Graduate Student Associates

ChengHe Guan

ChengHe Guan

D.Des. Candidate, Urban Planning

ChengHe Guan is a Teaching Fellow in Urban Design Studios at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, with a focus on Modern Architecture and Urbanism in China and East Asia. His research interests are on rapid urbanization processes that shape the future of cities. ChengHe utilizes a quantitative approach to his research, such as spatial simulation, urban modeling, remote sensing, and accessibility analysis at city as well as regional levels.

Yitzchak Jaffe

Yitzchak Jaffe

Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology

Yitzchak Jaffe’s dissertation reexamines the established historical narrative regarding the initial expansion of the Western Zhou polity following the conquest of the Shang in the 11 century BCE. While great advancements have been made in the reconstruction of the Western Zhou history, they have not provided clear histories of regional-specific developments. Instead they have mostly emphasized the achievements of the Zhou in conquest and viewed this process as an assimilation of the local peoples into Zhou society. Analyzing archaeological manifestations of mortuary and culinary practices, Yitzchak investigates regional-specific cases of cultural exchange and the process through which the Western Zhou expansion created new forms of localized social identities.

Huan Jin

Huan Jin

Ph.D. Candidate, East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Huan Jin will be writing her dissertation, “Utopian Vision, Fictional Imagination, and Personal Memory: Literary Traces of the Taiping Rebellion.” This project explores writings as political persuasion, imaginative deviation, and personal testimony during and immediately after the Taiping Rebellion (1851-1864). It argues that the propagandistic works produced by the Taiping Rebels and the Qing government aim to construct imaginary Utopias where social order is neatly prescribed, whereas individual accounts such as memoirs and diaries expose us to a world that is anything but a peaceful Utopia.  

Lu Kou

Lu Kou

Ph.D. Candidate, East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Lu Kou will be writing his dissertation, “Court Communities and Courtly Writings of Early Medieval China, 550s-610s.” This project explores the representation of “elite mores” in the milieu of court society toward the end of the Northern and Southern Dynasties, the refined, sophisticated courtly writings embedded in this cultural context, and the pivotal position of court in preserving/transmitting past legacy and legitimatizing cultural/political supremacy.

Nathan Vedal

Nathan Vedal

Ph.D. Candidate, East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Nathan Vedal will be writing his dissertation, “Scholarly Culture in 16th and 17th Century China.” This project explores the formation of scholarly fields in late imperial China through a study of the fusion of cosmology, literary pursuits, and Neo-Confucianism with philological scholarship in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Miya Qiong Xie

Miya Qiong Xie

Ph.D. Candidate, Comparative Literature

Miya Qiong Xie will be writing her dissertation, “The Literary Territerialization of Manchuria: Spatial Imagination and Modern Identities in Chinese and East Asian Literature.” This project considers literary writings in and about Manchuria (northeastern China) by mainland Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese and (ethnic) Korean writers from the 1920s to the 1960s. It explores how spatial imagination and imaginary territorialization of the very margin of the Chinese land, as manifested in their works, testifies, shapes and problematizes important notions in modern Chinese and East Asian literature.

George Yin

Ph.D. Candidate, Government

George Yin is writing his dissertation, “Nationalism and Chinese Foreign Policy.” This project how nationalism influences foreign policy with reference to China. George's research looks at how a rising China's foreign relations are changing, how Chinese nationalism impedes conflict resolution, why Chinese individuals with foreign connections are often more nationalistic compared to individuals with no foreign connections, determinants of Chinese support for the U.S.-led global war on terror, and China's strategic intention in the South China Sea. Methodologically, his research projects combine  game theory, applied statistics, textual analysis and close reading of primary source documents.