Announcing Our 2024-25 An Wang and Hou Family Fellows

The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024-25 An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowships and Hou Family Fellowships in Taiwan Studies. Our incoming An Wang Fellows are Shengqiao Lin and David Qihang Wu. Our new Hou Family Fellows are Sarah Plovnick and Hardy Stewart.

The awards were made after a highly competitive application round for each fellowship program. Our faculty selection committees were impressed by the awardees’ research proposals, creativity, and their potential contributions to interdisciplinary China studies as well as to the discourse on relations between mainland China and Taiwan.

Our 2024-25 An Wang Fellows

Shengqiao Lin’s research focuses on the political economy of development, state-business relations, and industrial policies, with a regional focus on China. During the course of his fellowship, Lin plans to continue his work on the evolution of government-business relations in China during the Xi Jinping era, analyzing the increased prevalence of government-business partnership in business and in governance. Lin will receive his Ph.D. in Political Science this spring from the University of Texas at Austin.  

David Qihang Wu’s work looks at labor-market friction faced by firms in developing countries and the cultural impact of large Chinese firms on workers in sub-Saharan Africa. Can foreign business practices—such as Chinese emphasis on discipline and team-building—effectively align workers’ intrinsic work preference with the employers’ goals, or would they worsen existing cultural gaps? To answer this question, Wu, in collaboration with Ethiopian Management Institute, plans to explore the impact of Chinese management style on the workforce at 100 small manufacturing firms in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. Wu will receive his Ph.D. in Economics this spring from the University of California, Berkeley. 

In addition to pursuing their own research, as An Wang Fellows, Lin and Wu will work on collaborative research projects related to China and the global political economy under the guidance of Meg Rithmire, F. Warren McFarlan Associate Professor of Business, Government, and International Economy at the Harvard Business School, and David Yang, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for History and Economics at Harvard. 

This year’s An Wang Fellows’ collaboration project — designed by Profs. Rithmire and Yang — spans the disciplines of political science, history, sociology, and economics, exploring subjects such as the politics of China’s outward investment and its interaction with domestic politics in host countries; the politics of finance in China and Chinese finance abroad; China’s interaction with international organizations; the impact of the rise of China’s entrepreneurship on the global venture investment landscape; and Chinese firms’ response to geopolitical risks and opportunities. 

Our 2024-25 Hou Family Fellows

Recipients of the Hou Family Fellowships, made possible by the generous support of the Hou Family, will contribute to the Fairbank Center’s growing expertise in Taiwan studies.

Hou Family Postdoctoral Fellow Sarah Plovnick uses ethnographic methods to study the role of communications media in contentious political environments. Her dissertation focuses on how various forms of sound and audio technologies affect communication between Mainland China and Taiwan. Her work at the Fairbank Center will aim to produce writing on A.I. disinformation through “deepfakes” in Taiwan and Taiwan’s online gaming culture as a space for skirting censorship. Plovnick will receive her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology this spring from the University of California, Berkeley.

Hou Family Predoctoral Fellow Hardy Stewart works on Taiwanese literature and poetry. Stewart’s dissertation addresses how classical Chinese poetry crossed the Strait and changed Taiwan. While in residence at Harvard, Stewart will continue work on his dissertation, which focuses on colonial-era Taiwanese poet Hong Qisheng (1867-1929). Stewart is a Ph.D. Candidate in Chinese Language at the University of California, Berkeley.

Plovnick and Stewart will be mentored by Fairbank Center-affiliated faculty, including: Steven M. Goldstein, Director of the Taiwan Studies Workshop at the Fairbank Center; Ya-Wen Lei, Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Harvard University; Wai-yee Li, 1879 Professor of Chinese Literature, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard; and David Der-wei Wang, Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard.

We warmly welcome our new Fellows to the Fairbank Center community and look forward to hosting them in the coming academic year!