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Center Associates

Elizabeth Berger
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Riverside
Dr. Berger is a bioarchaeologist whose work focuses on human-environment interaction and adaptation to climate change in ancient China. Specifically, she uses theoretical frameworks from human ecology, such as resilience theory, to understand the relationships between climate change, diet, mobility, and human health and demography. Her primary area of interest is the Bronze Age of Northwest China, where human groups developed diverse agropastoral food production strategies in response to both climate change and increased intergroup contact and economic specialization. She has worked on excavations in several countries, and examined skeletal collections with a number of collaborating institutions in China. Dr. Berger is currently a co-investigator of the Mogou Bioarchaeology Project in Gansu. In addition, she has a secondary area of interest in the social bioarchaeology of foot binding in Ming and Qing dynasty China.

Erin Brightwell
Assistant Professor of Pre-Modern Japanese Literature, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan

Keisha Brown
Assistant Professor of History, Tennessee State University
Dr. Keisha A. Brown joined Tennessee State University as an Assistant Professor of History in the Department of History, Political Science, Geography, and Africana Studies in the College of Liberal Arts in 2015. Professor Brown is a historian of modern China, with allied interests in race and ethnic studies, postcolonial theory and social and cultural history in modern East Asia. Specifically, Dr. Brown’s is interested in modern understandings of what she has termed Sino-Black relations.

Brian J. Bruya
Professor of Philosophy, Eastern Michigan University
Brian Bruya's main area of research is early Chinese philosophy, particularly how early Chinese conceptions of action are distinct from conceptions of action in the Western philosophical tradition. The interest has metaphysical, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions.  Professor Bruya also has a research interest in empirical dimensions of philosophical questions. Two projects he is currently working on with collaborators in the sciences are establishing evidence for fostering wisdom in the classroom and challenging the reigning cognitive scientific paradigm that attention and effort are equivalent.

Thomas Buoye
Associate Professor of History, University of Tulsa
Professor Buoye is currently working on a book-length manuscript tentatively titled, Capital Crime and Criminal Justice in Eighteenth-century China, which examines the adjudication of capital crime, the rhetoric of homicide reports, the elaborate procedures for judicial and sentencing review, the ideological underpinning of Qing criminal justice, legal issues related to gender and ethnicity, and the nexus between social conflict and economic change.

Meghan Cai
Assistant Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures, Grand Valley State University
Research interests include: Pre-modern Chinese literature, Tang-Song dynasty narrative literature, especially miscellany (biji), identity building and social and familial networks among intellectuals in Southern Song transition period, readership and reception of miscellany in the Song dynasty.

SuiWah Chan
Professor Emeritus of Medical Education, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University
Since Dr. SuiWah Chan's retirement in 2000 his research interests include the study of early Chinese writing on oracle bones and practicing calligraphy. He continues to give lectures and conduct workshops on the teaching of Chinese culture with an emphasis on etymology of Chinese writing.

Shelly Hsueh-lun Chang
Center Associate

Amy Chavasse
Associate Professor of Dance, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, University of Michigan
Choreographer, performer, educator, improviser, storyteller, and artistic director of Chavasse Dance & Performance joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2006. She has been a guest artist/faculty member at numerous institutions including Middlebury College, Arizona State, Virginia Commonwealth, UNC-Greensboro, NC School of the Arts, George Washington, Bennington College, University of Calgary, and Cornish College of the Arts. She teaches at Ann Arbor Dance Works, ADF’s WFSS series, DNA- NYC, Florence Summer Dance, and Duncan 3.0 (Rome), and was on the faculty of ProDanza Italia from 2006-10. She teaches contemporary technique, composition, improvisation, repertory, creative process, and social issues in dance.

Sean Chen
Independent scholar of Chinese food history
Dr. Chen is the author of the annotated translation of Yuan Mei’s Suiyuan shidan 隨園食單 ("The Way of Eating: Yuan Mei's Manual of Gastromony").  This translation won the 2019 Gourmand’s magazine Best in the World Prize, and has received press coverage from the South China Morning Daily.

Wen-Chien Cheng
Curator and Louise Hawley Stone Chair of East Asian Art, Royal Ontario Museum
Dr. Cheng's major area of research is premodern Chinese painting, and her research approach is a contextualized study of visual culture.

Tarryn Chun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. Her areas of research interest include Chinese theatre and performance; Asian theatre; theatre history; intercultural performance, technology and the arts; and Chinese visual culture. In 2016-2017, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies. Phone: 574-631-0473.

Laurence Coderre is Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Assistant Professor at New York University. Her areas of research are modern Chinese cultural studies; material culture; socialism and postsocialism; The Cultural Revolution; Third World internationalism, and disability studies. In 2016, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies. Phone: (212) 998-3826.

Maura Cunningham
Social Media Manager, Association for Asian Studies
She is a historian and writer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan who writes about a variety of topics—books, pop culture, travel, and feminism among them—but the majority of her work focuses on China. She holds a PhD in Chinese history from the University of California, Irvine and has spent a great deal of time in China where she has lived in Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai, and also traveled widely in the country. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for general updates, photos, and links to what she is reading.

Iza Ding
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan
Iza Ding is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science. She is a scholar of comparative political development, with a focus on China and other communist and post-communist regimes. Her research explores the intersection of environmental politics and authoritarian governance, with active projects in the realms of environmental policymaking and implementation, environmental attitudes and behavior, bureaucratic organizations, and the rule of law.

Lei Duan
Lecturer, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Arizona State University
Lei Duan is a historian of China and Asia. ​He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at U-M and also held faculty appointment in the History Department, and taught one undergraduate course on modern East Asia. He received his PhD in History from Syracuse University in 2017.

Xiaolin Duan
Assistant Professor, Department of History and Geography, Elon University, Elon, NC; Coordinator, Asian Studies Program
Xiaolin Duan’s research specialization focuses on socio-cultural history in medieval and early modern China, particularly urban history, popular religion, and visual/material culture. She is currently working on two research projects: one is a book manuscript titled “Leisure and Nature: Sightseeing around Hangzhou’s West Lake in Medieval China.” It explores how sightseeing activities influenced the way people interacted with and conceptualized the natural environment. The other project explores the connections between the global desire for silk and state-society relationships by tracing the production and trade of silk textiles in early modern China and Mexico.

Yilang Feng
Postdoctoral Fellow, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University
Dr. Feng's research interests include: International Political Economy, Firm Strategy, and Public Policy.

Daniel Greenberg
Assistant Professor of the History of Art at the University of Minnesota
His specialty is in early modern China and its relationship to Europe and neighboring countries.

Qian He
Asian Art Conservator, University of Michigan Museum of Art

Joseph Ho
Assistant Professor of History, Albion College
Joseph Ho's research focuses on the visual practices of American Christian missionaries in modern China. He explores the ways in which vernacular photography and filmmaking shaped cross-cultural encounters, religious imaginations, and transnational visual perceptions between nation and imperial power. He is particularly interested in the roles of imaging technologies and visual practices in creating a 'missionary modernity' - a visual world-making project encompassing American experience in China as well as 'on the ground' representations of Chinese Christian community and historical change in the Republican era. Ho's methodologies bring together approaches from the fields of cultural history, global history, and visual culture. He reconstructs specific image-making processes by identifying and using photographic equipment connected to the people and time periods he studies. In parallel, Ho is currently involved in several projects relating to the recovery, preservation, and digitization of historical primary sources produced by Americans (missionary and non-missionary figures) in 20th century China and Taiwan.

Kyle A. Jaros is associate professor of global affairs in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. He is a faculty fellow of the Keough School’s Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies. His areas of specialization are Chinese politics; politics of urban and regional development; intergovernmental relations; metropolitan governance; comparative political economy of development. Phone: (574) 631-6105.

Jaymin Kim
T.T. & W.F. Chao Assistant Professor of Transnational Asian Studies, Rice University
Professor Kim is a world historian of Qing China (1636-1912) whose research focuses on empire, borderlands, and sovereignty. He is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled "Asymmetry and Elastic Sovereignty in the Qing Tributary World: Criminals and Refugees in Three Borderlands, 1630s-1840s," which looks at how Qing China and three of its tributary states (Chosŏn Korea, Vietnam, Kokand) handled interstate refugees and criminals from the 1630s to the 1840s.
Rice University profile page

Ujin Kim
Research Associate, Department of Linguistics, University of Michigan
Ujin Kim is a linguistic anthropologist, working on the ethics of speech among Kazak nomads in the Chinese Altai. His recently completed dissertation, Ethical Management of Speech among Kazak Nomads in the Chinese Altai (University of Michigan, 2018), examines how moral character is communicated through speech and other signs in the everyday interactions of Altai Kazaks. In particular, it highlights the Kazak nomads’ honorific speech as a powerful means for invoking the morally loaded ideal of modesty. He is also working on the genetic affinity between Turkic and Korean.

Ellen Johnston Laing
Professor Emerita of Art History

Fabio Lanza
Professor, Department of History, Arizona State University
Cultural historian of twentieth-century China, with a particular focus on political activism and urban space.

Yi Li
Professor of Biostatistics, University of Michigan School of Public Health

Bo Liu
Associate Professor, East Asian History, John Carroll University
Dr. Liu's research interests include paintings of the Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties.

Qiong Liu
Visiting Lecturer, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan
She received her PhD degree in History at the State University of New York at Buffalo in February 2022, specializing in the history of gender and sexuality in China. Her dissertation— “Sullied Women, Unruly Revolutionaries: Sexuality, Class and Gendered Violence in North China, 1946-1948”— focuses on women practicing and subjected to violence during the Communist-led Land Reform in North China from 1946 to 1948. She will become an assistant professor in the History Department at Virginia Military Institute in Fall 2022.

Sidney X. Lu
Annette and Hugh Gragg Associate Professor, Department of Transnational Asian Studies, Rice University
Professor Sidney Lu is an historian of modern East Asia, with research interests in the areas of colonialism, migration and gender from transnational and global perspectives. His research seeks to bridge the fields of Asian area studies and ethnic studies in North and South America.

Nathan Martin
Assistant Professor of Music, University of Michigan School of Music, Teatre, & Dance
Nathan Martin joined the University of Michigan in 2015, having previously held postdoctoral fellowships and teaching positions at Columbia, Harvard, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, and Yale. He received his PhD from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in 2009.

Emily Mokros
Assistant Professor, History, University of Kentucky
Emily Mokros is a historian of politics and culture in late imperial China. She is interested in relationships between state and society as seen through the histories of news and information, both in Chinese and global contexts. Her current research focuses on the “Peking Gazette” (dibao) and its role in the shaping of Chinese political culture.

Jun Ni
Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan
Professor Jun Ni's research interests include manufacturing innovations and global sustainable manufacturing. He has given invited talks on China’s manufacturing strategies, comparisons of US and China higher educational systems, and innovation systems in China.

Julia Ya Qin
Professor of Law, Wayne State University Law School
Professor Julia Qin's research interests include international trade law, public international law and Chinese law.

Mary-Ann Ray
Taubman Centennial Professor of Practice, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan
Mary-Ann Ray's research focuses on new forms of human habitation and their constant fluctuations in China including the villages in the city, the ant tribe and mouse tribe, and nail households especially in the area the Greater Municipal area of Beijing. With her partner Robert Mangurian she has coined the term "Ruralopolitan" to describe a new space that exists in and between urban and rural China and this research has led to studies of government projects under the “Urban-Rural Integration” initiatives and close studies of northern rural Chinese Village environments and their conditions and potentials at the outset of the 21st century. Along with Robert Mangurian and LRCCS Faculy member Robert Adams, she is the co-founder and co-director of the urban/rural laboratory "BASEbeijing" based in the rural village Shangshuigou and in the urban village of Caochangdi where she has collaborated with the artist and activist Ai Weiwei.

Anne Rebull
Lecturer, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan
Operatic theatre, modern theatre, history of film, vernacular practices in culture, history of modern literature, dynastic Chinese theatre, post-humanism and literature of the non-human.

Xuefei Ren
Associate Professor of Sociology and Global Urban Studies, Michigan State University
Xuefei Ren’s work focuses on urban development, governance, architecture, and the built environment in global and comparative perspective.

Charles Sanft is Professor and Associate Head of the Department of History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He studies the history and culture of the early imperial period in China. His second book, Literate Community in Early Imperial China, received the James Henry Breasted Prize for the best book in English on history prior to 1000 CE from the American Historical Association, and an Honorable Mention for the pre-1900 Joseph Levenson Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. Phone: (865) 974-5556.

Terry Sicular
Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, Department of Economics; Co-Director, Centre for Study of International Economic Relations (CSIER), University of Western Ontario
Dr. Sicular's research focuses on income distribution in China. Since around 2000 she has been involved in the China Household Income Project (CHIP), a large household survey project that collects data on household characteristics, economics activity, and income.  Using these data in combination with field work and other materials, she has analyzed recent trends in inequality in China, the minimum guaranteed income or dibao program, the relationship between education and incomes, the urban-rural income gap, and other topics.

Jordan Siegel
Michael R. and Mary Kay Hallman Fellow and Professor, Strategy, University of Michigan Ross School of Business
Professor Siegel's research focuses on how firms can borrow foreign institutions as a means of substituting for weak governance institutions at home, on how labor market institutions impact the design and success of global business strategies, and on how culture impacts the decision of where to locate foreign direct investments. In the course of this research, Professor Siegel has done extensive fieldwork in Latin America and East Asia.

Kidder Smith
Professor Emeritus of Asian Studies and History, Bowdoin College
Kidder Smith is working on a book of translations of poems, letters and encomia by the great Tang writer Li Bo 李白 (701-62).

George Steinmetz
Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor of Sociology and Germanic Languages and Literatures
Professor Steinmetz's work mainly involves completing his book on French and British sociologists working in their respective colonial empires between 1930s-1960s. Some of the work focuses on French Indochine. He is also working on the history of social science in general.

Danie Stockmann is Professor of Digital Politics and Media at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. Her main research interests include digital governance, comparative politics with a specialization on China, public opinion and political communication, research design, and more recently digital methods, “big data,” and data science as an emerging field. Before joining the Hertie School faculty, she was Associate Professor of Political Science at Leiden University. She received my PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sarah C. Swider
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Wayne State University
Professor Swider's research interests include informal and precarious labor, gender, and global inequality, and migration. Her recent work includes a Cornell Press book entitled, Building China: The Rise of Informal Work and the New Precariat, which is based on data collected from in-depth ethnographic field illuminating the conditions of male workers building China’s new cities, both physically and socially, as they migrate to the city for work and are integrated but segregated into urban spaces on walled off jobsites, in tenuous enclaves and in semi-hidden public spaces.

Will Thomson: In 2021, Dr. Thomson stated a three-year postdoctoral research position in the School of Architecture, Landscape and Planning at Newcastle University, UK, on an AHRC grant project called "Translating Ferro / Transforming Knowledges for Architecture Design and Labour for the New Field of Production Studies." The project is a joint Brazil/UK project with the aim of defining and consolidating a new field of Production Studies, structured and informed by the work of Brazilian architect and theorist Sérgio Ferro. In 2016-2017, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies.

Glenn D. Tiffert
Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
LRCCS Postdoctoral 2015-16, University of Michigan
Dr. Tiffert’s research interests include Law, Modern China, Late Modern Europe, Law/Legal History, and Post-1949 Shanghai.

Hitomi Tonomura
Professor of History and Women's Studies, University of Michigan
Her fields of study include premodern patterns of gender construction and representation; war and manhood; work and environment; reproduction and lineage; impurity and law; violence and heroism, and samurai films.

Abram Wagner
Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan School of Public Health

Yuan-kang Wang
Associate Professor of Political Science, Western Michigan University
Dr. Wang specializes in international relations, historical China, Taiwan security, and U.S.-China relations. His research examines the nexus between international relations theory and historical China.

Vanessa Xiaodong Wei
Vanessa Xiaodong Wei is virtuoso erhu performer and a professional performance instructor on several Chinese music instruments. Since 2015, she has been teaching a class of Chinese music instrumental playing at the U-M Residential College, affording U-M students a hands-on course to learn Chinese music and culture.

Emily Wilcox
Associate Professor of Chinese Studies, William and Mary
She specializes in the interdisciplinary study of modern and contemporary China. Her focus is the development of Chinese socialist culture and the global history of twentieth and twenty-first century Asian dance and performance.

Timothy Wixted
Professor Emeritus of Asian Languages, Arizona State University

Eloise Wright is Assistant Professor of History and a member of the Ashoka Centre for China Studies in New Dehli, India. Her research explores questions of place and identity through the local history of the city of Dali, in what is now southwest China. She is also interested in histories of language and writing, sociology and materiality of texts, and genres of writing about the past. In 2019-2021 she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies.

Nicole Wu
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, Princeton University
U-M PhD in Political Science, 2020, is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton. Her research and teaching interests include international and comparative political economy, public opinion, the politics of technology, and labor politics.

Yiching Wu
Associate Professor, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto
Yiching Wu teaches East Asian studies, modern Chinese history, and anthropology at the University of Toronto. With a training in cultural anthropology at the University of Chicago, his research focuses on the history, society, and politics of Mao’s China, in particular during the Cultural Revolution. His book, The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2014), was awarded the President’s Book Award by the Social Science History Association. His main scholarly interests include anthropology and history, critical social theory, populism and social protest, socialism and postsocialism, and politics of historical knowledge.

Yidi Wu
Assistant Professor of History, Saint Mary's College
Research Interests include: China under Mao, student activism and social movements in East Asia, independent documentary films, 20th-century Chinese higher education.

Yulian Wu
Assistant Professor of History, Michigan State University
Professor Yulian Wu is a historian of Late Imperial China. Her research focuses on material culture, gender history, ethnicity and borderland politics of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912). Dr. Wu’s first book Luxurious Networks: Salt Merchants, Status, and Statecraft in Eighteenth-Century China examines Huizhou salt merchants’ interactions with objects in High Qing China, revealing a dynamic connection between merchants and imperial court. Her current project focuses on the production and consumption of nephrite jade from Xinjiang in eighteenth-century China.

Chuanwu Xi
Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health
Dr. Xi's research focuses on biofilms, water quality and treatment and human health. He is interested in studying water quality across the countries including China, Peru and Qatar and its impact on public health. He is currently a co-director of Global Environmental Health program and a co-Chair of Faculty China Interest Group in the School of Public Health.

Yujeong Yang
Teaching Assistant Professor in Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Her research focuses on comparative political economy, welfare policies, and labor politics, with a regional expertise in China.

Louis Yen
Associate Research Scientist, Health Management Research Center, School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan

Wen Yu is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Boston College. Her areas of research interests include Modern China as well as Women & Gender in Modern China. In 2019-2021, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies.

Fang Zhang
Lecturer, U-M Department of the History of Art
Fang Zhang was a 2016-17 Hughes Scholar at the U-M Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies. A teacher of contemporary art for a wide range of audiences for the last ten years, her scholarship includes writing, curating and organizing contemporary art exhibitions.

Yanshuo Zhang is Assistant Professor of Chinese in the Chinese Program at Kalamazoo College  A multilingual scholar and teacher, Yanshuo Zhang's research tackles multiethnic Chinese identities in literary and visual cultures produced both in China and in the US. Her research on multiethnic Chinese cultural productions helps diversify scholarly understanding of and teaching about modern Chinese national culture.  In 2021-2022, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies.

Yunshuang Zhang
Assistant Professor of Chinese Literature and Culture, Wayne State University
She specializes in literature and cultural history of middle period China (800–1400), with a focus on poetry and literati culture.

Julie Zhu
President Postdoctoral Fellow/ Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
Julie Zhu is a composer, artist, and carillonist. Her work is conceptual and transdisciplinary, operating on an expansive definition of algorithm. Creative and ethical use of AI and machine learning in the arts is one of her research interests and the focus of her Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan.

Sheng Zou
Assistant Professor, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University
Sheng Zou works on media and public culture in contemporary China. His areas of expertise include critical theory, political aesthetics, digital media and society, cultural industries, and global communication. In 2020-2022, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies.