Yun Bai specialized in late-imperial Chinese literature and the ways in which women responded to the changes and challenges during the Ming-Qing transition. Yun’s interest in this subject started with her studies at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures as an undergraduate student at Tsinghua University. An exchange experience at the University of Toronto also exposed her to theoretical approaches to Chinese texts and women-centered criticism. After graduation, Yun is going to take a gap year and work for an overseas study consultancy in Beijing, after which she plans to go to graduate school and concentrate on early modern Chinese fiction and drama.
Alan Baubonis is interested in martial arts, especially those from China, and has been practicing, competing and teaching for fourteen years. Alan graduated from Boston University’s Anthropology B.A. program in 2004, then lived in Qingdao, China for two years to practice and research kung fu. While at Yale, Alan studied social theory, Chinese culture, and classical Chinese in order to progress toward a better understanding of the socio-cultural contexts that shape how martial artists practice and to describe their training. He has been working in administrative positions at Yale since 2007 and is currently the Assistant Director (and primary student advisor) in the Richard U. Light Fellowship Program at Yale.
Marissa Fox graduated with a degree in art history from Barnard College, after which she followed her passion for Chinese art and moved to China. She has since worked at Art Labor Gallery, a contemporary art space in Shanghai. She has also worked as an art guide for Context Travel, where she developed and led in-depth tours of the Shanghai Museum as well as M50, Shanghai’s gallery district. At Yale, Marissa focused her studies on the history of Chinese art, and she plans to work in the arts after graduation.
Nicholas Frisch trained in music as a boy soprano at the Metropolitan Opera, singing additional solo roles at Carnegie Hall and BAM. He studied music and Chinese at Columbia, writing an East Asian Languages and Cultures thesis on Red Guards with the support of a departmental grant. Graduating in 2007, he lived in Beijing, Taipei, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, supported by Fulbright, Blakemore, Critical Language, and Hong Kong University fellowships, and worked as a translator, researcher, and journalist. He has conducted policy research for The University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and the Hong Kong think tank Civic Exchange, and presented conference papers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and National Taiwan University. An aspiring scholar of Ming-Qing intellectual and cultural history, after finishing the East Asian Studies M.A. Program, Nicholas will remain at Yale to pursue a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures.
Sami Honkasolo was born in Finland, but moved to Japan after high school. Passionate about languages since a young age, he decided to major in Linguistics with a strong East Asian focus, and received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Linguistics from the University of Tokyo. He has since interned at the United Nations and worked for a Japanese financial company in Tokyo. Living in Japan made visiting East Asia easy, and by visiting places such as Tibet and North Korea, he became deeply interested in East Asian international relations. Consequently, Sami came to Yale to deepen his understanding about the international relations of East Asia. In the future, he intends to pursue a Ph.D. to further develop his regional expertise.
Yuan-I Huang, also known as Sophia, has a profound interest in transculturation studies between English-speaking and Sinophone communities, using translation as a focal point. Chinese is her native language, however, she received her B.A. as an English major at National Taiwan Normal University. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a tutor and part-time translator. In her sophomore year, she became the Chief of Art Design in the English Department’s Student Association, which equipped her with experience in media, advertisement, graphic design and leadership. While in the East Asian Studies M.A. program at Yale, she focused her studies on modern Chinese literature and media and plans to work in media marketing after graduation.
Connor Mills grew up in North Dakota and graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History in 2011. He developed a love of historical research during his undergraduate years at Yale and has returned to campus after working at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. His research interests centered on the postwar intersection of Japanese and United States history during the Occupation and the Korean War. After graduation, Connor will use a Richard U. Light Fellowship to spend the summer studying Japanese at the Inter-University Center in Yokohama before beginning a Ph.D. in History at Princeton University this fall.
Xindi Qin received her B.A. in English Language and Literature from Shanghai International Studies University. A central thread running through her academic interests is contemporary Japanese popular culture as perceived by its consumers with diverse cultural backgrounds. As the captain of her college’s softball team, Xindi noticed the enthusiasm shared among her teammates generated from a love for the characters in Japanese sports manga and for Japanese culture on a larger scale. At Yale, she focused her studies on consumer culture and gender issues in contemporary Japan and China. After graduation, Xindi plans to pursue a career in the management consulting industry in the Asia-Pacific region.
Rebecca Roberts fell in love with the Japanese language and culture at her high school in Gastonia, North Carolina, which had a teacher exchange program with Hiroshima, Japan. Once at university, she started studying Chinese and traveled to Beijing, China where she didn’t speak English for three and a half months of classes and then interned at the Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center for two months. After graduation, Rebecca spent a year in Kanuma, Japan teaching English and then four months traveling around the world. At Yale, she concentrated on Japanese and Chinese history, and plans to work in international higher education, focusing on U.S.-Asia exchange. After graduating from Yale, she will first work at a university in North Carolina and be engaged with the Raleigh-area Japanese community.
Xin Ying Tseng was born and raised in Singapore. Her interest in China was first sparked by a high school immersion program to Beijing. She then went on to Peking University to pursue a B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature, as well as a double major in International Relations and Foreign Affairs. Xin Ying’s training in Chinese Language and Literature has heightened her sensitivity towards the nuances of Mandarin, enabling her to better understand and appreciate China’s diversity and socio-political contexts. At Yale, she focused on China’s foreign policies and state-society relations to gain a more holistic understanding of contemporary China. Passionate about Singapore-Sino and ASEAN-Sino relations, Xin Ying will return to work in Singapore’s civil service upon completion of her studies.
Anran Wang was born and raised in Beijing, and his interest in transnational East Asian issues started during his high school years. Interaction with South Korean students and a school-organized trip to Japan boosted his enthusiasm for the “sensitive” issues between East Asian countries, and made him determined to learn Korean and Japanese. He attended Peking University and majored in International Politics. He also enrolled in the double degree program at Waseda University and spent his junior year in Tokyo. At Yale, Anran focused his studies on nationalism and nationalist conflicts between China, Japan and the two Koreas, as well as ethnic tensions in China and Inner Asia. Following graduation, Anran plans to pursue a Ph.D. degree in comparative politics or modern history after a gap year of individual research and travel.
Likun Yang (Chinese History and Literary Tradition)
Qiudi Zhang graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A in both Anthropology and Dance. With her passion in culture and art, Qiudi is most interested in minority issues in China, especially those of Tibet and Xinjiang. She has spent two summers teaching and volunteering in Nyingchi, Tibet, and has focused her undergraduate research on analyzing the Tibet-China dispute. While volunteering in different minority communities in China, Zhang enjoyed learning traditional dances from the locals and was curious to find ways to better protect and represent these art forms. As a dancer, Qiudi has performed works and participated in workshops of various choreographers and dance companies such as José Limón Dance Company, Trisha Brown Dance Company, and Trey McIntyre Project. At Yale, she continued to focus her studies on anthropology and minority issues in China, and performed with Citations A Cappella and A Different Drum Dance Company. After graduation, she will continue her research with Professor Deborah Davis (Yale Sociology) over the summer, and plans to study Russian and Kazakh languages in Central Asia.