Alan Dai

Alan Dai's picture
2-Year Track

Alan Dai grew up in Colorado and Upstate New York. He graduated from Harvard College in 2022; during college he worked with education programs for youth in Boston’s Chinatown, including an afterschool program and summer camp. His research mainly focuses on the modern history of language in East Asia, especially the reception and use of Literary Sinitic in non-Chinese, border-crossing, and transgressive contexts. His undergraduate thesis analyzed various “Cosmopolitan nationalisms” expressed within the Sinitic-language writings of early Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Asianists, anti-colonialists, and anarchists. Other previous and current projects include a history of Esperanto and the Communist Party of China, a study on the expansion of Shanxi piaohao to Japan during the late Qing dynasty, and an analysis of Sinitic-language feminist literature published in colonial Vietnam. In the future, he hopes to research the application of digital humanities methods—especially natural language processing—to East Asian studies, along with alternative histories of East Asian diasporas, and is currently learning Japanese and Cantonese. In his free time, he enjoys casual yoga, cooking, and both reading and writing poetry and fiction.