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Lauren Bird

Lauren is an MA candidate in the Department of Art History from Concordia University in Montreal, where she earned a B.A. Double Major in Art History and Studio Arts, with a focus on Painting and Printmaking. Her current research explores modern postural yoga studios as both physical and conceptual sites of cultural hybridity, designed to marry Orientalism and Eastern spirituality with Western socio-cultural norms of health, gender and modern medicine. While her research touches upon various disciplines, she hopes to bring a distinctly visual and art historical approach to the analysis of her case studies. Her professional work is closely integrated with her research, as she is a certified Hatha yoga teacher and assistant manager at a Montreal yoga studio, where she is fortunate to have a direct and experiential interaction with her subject matter.

Chen Yanrong

Chen Yanrong is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sinology at KULeuven in Belgium. She is currently working in the field of cultural exchange in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries between China and Europe. By focusing on religious and devotional texts produced by both European missionaries and Chinese Christians in late Ming and Qing dynasties, she pursues questions about how conceptual issues in literature were carried out between East and West from a transcultural perspective. She intends to take more account of ordinary people’s thought into the academic tradition.

Hung-yi Chien

I am a second-year PhD student at National Taiwan Normal University. One of my recent projects deals with German-speaking missionaries’ ethnological sketches of the Hakka in the southern China in the late nineteenth century. Their works were influenced by the tradition of Völkerkunde and laid down the foundation of the native scholars’ argument of the Hakka ethnicity in the Republican period, especially in the 1930’s. I am going to clarify these less-addressed predecessors’ influences in the formation of Hakka ethnicity and to articulate the regional Hakka issue to the history of Völkerkunde and the broader context of cultural encounters.

Sharleen Estampador

I am an Economic and Social Research Council funded Ph.D. candidate at the University of Sheffield in East Asian Studies. I completed my B.A. in International Studies with an emphasis in Southeast/ East Asian Studies at the University of South Florida. In 2010 I completed an MSc. in International Relations at the University of Aberdeen. I was a participant of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme and an economic section intern for the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. My research considers globalization by investigating the dichotomies of the local and global and the subjective foci of memory and everyday life and how these processes in tandem create social and cultural capital. Thus, the objective of my research is to investigate the interaction within the spatiality of the local and global (geographic space) and memory and everyday life (space in time) in developing cultural social capital (soft power) through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme.

Charlotta Forss

I am currently pursuing a PhD course in History at Stockholm University, Sweden. I hold an MPhil degree in early modern history from University of Cambridge, UK. From Uppsala University, Sweden, I have a BA in History and a BA in Political Science. My doctoral thesis investigates the historically and culturally situated nature of the continents as conceptual structures in early modern Sweden. Through a study of geographical references in travel narratives, scholarly work and maps, I discuss the categorization of the world into continents, and the interconnections of early modern knowledge making.

Lena Froesch

Lena Frösch has a Bachelor degree in General History and Modern Sinology from the University of Zurich  and is currently pursuing a Master degree in Modern Sinology and History of the Modern Era. She also works as a student tutor and part-time assistant at the Sinology department of the University of Zurich. She spent two semesters as an exchange student at the Beijing Film Academy on a Chinese government scholarship. Her most recent research project analyzed the role fengshui played in the colonial encounter in Hong Kong.

Sandra Gilgan

Currently I am studying the M.A. program “China – Culture and Communication” at University Trier. I pursued my B.A. in Chinese Studies and Philosophy at University Münster – and became interested in Chinese philosophy. My M.A. thesis focuses on a very recent intellectual movement: Contemporary New Confucianism. In this context, I study Prof. Liu Shuxian’s writings to find out how Confucian values can be used to construe global ethics. For this purpose, Prof. Liu reinterprets a method from Sung-Ming-Confucianism as a guideline to achieve a consensus on basic principles and values: “the principle is one, the manifestations are many”. What I find very fascinating is how many things different cultures have in common in theory – but apparently not in practice. Prof. Liu with his approach tries to overcome this problem.

Macario B. Lacbawan, Jr

I am currently pursuing my MA in sociology at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. My research interests include collective trauma, heritage studies, cultural sociology, sociological theory and sociology of food. The focus of my MA thesis is an analysis of multiple narratives and conflicting meanings about dog-eating in Northern Philippines.

Victoria Lupascu

I graduated in June 2013 from Xiamen University, China and obtained a Master Degree in International Relations. My interest for International Relations understood as intercultural relations developed during my first MA program, while studying East Asian culture and literature. Among others, my main academic interests include intercultural communication and Asian cultural studies. My research focuses on the study of “buffer zones”, the space where two or more cultures meet, specifically Chinese and Dutch cultures, and the cultural phenomena present there. The aim is to analyze how this encounter influenced the cultural identity of both Chinese and Dutch through knowledge circulation and how it affected the cultural dynamics of the area.

Philipp Mahltig

Currently, I am working on my PhD thesis in a research project on technology transfer from Germany to China in late 19th and early 20th century at the Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China at the Technische Universität Berlin. My research focuses on the process of culturally appropriating transferred technology. Before starting my PhD, I studied at Freie Universität and Peking University, finishing my M.A. degree in sinology with a thesis on a plagiarism case in Chinese academia.

Wiktor Ostasz

I grew up in Rzeszów (SE Poland), studied medieval history at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, and in 2010 moved to Oxford where I am currently doing my doctoral work on ‘Power and society in the frontier space of medieval western Anatolia, c.1070–c.1390’. In it, I try to explain changing social relations in the Byzantine-Turkish periphery by looking at techniques (discourses) of domination and resistance, and to turn the elite-oriented history on its head by digging into the interstices of the hegemonic social order. Most recently, I have written and presented on control through fortification, and nonstate communities in thirteenth-century southwest Anatolia.

Lea Pao

Lea Pao is a first year PhD student at Pennsylvania State University pursuing a dual degree in Comparative Literature and Asian Studies. She holds a Mag.phil. degree in Comparative Literature and a Bakk.phil. degree in Chinese Studies from University of Vienna, Austria. In her master’s thesis, she analyzed Wang Jiaxin’s Chinese translations of Paul Celan approaching translation as a transformative and inventive act and translingual practice. Her dissertation research involves the history and philosophy of information and data in connection to poetry and investigates how poetic meaning, the modern world, and realities are created and organized. Other projects include visual and graphic narratives, as well as encyclopedic novels and the representation and documentation of spatial and historical knowledge. She also works as a literary translator.

Ji Young Park

Ji Young Park is a Ph.D. student in museology at the École du Louvre in Paris, as well as belonging to the international doctorate program in ‘Museology, Mediation, Heritage’ offered by the Université d’Avignon et des Pays Vaucluse in France and the Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada. Her dissertation analyses, from a communications perspective, the media discourses (designed for the transmission of knowledge to the audience) of South Korean national museums. She double majored in Archaeology/Art History and French Literature/Linguistics at the Seoul National University in South Korea (2003) and holds 2 Masters in museology from the École du Louvre in France (2007).

Maansi Parpiani

Maansi Parpiani has studied Political Science, History and Economics at the University of Mumbai. In 2011, she received her MA in History Asia/Africa from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her master’s dissertation was titled ‘Urban Planning in Colonial Bombay: Ambivalences, Struggles and Inconsistencies of the Colonial State’. It explored the Eurocentric conceptions of the idea of ‘town planning’, their scientific rationale and developmental rhetoric.It looked at the transportation of these ideas in the space of colonial Bombay where they acquired an interpretation and lifeline of their own. She is currently a Research Fellow with the Observer Research Foundation and works on projects relating to urban infrastructure and also blogs on the issues of urbanity, popular culture and history. Her current research project extends her masters thesis to the postcolonial condition and aims to excavate narratives of ‘global city-making’ in Mumbai. It looks at the new imaginaries of making ecologically sustainable and safe cities in the postcolonial cities of the South and traces it to the conceptualisation of natural disaster and crime as 'global' problems.

Barbara Petrulewicz

Barbara Petrulewicz is an MA candidate in German, European and Global Politics at the University of Bonn. She holds a Bachelor´s degree in Japanese Studies and Political Science from the University of Tübingen. During the course of her studies she has pursued topics of international migration and citizenship policies, demographic change both in the European and East Asian contexts, and, most recently, Japanese security policy. Her current research focuses on the material dimension of the building of Japanese state and empire in the Meiji and Taishō period.  In this context she analyses the production of knowledge as an assemblage involving multiple actors, geographic environments and various disciplines of Western and traditional science. It is in this field that she hopes to benefit from the programme of the Summer School 2013.

Etienne Peyrat

Etienne Peyrat is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant at Sciences Po Paris, where he is a member of the Centre d'histoire de Sciences Po (CHSP). An alumnus of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), he holds a MA in international history from Université Paris 1 (2011). He has spent a year at Galatasaray University (Istanbul) teaching contemporary history in 2009-2010. His research concentrates on forms of contact between Central/Eastern Europe and the broad Middle East, within a broader interest for the relevance of Eurasia as a space of circulations and influences in the XIXth-XXth centuries. His Ph.D. focuses on border interactions between Turkey, Iran and Russia in the Caucasus (1900-1937) with a particular attention paid to local and regional actors, beyond a traditional history of great power rivalries. Border interactions broadly defined involve political and economic problems, but also environmental and health issues. The emergence of cross-border cooperations is particularly looked at. Since the Caucasus is interpreted as a transnational space, circulations of knowledge, whether scientific, medical or administrative, constitutes an important aspect of the study, along with the places and actors that allow it.

Sanne Ravensbergen

Sanne Ravensbergen MA is a PhD-candidate at the Institute for History of Leiden University. She is currently working on a PhD-research project entitled ‘Crime and punishment in the Dutch East Indies 1816-1918’. This project analyzes the development of colonial criminal law practice on Java during the 19th century. In particular, her research focuses on the regional colonial courts. In these so called Landraden, the European resident as well as the Javanese regent, the Chinese captain, the Islamic Panghulu and the indigenous Jaksa (public prosecutor) made their appearance. Ideas and knowledge on crime, power, race, culture and law were exchanged and influenced court decisions and colonial law itself.

Oyndrila Sarkar

My doctoral research explores the antecedents of the construction of the Indian state through a study of the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India (GTSI) and its survey operations. It studies the work and the working relationships the GTSI entailed. Inanimate objects like the tools and instruments of surveying can also be seen as relevant social actors in these survey networks. These, along with the men in the GTSI, helped create a state space under one institution with the multiple personnel employed in it. My research therefore looks at the men, materials and non-methodical methods of state formation on the borderlands of what became the Indian state. I have a BA in History from Presidency College, Calcutta, an MA in History from the University of Calcutta and an M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and will start my doctoral research at Heidelberg University in October 2013.

Jie (Jay) Tan

TAN Jie is currently doing his doctoral research at the Department of Philosophy, Sun Yat-sen University. His dissertation focuses on the dissemination of ethical and political philosophy from Europe to China in early 17th century in Yili Xixue, or Western Learning on Ethics and Politics composed by Alfonso Vagnone (1566-1640). The main themes of his thesis include the change of meaning of the key conceptions during translation such as piety (ren) and justice (yi), the dissemination and influence of these works in China, and comparative studies on the main conceptions such as courage (yong) under the inspiration of contemporary philosophy.

Susan Paige Taylor

Susan Paige Taylor is a first year PhD student at the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies at the University of Tokyo. She completed her MA degree in the same department in 2012, and holds a BA from Georgetown University in Japanese Language and Culture. Her MA thesis was titled “The (Networked) Geography of Knowledge in Jimbocho, Tokyo,” which was an ethnographic study of Tokyo’s largest “booktown.” Her current research extends her master’s research, but she is now exploring international connections through the used book market, specifically between Japan and Korea. Her hobbies include photography.

Albert Tzeng

Albert Tzeng studied chemistry and psychology in National Taiwan University before obtaining sociology degrees in LSE (MSc) and Warwick (PhD). Prior to academic pursuit, he had been editor, marketing professional, parliamentary assistant and election campaign manager. He is now working on his first academic monograph, Framing Sociology in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore: Geopolitics, States and Practitioners (Ashgate), with the support of  a fellowship provided jointly by International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. He also convenes the conference Framing Asian Studies: Geopolitics, Institutions and Networks, 18-20, Nov, 2013 Leiden.

Lihn D. Vu

I was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam. I received a BA in government, history, and East Asian Studies from Connecticut College and an MA in East Asian history from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I am currently pursing a Ph.D. in modern Chinese history at the University of California at Berkeley. My dissertation research addresses the role that China’s twentieth-century war dead played in creating the modern nation-state. In particular, I focus on how the dead necessitated that various social and political institutions develop the means to control their corporeal and spiritual contamination, as well as to regulate their modes of remembrance and commemoration.

Dror Weil

I am currently a PhD candidate in Princeton University's Department of East Asian Studies, focusing on the social and cultural history of Late Imperial China as well as on the history of the book in Islamic Central Asia. My dissertation research, under the advise of Professor Benjamin Elman, attempts to discuss the movement of written texts between the Islamic world and China during the 17th and 18th centuries. Within this framework I look at issues such as translation, literacy, manuscript production and book markets. I hold an MA degree from the Department of History of Taiwan's National Chengchi University, where I worked on intercultural identities in Late Imperial China, focusing on the shifts in the cultural identity of the descendants of Jews dwelling in the northern Chinese city of Kaifeng during the 14th and17th centuries. I worked extensively as a textual translator and interpreter.

Xu Chun

Xu Chun studied history at SOAS, University of London, where he received his M.A. degree with a dissertation on the information order of the Mongol Empire in China. He joined the Cluster as a doctoral candidate in November 2012. His Ph.D. project, supervised by Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz and Prof. Dr. Gerrit Schenk, examines the shifting conception of "natural disaster" in imperial China under the Ming Dynasty. Seeing disasters as epistemic events that embody knowledge systems, his research explores the transcultural dynamics behind the changing Chinese attitudes towards nature.

Yikan Zheng

I am currently a PhD candidate in Art History at Central Academy of Fine Art of China. My PhD thesis is dedicated to a series of Crucifixions ranging from the 13th century to the 16th century, especially in the south of Italy. It focuses on the local iconographic practice, the changing contexts of images and the way in which they are inscribed or re-located in shifting narratives. Other research interests include the transmission and the transformation of the image of Khan between Asia and Europe in 14th century and the travel literature in 14th century.