PhD Student Profiles

Joshua Batts

Joshua Batts Japanese History

Advisor: Gregory Pflugfelder

Joshua Batts received his B.A. from Whittier College (2006) with an emphasis on Japanese history. He began work on a Ph.D. in Japanese history at Columbia in the fall of 2009, teaching English in Japan on the outskirts of Tokyo in the interim. Joshua's current research interests include the spread of firearms and other introduced commodities throughout Japan in the 16th and 17th century and the broader networks guiding these exchanges. He is also interesting in the "mapping" of Japan, and its representation on and through different media in the early modern period.

Allison Bernard

Allison Bernard Chinese Literature

Advisor: Shang Wei

Before joining Columbia's PhD program in the fall of 2012, Allison received her BA from Middlebury College (2010) and an MA from Columbia's East Asian Languages and Cultures department (2012). Her MA thesis examined the late Ming novel Jin Ping Mei cihua through the lens of its circulating information, considering how spoken transmissions, mainly in the form of gossip, function as both a narrative mechanism and exchangeable 'commodity' within the novel's domestic information economy. Her current research interests span broadly across the terrain of Ming/Qing (and some Yuan) vernacular fiction and drama, but she intends to locate her doctoral work within a research matrix that combines perspectives from critical theory, book history, and print culture to situate literary texts in their paradigms of cultural production and reception.

Stephen Boyanton

Stephen Boyanton Chinese History

Advisor: Robert Hymes

Stephen Boyanton received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Florida (1995). After receiving his B.A. he spent five years living and traveling in China before returning the U.S. to pursue his M.A. in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia (2004) and his M.S. in the clinical practice of Chinese medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, San Diego (2008). He is now working on his PhD in Chinese History focusing on Chinese medical history. In particular, he is researching the renaissance of the Han dynasty medical text, the Discourse on Cold Damage, which occurred during the Song Dynasty.

Kevin Buckelew

Kevin Buckelew Chinese Religion

Advisor: Bernard Faure

Kevin is a Ph.D. student in Chinese religion. He is interested in reexamining Tang and Song Chinese Buddhism through the mirror of contemporary Daoist thought and practice, especially with regard to discourses on the body. His investigation is presently focused on Buddhist uses of apparently Daoist terms and frameworks like "nourishing the fetus of the sage." Other research interests include the looming threat of demonic attack in "elite" discourses on Chan practice; the mapping of bodhisattva path literature onto the physical Chinese landscape; and the mechanics of Buddhist literary genres. He received his B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 2007, and subsequently earned two M.A. degrees at Columbia: in the department of Religion (2009) and in East Asian Languages and Cultures (2011).

Wilson Chan

Wilson Chan Chinese History

Advisor: Dorothy Ko

Wilson focuses his research on the material culture and history of science of early modern China. Seeking to be a Renaissance man, he attempts to cross the boundary between internal and external histories of science by an investigation into writing implements in early modern China. In this investigation he researches the technology of making, the interaction between craftsmen and literati, the usage in calligraphy and painting, and also the business, circulation and connoisseurship of these writing implements. His other research interests span Chinese medical history, history of the book and Chinese landscape painting (Song painting in particular). Before coming to Columbia, he obtained his BA (2007) and MPhil (2010) at the University of Hong Kong, where he conducted research on the contributions of Chen Li, a classical scholar of late Qing Guangdong province, to the foundation of modern scholarship. In his leisure time Wilson is a keen lover and practitioner of Chinese calligraphy and, at the sametime, a collector of inksticks and inkstones from early modern and contemporary China.

JM Chris Chang

JM Chris Chang Chinese History

Advisor: Eugenia Lean

JM Chris Chang is a student in modern Chinese history working on the relationship between petition writing and ideological revisionism in the post-Mao transition. He received his BA from Amherst College and a dual-MA from Columbia and the London School of Economics. Prior to returning to Columbia to begin the PhD track, he was a visiting researcher at Beijing University.

Ti-Kai Chang

Chang Ti-Kai Chinese Literature

Advisor: Weihong Bao

Ti-Kai Chang received her B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University (2006) and an M.A. in Film Studies at Columbia University (2009). Her research focuses on Chinese cinema, drama and visual cultures, with extensive interests in world cinema, film theory and film history. Her M.A. thesis examined the roles of Ang Lee and Eileen Chang as trans-cultural double agents through the close reading of Lust, Caution (Ang Lee, 2007). Currently she is conducting research on Taiwanese documentary and East Asian film culture during colonial period.

Glenda Chao

Glenda Chao Chinese History

Advisor: Li Feng

Glenda is a PhD student focusing on the archaeology of the Bronze Age in south China. Her research interests include how archaeological, historical and paleographical sources can be used in conjunction with one another to study the origins of regional bronze culture styles during the late Western Zhou and early Spring and Autumn periods in China, as well as how the archaeological record reflects the political, social, and economic relationships between different regions of China during the Eastern Zhou period. She also has a budding interest in archaeological theory and its relationship to the development of the archaeology of China as a discipline. She received her B.A. in archaeology from Boston University in 2007 and her M.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia in 2009.

Kaijun Chen

Chen Kaijun Chinese Literature

Advisor: Wei Shang

Chen Kaijun is a PhD student in early modern Chinese literature (from Song dynasty to Qing dynasty). He also affiliates to the Institute of Comparative Literature and society. He received his B.A (2005) in Chinese literature from Fudan University, Shanghai and his Maitrise in Philosophy from Sorbonne-Paris I in 2007. His research concerns the cultural history of craftsmanship and the transmission of crafting knowledge. More specifically, he studies how the 'literati' of the local society involved in the world-wide production and circulation of artifacts and related knowledge.

Ksenia Chizhova

Ksenia Chizhova Korean History

Advisor: Dorothy Ko & Jungwon Kim

Ksenia is a PhD student of Premodern Korean literature - interested in the 18th century women's writing. Before Columbia, she studied English and Slavic Linguistics.

Kumhee Cho

Kumhee Cho Korean History

Advisor: Charles Armstrong

KumHee Cho is a Korean but grew up in Japan. She got her BA at University of Wisconsin-Superior with East Asian Studies. After graduation, she taught Japanese at a high school in Madison WI for a year. She is fluent in Japanese and Korean. KumHee focuses on Korean diasporas, especially the North Korean community in Japan where she grew up. She is interested in exploring how the identities of these Koreans, excluded from the Japanese mainstream, have evolved in response to changing political and social factors. She also hopes to incorporate a comparative approach, examining North Koreans in Japan as part of the broader category of Korean or even Asian diaspora communities worldwide.

Jae Chung

Jae Won Chung Korean Literature

Advisor: Theodore Hughes

Jae Won is a doctoral student in modern Korean literature. His dissertation project examines everyday life in Korea from the 1930s through the 1950s, with a coordinated analysis of policy debates, magazine and newspaper articles, intellectual journals, literature, photography and film. By looking at how everyday life was imagined, represented, debated and negotiated during this turbulent stretch of history, he hopes to situate everyday life as the dominant ideological formation during the Japanese colonial period and the early years of the Cold War.

Before coming to EALAC, Jae Won received his B.A. in philosophy from Swarthmore College, M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia's School of the Arts, and worked as a literary translator in Seoul. His research interests also include modern Japanese literature, film studies and theories of race.

Chung Dajeong

Chung Dajeong Korean History

Advisor: Charles Armstrong

Dajeong is a Ph.D. candidate in modern Korean history. She studied history at Williams College (2005) and received an M.A. from Columbia University (2008). Her dissertation examines the ways in which the spread of U.S. foodstuffs in postwar South Korea revealed the nature and meanings of American influence in East Asia. How was it possible that unfamiliar foodstuffs from the U.S. become part of Korean diet in such a short time? What does the appropriation of food industry by the locals in later decades say about the relationship between industrialization of South Korea and the U.S. influence? Her story of foreign foodstuffs takes us back to 1945 and re-evaluates the roles played by the United States and by economic initiatives of the unlikely individuals such as the American G.I.s, sex workers and black market profiteers. It is an untold story not only of South Korea but of globalization, intersecting the local with the U.S. foreign policy.

Andre Deckrow

Andre Deckrow Japanese History

Advisor: Carol Gluck

Andre Deckrow is a doctoral student in modern Japanese history. His research focuses on twentieth century Japanese migration to Latin America, specifically Brazil. He received his B.A. in History and Asian Languages and Cultures from Amherst College in 2006. Andre spent the 2007-2008 academic year traveling around the Pacific Rim researching Japanese gardens as symbols of historical memory as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow. For the 2010-2011 academic year, Andre serves as a Co-President of the Graduate History Association, the organization that represents all history graduate students at Columbia.

Anatoly Detwyler

Anatoly Detwyler Chinese Literature

Advisor: Lydia Liu

Before coming to Columbia to pursue a PhD in Chinese and comparative literature, I studied Chinese at the University of Minnesota (BA, 2006) and at ICLP in Taiwan (2006-7).  My dissertation, tentatively titled "The Arc and the Net: 'Information' and Communication in Modern Chinese Literature, 1897-1945," retraces the ways by which communication became a key discipline and discourse in China between 1897-1945.  Because the issue of communication was closely bound up with the program of cultural change, it was thoroughly explored through literary writing and criticism: modern Chinese literature not only reflected the communications turn, it also reflected upon it, asking questions about communication's mediacy and immediacy that remain relevant today.

Nina Duthie

Nina Duthie Chinese Literature

Advisor: Shang Wei and Robert Hymes

Nina Duthie is a doctoral student in premodern Chinese literature, with a focus on historical texts and cultural history of the Han through Tang dynasties. She is currently engaged in researching and writing her dissertation, which will examine the representation of barbarians and wildernesses in Northern and Southern dynasties historiography. For the 2010-2011 academic year, she completed coursework and conducted research at National Taiwan University with the support of a Fulbright grant. Prior to entering the Ph.D. program in 2007, she received an M.A. in modern Chinese literature from Columbia University (2002), then worked in academic publishing for a time. Originally from Rhode Island, she has also lived in Xi'an, Taipei, and Tokyo.

Clay Eaton

Clay Eaton Japanese History

Advisor: Carol Gluck

Clay Eaton received his B.A. from Lewis & Clark College in 2007, where he studied International Relations, History, and Japanese. Before beginning his graduate studies he spent two years teaching English in Hyogo, Japan. He began working on his PhD at Columbia in 2010. His MA Thesis (2012) addressed the construction and public use of three monuments built in Singapore under British, Japanese, and PAP rule. His dissertation focuses on social policies implemented by the Japanese administration of Singapore during the Second World War. Using Japanese, Chinese, and Malay sources, he studies both the intricacies of Japanese policy-making and diverse local responses to the administration's initiatives.

Chloe Estep

Chloe Estep Chinese Literature

Advisor: Lydia Liu

Chloe Estep received her A.B. in comparative literature from Princeton University (2009) and M.A. in Chinese studies from the University of Michigan (2013). A student of modern Chinese literature, her M.A. thesis examined the influence of translation practice on early twentieth century Chinese poetics. Also a student in the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Chloe is primarily interested in the intersection between translation theory and practice, as well as modern Chinese poetics and semiotics. She is also an avid translator of fiction and poetry.

Matthieu Felt

Matthieu Felt Japanese Literature

Advisor: David Lurie

Matthieu Felt began working on premodern Japanese literature at Columbia in 2010. After finishing his undergraduate program at the University of Chicago, he taught junior high school English for four years on the island of Tanegashima, Kagoshima prefecture. He also worked for several years in IT at the University of Chicago. He is primarily interested in the Nihon Shoki and other imperial histories.

Thomas Gaubatz

Thomas Gaubatz Japanese Literature

Advisor: Haruo Shirane and Tomi Suzuki

Tom entered the PhD program in Japanese Literature at Columbia in 2009. He is interested broadly in the intersection between linguistic form and literary style, including topics ranging from narratology and poetics to natural language change and cognitive theories of literature. He hopes to use these perspectives to study the literary transformations that took place between the Edo and Meiji periods. After receiving his BS in Mathematics from Stanford University in 2006, Tom spent the interim working in San Francisco's video game industry, and he maintains a furtive interest in the incipient field of game design theory and criticism.

Noga Ganany

Noga Ganany Chinese Literature

Advisor: Shang Wei

Noga received her BA and MA from Tel Aviv University, Israel, and in between studied Chinese at Xiamen University. Her Master's thesis explored the literary tradition and religious worship of judge Bao-gong in late imperial and modern China and Taiwan. She is interested in the dynamics between literature and religion in late imperial China, print culture, and the evolution of recurring themes in Chinese popular culture. Her dissertation project explores the role of religious practices and print culture in the rise of the fiction novel in late Ming China.

Gal Gvili

Gal Gvili Chinese Literature

Advisor: Lydia Liu

Gal is a modern Chinese literature student in EALAC as well a fellow in the Institute of Comparative Literature and society. She received her B.A and M.A from Hebrew University, Jerusalem before beginning her PhD at Columbia in 2008. She is mainly interested in cross-cultural journeys of literary genres, particularly in the rise of realism in modern China in its relation to biblical religions and to the notion of world literature.

Nan Ma Hartmann

Nan Ma Hartmann Japanese Literature

Advisor: Haruo Shirane

Nan has lived in Beijing, Tokyo, California before coming to New York City for graduate school. She received her B.S. in Mathematics from Stanford University and M.S. in Economics and Finance from Columbia Business School. Her dissertation project focuses on Japanese adaptations of Chinese prose narratives, from late medieval to early modern period, particularly adaptations of Ming supernatural tales. This thesis explores issues related to vernacularization movement, cultural transformation and worldviews reflected in genre and linguistic development in Japan and China.

Tracy Howard

Tracy Howard Tibetan History

Advisor: Gray Tuttle

Tracy Howard received her B.A. in Tibetan Studies from Columbia University. She has worked as an interpreter of Tibetan language in the U.S. and eastern Tibet (Kham) and spent one year as an exchange researcher at Waseda University (Tokyo) studying Tibetan history and translating Buddhist sutras into English under a grant from 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha. Her research interests broadly include the religious history of 18th-20th century eastern Tibet and the historical importance of poetic songs of religious experience in Tibet.

Jonathan Kief

Jonathan Kief Korean Literature

Advisor: Theodore Hughes

Jon Kief is a doctoral student in modern Korean literature and comparative intellectual history. His research focuses on 1920s-1950s Korean debates over the proper form and function of "humanist" thought, and he hopes to use these debates' successive iterations to trace the shifting intellectual currents moving between Korea, Japan, the US, and Europe. Ultimately, his goal is to show how an historical consideration of changing constitutions of "humanity" in Korean discursive practice can help re-embed these contentious decades -- often framed in terms of the colonial/postcolonial rupture, the dual Pacific and Korean War divides, and the birth of a new Cold War order -- in a more complex narrative linking Korean and transnational intellectual history.

Sujung Kim

Sujung Kim Japanese and Korean Religion

Advisor: Bernard Faure

Sujung Kim is a Ph.D. candidate in the Buddhist Studies program at Columbia University. She received her B.A. in History from Sogang University and a Masters degree in Buddhist Philosophy from Korea University in Korea before beginning her Ph.D. program at Columbia University in 2007. Her dissertation project focuses on a Buddhist deity called Shinra Myojin, whose name alludes to its possible connection wtih Korea-worshipped on Mt. Hiei in medieval Japan. In her dissertation she hopes to contextualize the cult of Shinra Myojin by examining various historical records, temple chronicles, ritual texts, and the iconography of the deity. Sujung is broadly interested in East Asian Buddhism with a special focus on Korean Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism in the medieval period. Her research interests also include Esoteric Buddhist rituals, Daoist influences on Buddhism, and Buddhist folklore.

Nicole Kwoh

Nicole Kwoh Chinese History

Advisor: Eugenia Lean

Nicole Kwoh is a doctoral student in History studying the political and cultural history of modern China. She received her BA from Wellesley College with a dual degree in Political Sciences and Art History. She cultivated her interested in political history, modern law and material culture as a research fellow at the National Palce Museum in Taipei. She worked as a Technical Writer; assisting scholars to publish and teaching undergraduate and graduate Technical Communications. She is currently completing coursework.

Brian Lander

Brian Lander Chinese History

Advisor: Feng Li

Brian Lander is a doctoral student in early Chinese history under the guidance of Li Feng. Brian studies the environmental transformations involved in the development of centralized bureaucratic states during the Zhou and Qin periods (1045-206 B.C.) in north China. He combines textual, archaeological and palaeoecological data to explore both the wild flora and fauna of the region and the ecology of human subsistence. Brian received a B.A. from the University of Victoria and an M.A. from McGill University, and has also studied at the universities of Hong Kong, Nijmegen (NL), Lanzhou and at East China Normal University.

Elizabeth Lawrence

Elizabeth Lawrence Chinese History

Advisor: Eugenia Lean

Liza is a historian of modern China with research interests in modern material and visual culture, the history of technology and science, knowledge production, and consumerism. Her dissertation, "Carving the Archaic, Marking the Modern: A History of the Seal in Twentieth Century China," examines the modern afterlife of inscribed seals - objects of power and prestige in imperial China - against the backdrop of the decline and collapse of an imperial order of knowledge, status, and power, the rise of mass politics and mass production, and the local accommodation of modern disciplines that promoted new ways of classifying and engaging the material world.

Lei Lei

Lei Lei Chinese Literature

Advisor: Lydia Liu

Lei Lei started her PhD at Columbia in 2012 after finishing her MA here. She is also a fellow in the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society. Her research deals with a broad range of subjects including modern Chinese literature, history of biological science and critical theory.

Hsin-Yi Lin

Lin Hsin-Yi Chinese History

Advisor: Bernard Faure

I received my BA (2003) and MA (2007) in History from National Taiwan University, and came to Columbia University at 2009. My general research interest is Chinese religion history, including the interaction between Buddhism, Daoism and popular religion, how gender works and women's beliefs in them. I have explored the idea of dharma's decline in the medieval China, and how rulers, sangha, and women believers were influenced by and responded to this Buddhist eschatological crisis in my MA thesis. (The Decline of Dharma and Women's Beliefs in Medieval Chinese Buddhism, Taipei: Dao Shiang Press, 2008). In the future, I plan to deal with women's belief world from the perspectives of Buddhism-Daoism intercommunication in the medieval China.

Shing-Ting Lin

Shing-Ting Lin Chinese History

Advisor: Dorothy Ko & Eugenia Lean

Shing-Ting Lin is a Ph.D. Candidate in modern Chinese history. Before joining Columbia, she received her B.A. in History with a certificate in Women's and Gender Studies from National Taiwan University (2006). Her research interests include the history of gender and women, body history, and history of science and medicine. She is currently conducting her dissertation research on the professionalization of medicine for women in nineteenth- and twentieth-century China. This project also explores the changing understandings of female bodies in a cross-cultural context during the late Qing and Republican periods (1860s-1940s).

Peng Liu

Peng Liu Chinese Literature

Advisor: Shang Wei

Peng is a Ph.D. candidate in Chinese literature, specializing in Chinese fiction and drama in the Ming-Qing period. His study aims to uncover a dynamic relationship between the Chinese novel and Chinese religion. Concentrating on the making of divine women in early Daoism and late imperial Chinese fiction, his dissertation sheds light on the role of the novel as a vehicle for popularizing religious symbols that were otherwise marginalized or forgotten. His study attributes an active role to literature and demonstrates how the novel assimilates religious cults to structure the narrative and enable allegorical readings. Besides his dissertation project, he has also paid attention to Buddhist modernization at the turn of the twentieth century when Chinese intellecturals traveled to the West and propagated Buddhist ideas on the world stage. Before coming to Columbia, he received his academic training at Fudan University where he completed a thesis on how different discursive powers shaped Buddhist hagiographies in Medieval China.

Abigail MacBain

Abigail MacBain East Asian Religion

Advisors: Michael Como & Bernard Faure

Abigail is working toward a PhD focused on early Japanese religion and history. She began her studies at St. Lawrence University (BA, 2004), where she developed an honor's thesis on Shinto-Buddhist syncretic themes in theJinno Shotoki. After a two year period teaching English in northern Japan, she continued her studies at McMaster University (MA, 2008). While there, she developed a particular interest in researching Buddhism in mainland Asia and examining the various political and cultural influences that accompanied its entry and acceptance in Japan. Her master's thesis focused on early Japan's Buddhist national protection temples and sutras. It also considered similar systems developed by other Asian rulers, whose examples the Japanese court may have been copying. Prior to entering Columbia in 2013, she worked for four years at the Consulate General of Japan in Miami, FL.

Ryan Martin

Ryan Martin Chinese History

On leave

Advisor: Robert Hymes

Ryan Martin is a PhD. candidate in Chinese history interested in how vernacular architecture reflects a local response to broad social changes. Before coming to Columbia he received his BA from Brown (2000) and completed an MA in Regional Studies at Harvard (2006). In between, he spent time living in Wuhan, Beijing and Shanghai. After finishing coursework, he plans to spend the 2010-2011 academic year in doing research in the region overlapping the borders of Jiangxi, Fujian and Guangdong, research that will involve a lot bike riding through a lot of small towns.

Neil McGee

Neil McGee Chinese Religion

Advisor: Chun-fang Yu

Neil McGee is a Ph.D. candidate in pre-modern Chinese history at Columbia University. He completed a B.A. (1994) and an M.A. (2005) in Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His main area of study is the history of Chinese religions in the Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties, with a focus on Mongol patronage of Daoism during the late Yuan. Neil's proposed dissertation title is Mysterious Teachings: Mongol patronage and state-sponsored Daoism in middle-period China, 1276-1500.

Gabriel McNeill

Gabriel McNeill Japanese Literature

Advisor: David Lurie

Gabriel entered the PhD in Japanese Literature in 2010 with the intention of studying the literature of the Nara period in general, and the Kojiki in particular. His research interests range from the representation of kingship, notions of legitimacy, and the rhetoric of rulership in early literature, to the reception and appropriation of early texts as occurred in later periods, didactic tales (setsuwa), myth (shinwa), and the influence of Chinese literature and language on native prose writing (wabun and wakan-konkobun). He holds a BA in Applied Mathematics and an MA in Biostatistics from UC Berkeley, as well as an MA in East Asian Studies from UCLA. While at UCLA he wrote MA papers on the representation of Susanoo in the Kojiki, on selected linguistic aspects (the translation of names, and censorship through partial translation into Latin) of the two main English translations of the Kojiki, and on a Song Dynasty travel account written by Shuqin Su in which he describes his journey to and stay at a Chan Buddhist monastery at Dongting Mountain in Suzhou.

Jennifer Wang Medina

Jennifer Wang Medina Korean Literature

Advisor: Theodore Hughes

Jenny Wang Medina is a Ph.D. candidate in Modern Korean Literature and Culture. She received a B.A. in English literature from UC Berkeley, and a Master's degree from Columbia (separately). She is currently in Seoul as a Fulbright fellow conducting research for her dissertation, which deals with Korean literature and popular media in the late 20th century. She is specifically interested in the transformation of Korean culture through the period of democratization the late 1980s to a post-industrial consumer society. She also translates Korean literature, and through this, has become interested in how institutionalization may have changed the character of Korean literary production. Her publications include translations of Oh Jung-hee's The Bird, and several other short stories by contemporary Korean authors.

Nhat Phuong Ngo Vu

Nhat Phuong Ngo Vu Japanese Literature

Advisor: Haruo Shirane, Tomi Suzuki and Hikari Hori.

Phuong is a Ph.D. candidate in Japanese literature with a primary interest in Heian literature and popular culture. Prior to coming to Columbia, Phuong received her B.A. degree in Astrophysics and Japanese Language and Literature from Wellesley College.

Carolyn Pang

Carolyn Pang Japanese Religion

Advisor: Michael Como

Carolyn Pang is a Ph.D. student of pre-modern Japanese literature. Carol received her B.A. (2005) and M.A. (2010) in Japanese Studies from the National University of Singapore. During this period, she participated in research programs at Waseda University and Rikkyo University in Tokyo. Focusing on the study of Onmyodo (Japanese Yin Yang Theory), Carol's research investigates the cultural and literary encounters between Japan and China by highlighting the transnational nature of religions in Japan during the Heian and medieval period. Her research interests extend to the visual arts of Japan and China, particularly emaki (Japanese scroll paintings), as well as pre-modern East Asian history and East Asian religious practices and folk beliefs.

Chris Peacock

Chris Peacock Chinese Literature

Advisors: Lydia Liu

Chris received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from The School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in Chinese History and in Chinese Literature. His research interests include modern literature by and about minority nationalities in the People's Republic of China, particularly literature about Tibet by Han authors.

Pau Pitarch Fernandez

Pau Pitarch Fernandez Japanese Literature

Advisor: Tomi Suzuki

Pau Pitarch received a BA in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain) and an MA in Language and Information Sciences from the University of Tokyo (Japan). His MA thesis dealt with the Taisho era writings of Sato Haruo and their development of European Aestheticism. Pau joined the Japanese Literature PhD program at Columbia University in 2009, to work on early 20th C narrative and criticism. He is interested in the connections between aesthetics and scientific discourse and the uses of "illness" as a literary and ideological trope.

Daniel Poch

Daniel Poch Japanese Literature

Advisor: Tomi Suzuki and Haruo Shirane

A native from Berlin, Daniel received his M.A. in Japanese Studies, Chinese Studies and German Literature from the University of Heidelberg (2006). His dissertation project with the tentative title "Entangled Literacies: Dynamics of Sino-Japanese Intertextuality and Cultural Translation from the 10th to the Late 19th Century" examines and compares textual "sites" -- literary anthologies from the Heian, Edo and Meiji periods -- in which Chinese (kan) and Japanese (wa) styles, genres and poetic discourses intersect and/or merge. His broader interests also include Western (esp. German and French) literature as well as literary/aesthetic theory and philosophy.

Helen Qiu

Helen Qiu Chinese History

Advisor: Robert Hymes

Having earned her MA degree from EALAC at Columbia in 2010, Helen Qiu is currently pursuing her PhD by studying Chinese religion with a particular focus on religious epistemology. Her goal is to discover the nature of the questions people ask themselves and how they go about the process of finding the answers when faced with supernatural encounters or wishes. She will primarily use history and literature from the pre-modern period as tools of her study. Prior to coming to Columbia, Helen had a BS degree from Zhongshan University and an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago, followed by several years of career in engineering and project management. However, after she encountered Christianity, her interest in engineering and business was profoundly overtaken by religious topics, which prompted her career change. She resigned from her job at Sun Microsystems and began studies for an advanced Master's degree in Theology, specializing in Reformation history and theology. Her training helped her to realize that current Christian theology, after nearly two millennium of academic history, had yet to engage with Chinese religious thoughts and practices. She then reckoned that the most immediate and imperative step towards filling this gap was to fully master the patterns of development of Chinese religion itself.

Krisopher Reeves

Kristopher Reeves Japanese Literature

Advisor: Haruo Shirane

During a ten-year stay in Japan, I obtained my first MA (2009) in Japanese literature at Kyoto University under the tutelage of Dr. Masao Otani. Attracted by the broad historical approach employed by Dr. Mikael Adolphson, I then completed a second MA (2013) at the University of Alberta. Much of my research thus far has been devoted to comparative analysis of premodern Chinese and Japanese literature, especially in the field of poetry and poetic theory. I am curious about the use of metaphorical language as a means of constructing alternate, mutually provocative narratives or literary realities. Exploring interactions between poetry and prose, kanbun and wabun, historical diaries and fantastical tales reveals a multilayered patchwork of disjunctive paradigms that brings together seemingly disparate genres and scholastic disciplines.

Elizabeth Reynolds

Elizabeth Reynolds Tibetan History

Advisor: Gray Tuttle

Elizabeth is a PhD candidate in the History-East Asia Program focusing on Tibetan and Chinese History. Her research examines the crossovers of economic history and material culture between China and Tibet from the 17th to 19th centuries. Specifically she is interested in posing questions on cross cultural economic networks, material culture in translation, and material culture as a unique form of cultural expression. A practiced artist herself, Elizabeth plans on incorporating the physical and interactive elements of art and material culture into her research. Elizabeth received her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2011. Upon graduating she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to do research on the commercialization of Tibetan thangka paintings in Amdo, modern day Qinghai, China. Living in Qinghai for two years, she studied at Qinghai Nationalities University and worked extensively for Columbia's Engaging Digital Tibet project.

Joshua Rogers

Joshua Rogers Japanese Literature

Advisor: Tomi Suzuki

Josh studied English literature for two years at Texas Tech University before withdrawing to pursue undergraduate studies in Japan. After one year of language courses, he entered the University of Tokyo and went on to graduate with a BA in Contemporary Literary Studies in 2012. Josh's senior thesis examined the use of violence in works by Cormac McCarthy and Kenji Nakagami. After returning to his native Texas, Josh worked for nearly two years as a freelance Japanese translator. His research interests include the development of surrealism in postwar Japanese narratives, Japanese literature written by non-Japanese authors, and comparative approaches to contemporary works.

Kristin Roebuck

Kristin Roebuck Japanese History

Advisor: Gregory Pflugfelder & Kim Brandt

Kristin Roebuck is an ABD historian of modern Japan, whose research and teaching foreground how the history of the body and the history of the state interact. Kristin's dissertation provides an integrated analysis of race, gender, international relations, and the history of science as it explores the "mixed-blood children crisis" in postwar Japan. She argues that the political, popular, and scientific furor over "blood mixing" after World War II helped rebuild Japanese nationalism, specifically by shifting its base to the "pure" and timeless race rather than the recently failed state. This episode was crucial to forming the sense of "racial homogeneity" that pervades Japan today.

Kristin's experience outside of graduate school includes work as an editor at academic and business publications, as an executive assistant, and as a satellite operator at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

Chelsea Schieder

Chelsea Schieder Japanese History

Advisor: Gregory M. Pflugfelder

Chelsea Szendi Schieder is a Ph.D. candidate in modern Japanese history, focusing on social movements and gender in twentieth-century Japan. Her dissertation examines how the participation of young women in the Japanese New Left defined the limits of democratic access not only to postwar social institutions, but also to the student movement that articulated a radical critique of those institutions.

Obtaining her BA in history from UCLA in 2003, Chelsea comes to her project after years of living and studying in Eastern Europe and East Asia. Her interest in history derives from a curiosity about why we live in the world we do, as well as an insistence that the world can be a better place. Her articles have been published in Monthly Review and Dissent.

Joshua Schlachet

Joshua Schlachet Japanese History

Advisor: Carol Gluck

Joshua Evan Schlachet is a first-year doctoral student in 19th-century Japanese cultural history with an emphasis on Japan's international relationships during the Tokugawa period. His research interests focus on the impacts of emerging food exchange networks on the cultural, economic & intellectual transformations of the early-19th century as well as the tensions between emerging popular restaurant culture and the crises of famine and social upheaval along Japan's rural margins. Joshua earned his B.A. in History and Asian Studies from Cornell University in 2008 and his M.A. in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan in 2011. He conducted Fulbright research on the socio-political significance of the sugar trade in southern Japan in 2009 and more recently explored questions of Japanese ethnographic representation in Leiden, The Netherlands.

Yiwen Shen

Yiwen Shen Japanese Literature

Advisor: Haruo Shirane

Yiwen is a Ph.D. student in classical Japanese literature. She received her B.A. in Chinese Literature from Fudan University, Shanghai (2008), M.A. in Japanese Literature from Columbia (2011), and M.A. in Chinese Literature from University of Wisconsin-Madison (2012). Her fields of interest include Japanese and Chinese literature, with particular focus on medieval narrative prose. She hopes to examine the common ground and shared nuances of the relevant accounts in China and Japan by paying close heed to their original historical milieu, even while tracing the religious context and visual representations of them. Currently she is conducting research on the literary and visual analyses of the netherworld and influential death-related icons in the early Japanese setsuwa collections from the Nara through the medieval period.

Rachel Staum

Rachel Staum Japanese Literature

Advisor: Tomi Suzuki and Haruo Shirane

Rachel Staum received her B.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard College (2009). Before coming to Columbia, she worked for the JET Program as a Coordinator for International Relations in Takaoka, Japan. In 2011, she entered Columbia'a Japanese Literature Ph.D. program. She is currently researching stories about women from other worlds in Japaense literature, focusing on otogizoshi (late medieval popular fiction), as well as the reception and rewriting of these stories in different genres agross time.

Rafal Stepien

Rafal Stepien Chinese Religion

Advisor: Bernard Faure

Rafal Stepien received his first B.A., with a double-major in Philosophy and English, from the University of Western Australia. He then studied Italian and Persian language and literature at the Universities of Bologna and Esfehan respectively. Following a stint working as a Persian interpreter in Afghanistan with the International Committee of the Red Cross, he gained a second B.A., this time in Chinese from the University of Oxford, during which time he also spent a period of study at Peking University. Following this, he received an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, where he worked on classical Persian Sufi poetry.

In 2009 Rafal began his Ph.D. program at Columbia, where he is the Cihui Foundation Faculty Fellow in Chinese Buddhism. He is concerned with poetry as a vehicle for spiritual insight. More specifically, his research, while based primarily within the field of Chinese Buddhism, seeks to explore the intersections between Buddhist poetry in Chinese and Sanskrit and Islamic Sufi poetry in Arabic and Persian.

Ariel Stilerman

Ariel Stilerman Japanese Literature

Advisor: Haruo Shirane

Ariel Stilerman is a PhD cadidate in premodern Japanese literature. His dissertation, under the tentative title, "Lessons in Poetry: Pedagogy, High-Culture, and Social Mobility in Medieval Japan", looks at post-classical waka as an educational enterprise, focusing on the introduction of a formal pedagogical contract between teacher and disciple, the development of "waka vignettes" (waka setsuwa) as a teaching tool in poetic treatises, the creation of a discourse on the wondrous powers of waka (katoku), and the use of poetry to teach other disciplines (kyokunka) like kemari and chanoyu.

Before coming to Columbia, Ariel studied Psychoanalysis and Clinical Therapy at the University of Buenos Aires (2002), where he also taught Statistics (2003-4). He trained in the Tea Ceremony at Urasenke Konnichian, Kyoto (2006-7), and completed MA degrees in Japanese Studies and Literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London, 2006) and at Waseda University (2012). Ariel is currently working on the first direct translation of Genji monogatari into Spanish; he made public the first chapter in the summer of 2013. He sailed competitively while in college and still dreams of one day crossing the Atlantic ocean under sail.

Myra Sun

Myra Sun Chinese Literature

Advisor: Lydia Liu

Myra received her B.A. in English and Chinese Language from UC Berkeley (2007). Before coming to Columbia in 2009, she worked for two years in Nara, Japan as an assistant language teacher with the JET program. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in modern Chinese literature and a fellow at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. Her current research explores issues of intellectual and creative labor, textual authority, and literary practice in late Qing and early Republican China.  Her dissertation project will focus on the influences of editing and early 20th century new media on the formation and canonization of modern Chinese literature.  She is also broadly interested in Chinese theater and performance, film, and media culture from the late 19th century to the present.

Shiho Takai

Takai Shiho Japanese Literature

Advisor: Haruo Shirane

Shiho Takai received her B.A. from University of Tokyo (2004) in British Area Studies and her M.A. from Washington University in St. Louis (2006) in Japanese Literature before joining the Ph.D. program at Columbia University. Her general research interests include gender, genre, performance, reception, supernaturals, censorship, and the formation of cultural legends and heroes. She is now working on her dissertation project on the Edo period theater and law, especially representation of criminal women in sewamono jaruri puppet plays and kabuki, and their relation to the contemporary socio-legal establishment.

John Thompson

John Thompson Chinese History

Advisor: Eugenia Lean

John is a doctoral student in modern Chinese history. His research focuses on the history of death and cemeteries in Tianjin and North China. John received an AB in East Asian Languages and Civilizations and English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and an AM in Regional Studies - East Asia from Harvard University. Before coming to Columbia, John worked as a freelance writer and fact-checker for magazines, and spent summers searching for rock bands in China, tigers in Korea, and Sufi caliphs in Senegal.

Luke Thompson

Luke Thompson Japanese Religion

Advisor: Bernard Faure

Luke Thompson is a Ph.D. student majoring in East Asian Buddhism. He received a B.A. in Japanese Language and Culture from Antioch College (2002) and his M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Bristol, England, in 2007.  At Bristol his studies focused on Theravāda Buddhism and Classical Sanskrit, and his M.A. dissertation explored the concept of saddhā in both Pali canonical texts and the Theravāda commentarial tradition.  His primary research interest is Buddhism in the Nara area during the late Heian and Kamakura periods.  His dissertation focuses on changing conceptions of Śākyamuni among certain Nara monks (e.g., Jōkei 貞慶, Myōe 明恵, Eison 叡尊) and seeks to understand this trend both as part of the Nara Buddhist revival that took place during the early Kamakura period and as reflecting larger intellectual historical changes of the period.  He is also interested in pre-modern Japanese conceptions of India, the development of the sangoku 三国 worldview, the writings of Heian and Kamakura-period Japanese monks abroad (e.g., Keisei 慶政, Jōjin 成尋, Shunjō 俊芿), and Theravāda Buddhism in pre-colonial Sri Lanka.

Sonam Tsering

Sonam Tsering East Asian Religion

Advisor: Gray Tuttle

Sonam Tsering received his MA from Central University for Tibetan Studies (1996) and MTS from Harvard University (2006). He has in between served as managing editor for an academic journal and worked in various translation projects. As a new doctoral student, he seeks to study the role of textual composition in the formation, institutionalization and establishment of a prominent Buddhist school of thought and philosophy in Tibet during the late 14th century.

Stacey Van Vleet

Stacey Van Vleet Tibetan History

Advisor: Gray Tuttle

Stacey studies Tibetan history, Qing history, and the history of science, technology and medicine. Her work looks at the regional significance of Tibetan Buddhist institutions and epistemic order within the context of Qing imperial social order. Stacey received her AB in Public Policy Studies from Duke University in 2000 and an MA in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2006, with an MA thesis that looked at two Tibetan rock bands in Lhasa. She is currently completing her dissertation, "Tibetan Monasteries and the Medical Marketplace of Qing China," under a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

Tyler Walker

Tyler Walker Japanese Literature

Advisor: Paul Anderer

Tyler received his B.A. in Japanese Studies from Middlebury College (2008), following which he spent a year working as a translator in Hiroshima, Japan. He has since taught Japanese language in Massachusetts and in his native Mississippi. Tyler has worked on the intersection of radical politics and art that characterized the emerging agrarian and proletarian literature movements of the Taishō period. An avid hiker who loves traveling the Japanese countryside, Tyler ultimately hopes to explore new critical approaches to rural and regional literature to gain insight into the fascinating relationship between country and city in 20th century Japan.

Sixiang Wang

Wang Sixiang Korean History

Advisor: Dorothy Ko & Jungwon Kim

Sixiang is a PhD student studying pre-Modern Korean history. His research interest is Korea's relations with China, especially during the Chosŏn period. He received his BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University (2006).

Yijun Wang

Yijun Wang Chinese History

Advisor: Dorothy Ko

Yijun is a doctorial student in Chinese history. Her interest lies in material culture, gender, economic, and legal history of late Imperial China. Her research concerns the networks, negotiations, and exchanges of power and status that lies behind the making, circulation and consumption of objects. More broadly, she is interested in the discussion of the state-and-society and private-and-public spheres in the late Imperial China through the perspective of material culture. She received her BA in history from Tsinghua University in Beijing (2010) and her MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University (2012).

Chelsea Zi Wang

Chelsea Zi Wang Chinese History

Advisor: Robert Hymes

Chelsea Wang received her BA in History from the University of British Columbia (2009) and started PhD studies at Columbia in 2009. Her research interests include the histories of space, book culture, and information transmission in late imperial China. Specifically, her dissertation explores how the literati senses of space were shaped by transportation and information networks during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). More broadly, Chelsea is interested in incorporating comparative East Asian perspectives into the study of Chinese history. You can view my personal academic blog here.

Charles Woolley

Charles Woolley Japanese Literature

Advisor: Tomi Suzuki

Despite hailing from Upstate New York, Charles Woolley headed north to receive his B.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto (2007), after the completion of which he was briefly repatriated before being granted the opportunity to research the development, establishment and institutionalization of the 'family restaurant' format within popular culinary culture in Japan under the auspices of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program (2007-2008). In 2008, he was admitted to Columbia's Ph.D. program in Japanese Literature where he continues to explore his interests in the processes of trans-contextual translation and adaptation between the 'West' and Japan and their roles in the construction and elaboration of new linguistic and discursive idioms in the early twentieth century.

Lan Wu

Wu Lan Tibetan Studies

Advisor: Gray Tuttle

Lan Wu is a doctoral candidate in Tibetan history and late imperial Chinese history in the History-East Asian program. She is currently completing her dissertation research on the role of Tibetan Buddhists in the eighteenth-century imperial expansion of Qing China (1644-1911). This project seeks to address the role of religion in historical research. Her other research interests include the history of travel and long-distance communication in the Himalayan regions and Qing China.

Lu Xiong

Xiong Lu Chinese Literature

Advisor: Wei Shang

Xiong Lu is a PhD student specializing in the pre-modern Chinese novel and its history. She came to Columbia in 2008, and works with Prof. Shang Wei. She received her M.A. degree from Beijing University in comparative literature. Her M.A. thesis focused on the canonization of classical Chinese novels (late 19th century~1920s), when the genre of novels (Chin. xiaoshuo) witnessed a dramatic transformation due to the modernization of the novel as well as literature more broadly. Her current plan for the PhD program is to examine the rise of the novel as a literary genre in modern China. By reexamining the complicated literary, media, cultural and institutional context of the late Qing period, she hopes to rethink the problematic of the modernization of the Chinese novel as an important part of the process of nation-building. In addition, she is attempting to rethink the connection between classical and modern Chinese novels in an effort to trace the narrative tradition and to see them as a single 'whole', which sheds light on the future of the novel in China.

Zi Yan

Zi Yan Chinese Literature

Advisor: Lydia Liu

Before coming to Columbia, Zi Yan received her B.A. and M.A. in Chinese Literature from Peking University in 2008 and 2011. Her M.A. thesis focuses on new transportation vehicles described in modern Chinese fiction. She concentrates on the new landscape provided by new vehicles and analyzes the change of interpersonal relationship between passengers. Her research interests include modern Chinese literature, urban culture, and the relationship between the history of material and science and modern Chinese literature.

Christina Yi

Christina Yi Japanese Literature

Advisor: Tomi Suzuki and Theodore Hughes

Christina Yi graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Japanese Language & Literature. Shortly after graduation, she left for Japan on the JET Program, working as a Coordinator for International Relations at Hamamatsu City Hall. She entered the Japanese Literature Ph.D. program at Columbia in 2007. Her research focuses on the rise of Japanese-language literature by Korean colonial subjects during the 1930s and 1940s and its subsequent impact on discourse regarding "national" and "ethnic minority" literature in postwar Japan and Korea. She is particularly interested in the relationship between nihongo bungaku (Japanese-language literature) and kokubungaku (Japanese national literature) vis-a-vis the canonization(s) of zainichi Korean literature(s).

Yuan Yi

Yuan Yi Chinese History

Advisor: Eugenia Lean

Yuan is a PhD student in modern Chinese history. She is interested in looking at history from the perspective of business and economic activities, with particular emphasis on the production, circulation, and consumption of textiles. At the intersection of business, textiles, and Chinese history, she plans to research the creation of wool industry/market in early twentieth-century China and its wider social, cultural, and economic implications for Chinese society. Yuan received her BBA from Korea University (2005), MA in Clothing & Textiles from Ewha Womans University (2009), and MA in History from the University of Utah (2012).

Ye Yuan

Ye Yuan Chinese Literature

Advisor: Wei Shang

Before joining EALAC's PhD program in Chinese literature at 2013, Ye received her BA in Chinese literature and MA in linguistics at East China Normal University at Shanghai and MA in Chinese history here at Columbia. Her MA study at EALAC focuses on the sojourning lives of early Qing scholars, drawing for primary material on publications of seventeenth century. In her doctoral studies, she is interested in further examining how publishing related to lives and cultures of the literati in late imperial China as well as the published texts.

Chi Zhang

Chi Zhang Japanese Literature

Advisor: Haruo Shirane

Chi is a PhD student in Japanese Literature, with interests broadly centered on the construction of China in the Japanese literary and cultural imagination, including the transformation of Chinese philosophical and religious writings in Japanese literature and the use of different genres in the depiction of Chinese images, and the ways in which different Japanese genres bonded with specific Chinese "sources" or genres, mostly from the Heian through the medieval period. She is also interested in examining the Edo period in which a number of earlier threads of Japanese cultural and discursive constructions of China were first brought together and emerged within a range of new forms of writing and texts. Chi received her B.A. in Japanese Language from Tsinghua University, Beijing before joining Columbia.

Jing Zhang

Jing Zhang Chinese History

Advisor: Eugenia Lean

Zhang Jing joined the department as a Ph.D student in Modern Chinese History in 2010. Before coming here, she studied Chinese Literature in Peking University and Chinese history in National University of Singapore.Her research interest lies in urban society, popular culture, everyday lives of Asian countries, especially those of China. She plans to study public rumors surrounding political celebrities and public affairs in urban Shanghai from late Qing to Republican era.

Li Zhang

Zhang Li Chinese Literature

Advisor: Lydia Liu

Zhang Li received his BA in Chinese Literature from Peking University (2006) and MA in Comparative Literature from SOAS, University of London (2007). He is now a PhD student in modern Chinese literature at Columbia and a member of the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society. His research interests include the interaction between science, technology and late imperial/early modern Chinese literature, modern Chinese poetry and colonialism and literature in East Asia.

Dongxin Zou

Dongxin Zou Chinese History

Advisor: Eugenia Lean

Dongxin Zou is a doctoral student in modern Chinese history, with interests in medicine and science, Cold War politics, and China's relations with the Middle Eastern and North African countries in the post-colonial world. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Arabic Language & Culture from Beijing Foreign Studies University where upon graduation she worked as a lecturer in Arabic for three years. Prior to entering Columbia, she earned M.A. in History from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.