Raised in Seattle, Connor Boyle received his B.A. in Computer Science and Chinese Language & Culture at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. During his undergraduate studies, he developed an interest in Chinese literature, Islamic thought, and the Arabic language. He ultimately combined the three interests in his senior capstone paper, in which he analyzed author Zhang Chengzhi’s fusion of Maoist ideology and Sufi historiography in his 1991 book History of the Soul 心灵史. At Yale, he studied the development of early Sinophone Islamic thought. His research interests are motivated by a desire to challenge the cultural, civilizational, ethnic, and religious divisions imposed on the pre-modern world by much of contemporary historiography.
Yi Feng was born and raised in Chengdu, a vibrant city in Southwestern China. As an undergraduate majoring in History at Sichuan University, she has written a series of papers with a wide range of historical topics, including the music control in Nazi Germany, the reforms of local government in the late Qing Dynasty, and discussion about eugenics in the May Fourth Movement. But one of her major concerns is how state policies influences individuals’ daily lives.
Yi was also deeply attracted by anthropology and sociology when she was studying at Columbia University as a visiting student. After reading ethnographies concerning contemporary China, she has been attempting to analyze history as well as her life from anthropological and sociological perspectives. She worked for an NGO aiming at ameliorating educational inequality in China and performed some fieldwork in several primary and secondary schools in Sichuan Province. Because of these experiences, inequality and social stratification have become her academic interests as well.
Outside the academic field, she is a big fan of Agatha Christie and Ellery Queen, and she enjoys playing the piano.
Born and raised in Singapore, Qian Xuan Goh is a government scholar that aspires to be a good educator in the future. She obtained her B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature with a second major in Translation Studies from Fudan University, China. During her undergraduate studies, Qian Xuan led the Shanghai Singaporean students’ association and is also the first international student president of the school’s student union.
To her, China is a breathtakingly-amazing civilization that never fails to surprise the world. Qian Xuan’s research interest lies in Chinese social phenomena and intercultural exchanges between China and the west during the May Fourth period. She strongly believes in interdisciplinary studies and is eager to learn 10000 ways to connect the dots differently. Long walks, aimless wanders and coffee keep her sane.
Julia Holz is a native of Boise, Idaho, although she now calls Houston home. She is a graduate of the University of Montana where she developed an abiding interest in the Nara and Heian periods while earning her B.A. in Japanese. She spent her junior year at Sophia University in Tokyo. Later completing an M.S. in Supply Chain and Logistics Technology at the University of Houston, she pursued a professional career in the international logistics industry, working in customs brokerage, programming, web development, and data analytics for a top ten global freight forwarder.
She is interested in the development of trade and economic structures in Japan and seeks to shed greater light on the activities of Japanese supply chains prior to the modern era. At Yale, she intends to use digital humanities methods both to analyze historical trade patterns and to communicate complex historical information to a broader audience. In her off hours, she enjoys science fiction, combating climate change, and applying project management concepts to elaborate cooking endeavors.
Luke Stanek, a native of Cleveland, first took an interest in Chinese history at Baldwin Wallace University, where he earned his B.A. in History with a focus on Chinese religion. The summer following graduation, he took his first trip to China, traveling with two professors from Hong Kong to Shanghai to Beijing, visiting factories, businesses, universities, and of course historical sites and museums. Luke spent his most recent two years at Miami University as a world history section instructor. There, he earned his M.A. in History with a thesis project investigating public history and tourism in contemporary Xi’an, which—thankfully—necessitated a second trip to China.
Outside of East Asia, Luke is interested in post-conflict reconciliation, an interest sparked after working abroad for a semester in Northern Ireland and South Africa at two community youth and recreation centers during his junior year. He is a political junkie, an avid fan of reading and occasionally writing satire, and hopes to pursue a PhD in History after the program.
Le Yu is interested in the material and intellectual exchange between China and the wider world via the overland and maritime trade routes, and especially in the social and cultural history of middle-period China in the context of cross-cultural exchange.
Born and raised in Guangzhou in southern China, Le received his B.A. in History from King’s College London. He explored the traditions and transmission of medical knowledge along the Silk Roads as he prepared his undergraduate dissertation, during which he also became curious about the transcultural nature of Buddhism and how it mediated and evolved with cross-cultural interaction. He then completed an M.A. in Buddhist Art: History and Conservation at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.
He is rather sedentary and spends most of his leisure time on games, anime or fantasizing about traveling, though once outdoors he enjoys having a long walk while musing.