trade Benefits, Pattern Innovation, and China-U.S. Trade,” and the questions he will explore include: What and how great is the gain and loss in trade for China and the United States under the new trade pattern of vertical specialization? What trade innovations might help these two countries avoid the imbalance of trade dispute? What effects does China’s new trade pattern bring to other Asian countries?

Kim In-Kyu received his Ph.D. from Peking University in 2004. His research topic is titled “Examining Models to Analyze Free Trade Agreements in East Asia.” Specifically, he labels his work as “The Impacts of CJKFTA (Free Trade Agreements of China, Japan, and Korea) — a CGE (computational general equilibrium) Model Analysis.” During the past decade, regional analysis has proliferated with the introduction of free trade agreements (FTAs) in East Asia, as well as in other parts of the globe. This investigation will scrutinize the impact of the relative FTAs on gross domestic product, capital accumulation, welfare, and trade of the members. It will compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of CJKFTA with respect to the three East Asian nations as well as the rest of the world.

Li Nan received his Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales in 2007. His research topic is titled “Chinese Television, 1958–2008: A History of Media Agenda Setting and Public Policy Adjustments.” It reflects the shifting power relations among the state, the market, and emerging civil society. Chinese TV, at any given time, is the result of negotiations and accommodation of the interests of the three institutional forces. This has allowed Chinese TV to develop a triple identity as a state agent, a market actor, and a civil society player. Li will use new data and recent social events to try to forecast the near-future course of TV broadcasting in China.

Lu Duanfang is on the faculty of architecture, design, and planning at the University of Sydney, Australia. She received her Ph.D. in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2003. Her research is titled “National Buildings, Global Visions: Chinese Architecture in the Third World.” As part of its foreign policy, Chinese architects from the People’s Republic of China engaged in construction projects ranging from major national buildings to sports facilities in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Lu’s research asks whether through these projects, China has advanced its national interest within the socio-political context of Sino-Western and Sino-Soviet competition in these regions.

Julia Killin Murray received her Ph.D. from Princeton University and currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin. She is a specialist in the history of Chinese art. Her research is titled “Mysteries of Kongzhai: Relic, Representation, and Ritual at a Shrine to Confucius.” The shrine formerly stood 25 miles west of Shanghai, where Confucius’ 34th-generation lineal descendant allegedly buried the master’s robe and cap in 606 BCE. That was more than 1,000 years after Confucius’ death. In the 17th and 18th centuries, local scholars and officials built a Tomb of the Robe and Cap, halls for sacrificing to Confucius and his father. They also constructed halls for pictures, imperial calligraphy, and commemorations of meritorious patrons. Unfortunately, branded a relic of feudalism, the shrine was demolished in 1966 during the Cultural Revolution. This research will reconstruct the history of the Kongzhai Temple complex, and will argue that its items and activities were media for religious expression, with counterparts in Buddhism, Daoism, and popular-deity cults.

Sun Hongsheng received his Ph.D. from Yunnan University in 1998. This year his research will be on Chinese economic history. In his recent book, “Tea Economy of the Tang and Song Dynasties” (in Chinese), Sun investigated the origins of tea, attempting to determine the original place of production and the quantities produced. Other aspects he investigated were the circulation of tea as a commodity, the amount of consumption during these important historical periods, and the body of laws and regulations crafted by the governments of the time to regulate and maintain tea’s quality. Sun is currently teaching at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

Tang Xiaosong received his Ph.D. from Fudan University in 2001. His research will be on China’s diplomacy and Sino-American relations as reflected and expressed in international relations theory (IRT). Both examination and evaluation of U.S. policies toward China in the past few decades will be carried out based on some of Tang’s already published research. IRT is now accepted by many scholars in China as the underpinning for studies of policy and diplomacy. Funding will be provided by the China Scholarship Council.

Wang Chuanxing received his Ph.D. from Fudan University in 2001 and currently teaches at Tongji University in Shanghai. His research project is titled “The Culture and Evolution of the International System: A Study of International Actors and Non-Traditional Security.” These days’ traditional international relations theories are strongly criticized as being static studies that fail to reveal the more complicated and diverse logic of international relations (IR). How did the contemporary international system evolve? What were its determinants? Is there a homogeneous or a heterogeneous system of IR? Regardless of the system, there is evolution, and outcomes depend on the international actors in the system. Wang will analyze case studies to explore the relationships of these factors.

Zhang Yuquan received his Ph.D. from Sun Yat-sen University in 2001 and he currently teaches at the university. His research is titled “Comparative Study of Sino-American Cultural Diplomatic Strategy in the 21st Century: Harmonious World and Democratic Alliances?” The Chinese government has proposed following a diplomatic strategy based on the slogan of a “harmonious world,” in contrast to the “democratic alliances” approach of the United States. Scholars typically focus their work on one of these two major players and rarely use a multipolar perspective. Zhang’s research asks, what is the functionality, origin, and feasibility of these two strategies as they interact? And what policy recommendations might be made for both China and the U.S. in this arena? He is funded by the China Scholarship Council.

Fairbank Center visiting associates

Dong Guosong is a Ph.D. candidate at Dalian Maritime University. His work at Harvard will be supervised by Professor Vanessa Fong. He is researching higher education in the United States from several perspectives, including teacher education for urban and multicultural contexts and how to promote equal educational opportunities. He will also examine educational transfer and globalization from an international comparative perspective; and human resources management, specifically, how to provide leadership for adult learning and development and how to support teachers and principals in their professional development. He also hopes to explore organizational behavior, with a particular interest in age discrimination.

Lin Tingjin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. As a Fulbright Visiting Student Researcher this year at Harvard, his work will be supervised by Professor Elizabeth Perry. His research is titled “Explaining Intra-Provincial Inequality in China: The Roles of Institutions and Provincial Leaders.” In China, education is the main channel for social mobility and probably the most important factor for the rural population. Due to great regional disparities, the wealthy are more likely to be better educated than the less affluent, directly contributing to social inequality and wealth disparity. Research has found that intraprovincial disparities are significantly greater than interprovincial ones. Because of the over decentralization of educational budgeting and the absence of effective transfer systems within the local governments, regional disparities of economic development have definitely led to unevenness in educational investments.