Initiated in the 1960s, the Harvard-Yenching Institute’s Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP) now consists of two branches, the Harvard-DSP and Non-Harvard DSP. Each year the institute invites Harvard departments in the humanities and social sciences to nominate candidates for the Harvard doctoral scholarships. To be eligible for this program, candidates must be from Asia.
Considered by a joint selection committee of the institute and Harvard faculty members, selected applicants receive a three-and-a-half-year scholarship. Harvard-DSP grantees have been nominated by and trained in various departments, such as East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, African and African American Studies, History, History of Science, History of Art and Architecture, Anthropology, Sociology, and the Committee on the Study of Religion.
Eligible candidates for the Non-Harvard DSP are junior faculty members and researchers of Asian institutions affiliated with the Harvard-Yenching Institute. If selected, they will also receive a three-and-a-half-year scholarship to study abroad for a doctoral degree in the humanities and social sciences.
This year’s new doctoral grantees
Bian He (Department of History of Science) grew up in Beijing and went to Peking University for her bachelor of science. While studying toward a master of science degree in human nutrition at the University of Illinois, she took classes in history of science in her spare time, and this area turned out to be much more fascinating and intellectually engaging for her. Finding herself not really belonging to laboratories, Bian has decided to change her course of study, and is now concentrating on historical research on modern science and medicine in East Asia.
Chen Jingling (Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations) was born in Shanghai, China. Having earned both her bachelor and master of arts degrees in Chinese and comparative literature from Fudan University, she comes to Harvard to study for a Ph.D. degree in modern Chinese literature. Her passions include the study of the literary relations between ancient Greece and modern China. She has published several articles in academic journals in China and was a visiting fellow at National Taiwan University in 2006 with the support of the China Cultural Development Foundation.
Lam Weng-Cheong (Department of Anthropology) is originally from Macau and earned both his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Peking University. Lam’s research interest area is Chinese archaeology with a special focus on the Chinese Bronze Age, including bronze casting technology, craft production, ancient funeral ceremonies, and feminist archaeology. He has participated in several excavations in China, including excavations in Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Henan provinces.
Ren Wei (Department of History of Art and Architecture) came to Harvard directly from Beijing after spending three weeks watching the Olympics. She will be studying Chinese modern art of the late 19th and early 20th century. Having received her B.A. degree from Williams College in 2007, Ren embarked on a quest to explore art and identity in Italy, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany as a Thomas J. Watson fellow. Speaking fluent French, Italian, and Spanish, Ren keeps her love of languages growing, and she will be studying German and Japanese at Harvard.
Yu Wen (Department of History) is from Xi’an, an old capital city for 13 dynasties in China and also well known as the jumping-off point of the famous ancient Silk Road. Having earned her M.A. degree in modern Chinese intellectual and cultural history from Fudan University, Yu comes to Harvard to study modern Chinese history from a grassroots perspective, trying to understand through what nexus the idea of “making a modern nation” has entered into the perception and experience of Chinese people’s daily life.