2021 Events Schedule

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Upcoming Events


Reappointment Review Workshops for New Faculty— late October and early November

Katherine Robertson, Director of Faculty Affairs


Appropriate Use of Research Funding— 9:30-10:30 am 10.22 (Friday)

Jing Bai, Associate Director of Research Support Office

Xian Zhu, Controller of Office of Finance

Fan Yang, Academic Sourcing Manager of Office of Procurement


DKU Mini-Retreat for Chairs and Program Directors 2021— 10.14 (Thursday) & 10.15 (Friday)


Faculty Development Workshop— Recognize, Respond and Refer (TBD)

Amber Ke Xu, Clinical Counselor

Jiahui Gu, Student Care Coordinator

Raphael Moffett, Dean of Student Affairs


Junior Faculty Research Series—09.10 (Friday)

Philip Santoso, Assistant Professor of Political Science


Faculty Development Workshop— Promoting Personal Wellness 09.09 (Thursday)

Kimberly Blackshear, Director of Time Away Office, Duke University


Junior Faculty Research Series—05.14 (Friday)

Keping Wu, Associate Professor of Anthropology


DKU, Yale-Bridges Seminars—04.23 (Friday)

Zachary M Howlett, Assistant Professor of Anthropology,Yale-NUS


Junior Faculty Research Series—03.26 (Friday)

Xin Zhang, Assistant Professor of Chinese Language and Intercultural Communications


Junior Faculty Research Series—03.12 (Friday)

Gergely Horvath, Assistant Professor of Economics


Junior Faculty Research Series—02.26 (Friday)

Benjamin Anderson, Assistant Professor of Global Health


DKU Internal Fund Info. Session in SS/AH—01.29 (Friday)

Xin Li, Ph.D. Associate Dean for Research 
James Miller, Ph.D. Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Strategy
Jingbo Cui, Ph.D. Chair of DKU Research Advisory Group  (MOE, SS, AH)
Keping Wu, Ph.D. Co-Director of CSC
Chenkai Wu, Ph.D. Director of Graduate Studies, MSC, Global Health
Junjie Zhang, Director of Environmental Research Center, Director of Master of Environmental Policy Program


Reappointment Review Workshop—01.26 (Tuesday)

Amy Shen, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs
Katherine Robertson, Director of Faculty Affairs

Link to past events

Faculty Development Workshop– Promoting Personal Wellness

Kimberly Blackshear, Director of Time Away Office from Duke University presented on “Promoting Personal Wellness—balancing work& life, handling anxiety, and keeping socially connected under Covid-19”


September 9th, 9 am-10 am Beijing time/ September 8th, 9 pm – 10 pm EST


Abstract: Everyone in the world is living under pressure, and lately various stress is being built up under Covid-19. Some DKU faculty are suffering stress from teaching online, balancing work and life, struggling with language barrier while living in a foreign country, and being apart from their loved ones who remain overseas. In this presentation, Kimberly will share with you triggers of anxiety, five dimensions of well-being, and how to promote personal wellness.


Junior Faculty Research Seminar Series-08

Philip SANTOSO, Assistant Professor of Political Science gave a presentation on the topic of “The Nature and Sources of Voters’ Beliefs about the Left-Right Positions of Political Parties” in September (see flyer below).

Presentation date& time: 9:30-10:30 am Sep 10th (Friday) Beijing Time via Zoom
• 30mins presentation
• 30mins Q&A

Introduction to Regulation and Policy for Non-Chinese Citizens in China

Branch of Exit-Entry Administration of the Kunshan Municipal Public Security Bureau

The topics will be about government policy, rules and problems foreigners may meet in their daily lives, especially during the pandemic. All non-Chinese staff and faculty members who joined DKU from 2020 should attend this session.

Date: Friday, September 3rd, 2021

Time: 9:30 – 10:30 AM

Place: AB 1079/ Zoom:https://duke.zoom.us/j/95692053186

2021 FSTA Recipients

Ben Anderson  Assistant Professor of Global Health

Received an FSTA award to support a project entitled “Detecting Routine and Novel Respiratory Viruses in China and Vietnam”. It is part of a larger project that aims to develop a low-cost, sustainable system for molecular detection of common respiratory viruses in hospitalized patients. Students in DKU will be able to be trained to carry out the procedure of high-throughput molecular testing of nasal swabs as well as other molecular diagnostic techniques by using the funded thermocyclers. Dr. Anderson has a PhD in Public Health from University of Florida; he joined DKU in 2018 .



Charles Chaoyi Chang  Assistant Professor of Environment and Urban Studies

Received an FSTA award to support his travel to the Annual Conference of the American Political Science Association in Seattle in the fall of 2021, at which he will present his paper entitled “Measuring State Infrastructure” co-authored with Yuhua Wang from Harvard University.  Dr. Chang has a Ph.D. in Environment and Resources from University of Wisconsin–Madison; he joined DKU in 2020.


Kristin Hiller Assistant Professor of English Language; Associate Director for Writing and Language Studio

Received an FSTA award to support a project entitled “Language Policy and Translingualism at Duke Kunshan University”. The aim of the project is to combine linguistic landscape analysis with interviews, observations, images and surveys, to study how language policies and practices at DKU open up or close down spaces for translingual practices.  Dr. Hiller has a Ph.D. in Linguistics, Applied Track from the University of Utah; she joined DKU in 2018.


Tyler Kustra  Assistant Professor of Political Science

Received an FSTA award to support his travel to the International Studies Association conference in Nashville in spring of 2022, where Tyler has been invited to present his paper entitled “Turning out the Lights: How do economic sanctions affect sanctioned countries?” Dr. Kustra has a Ph.D. in Politics from the New York University; he joined DKU in 2020.


Liqi Ren  Associate Director for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Lecturer of Innovation and Design

Received an FSTA award to support a project entitled “an Investigation of Cultural and Creative Industries as a Driving Force for the Social and Economic Development of the New Villages in Yangtze-Delta River Region”, Which will study the growth of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) that has been promoted by the Chinese government. The project will engage students to field sites in rural China, and the purpose of the resulting products is to develop them into a grant proposal for a larger scale investigation, and to provide students with the opportunity to create products for their signature works.  Dr. Ren has a Ph.D. in Design, Environments and the Arts from the Arizona State University; she joined DKU in 2020.


Saghar Leslie Naghib Senior Lecturer in English Language, LCC

Received an FSTA award to support a project entitled “Lived Experiences form the Pantanal: Translating Climate Change into Everyday Language”. The aim is to study how inhabitants of the Pantanal in Brazil have experienced climate change over the last 20-30 years. The study is expected to yield a paper and a documentary film that presents the conflict of climate change in Brazil and contributes to a narrative from a conflict resolution standpoint. Dr. Naghib has a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution from the Nova Southeastern University ; she joined DKU in 2019.


Xiaoqian Xu Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Received an FSTA award to support a project entitled “Pheromone Effect on Reactions between Rho-GDPase and Rho-GTPase” The project aims to use mathematical modeling to describe the pheromone effect on reactions between rho-GDPase and rho-GTPase in positive feedback pathways in eukaryotic cells. Dr. Xu has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison ; he joined DKU in 2019.

Junior Faculty Research Seminar Series-07

Keping WU, Associate Professor of Anthropology is scheduled to give a seminar in May (see below). Please email jl1093@duke.edu if you want to get the Zoom link.

Presentation date& time: May 14 (Friday) 9:30-10:30 am Beijing Time via Zoom
• 30mins presentation
• 30mins Q&A

Northwest Yunnan is nested in the border areas of Tibet, Myanmar and Southwest China. The religiously and ethnically diverse region has been astonishingly lack of “conflict,” as what is often assumed in regions of ethnic and religious differences. This paper argues that there is an organic form of pluralism through frequent inter-ethnic and inter-religious marriages, multi-lingual daily interactions and strategic ethnicity registrations. Ethnic and religious boundaries are made permanently or temporarily permeable through celebration of boundary-crossing rituals such as weddings and funerals and other shared experience such as collective labor and migrant work. Furthermore, analysis of its ideas of the spirits reveal that this region has a strong tradition that associates “the other” with power and creativity, instead of inferiority or the need to be subdued. This sacred and secular understanding of power thus enables the people to use kinship, rituals and other shared experiences to foster group-formation that is fluid, porous and malleable, instilling empathy and obligation as the basis of this pluralistic borderland society.

To be updated

DKU, Yale-NUS Bridge Seminar

Presentation date& time: April 23 (Friday) 11:00-12:00 Beijing Time via Zoom

  • 11:00-11:05am Opening Introduction

Katherine Robertson (Director, Faculty Affairs, Duke Kunshan University)

Terry NARDIN (Acting Director, Division of Social Sciences, Yale-NUS College)

  • 11:05-11:45am Presentation
  • 11:45-12:00pm Q&A

Title: Fateful Rite of Passage: The National College Entrance Exam and the Myth of Meritocracy in China

Every year some ten million high-school seniors take the National College Entrance Examination in China. For many, the exam, known as the Gaokao, represents the best opportunity to “change fate” (gaibian mingyun) by achieving social mobility. In a society dominated by social connections or guanxi, the Gaokao is widely seen as the “only relatively fair social competition.” But skyrocketing social inequality has produced wide chasms in exam scores and outcomes between different regions and socioeconomic groups. Why do people nevertheless allow themselves to be recruited into the ideology and social practice of exam-based meritocracy? I argue that the Gaokao is a fateful rite of passage: an event that is both consequential (creating or destroying value) and chancy (of undetermined outcome). Fateful events like the Gaokao form trials of merit in which people strive to personify high cultural virtues, which in China include diligence, grit, composure, filial piety (xiao), quality (suzhi), and divine favor or luck. Focusing on this moral dimension of examinations, I compare the Gaokao with China’s imperial-era civil exams (960-1904 CE) and with standardized tests in other countries.

Dr. Zachary Howlett is Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at Yale-NUS College at the National University of Singapore. He is a sociocultural anthropologist who researches education, mobility, and marriage in China. He is the author of Meritocracy and Its Discontents: Anxiety and the National College Entrance Exam in China (Cornell University Press, 2021).

Junior Faculty Research Seminar Series-06

Xin ZHANG, Assistant Professor of Chinese Language and Intercultural Communication is scheduled to give a seminar in March (see below). Please email fx28@duke.edu if you want to get the Zoom link.

Presentation date& time: March 25 (Thursday) 20:00-21:00 Beijing Time via Zoom
• 30mins presentation
• 30mins Q&A

Being able to function in a Chinese workplace is what many learners of Chinese as a Second Language (CSL) report as their long-term motivation and the ultimate goal of learning Chinese language and culture. Yet few empirical studies have investigated CSL learners at the most sophisticated level to understand what leads to and constitutes their multilingual experience and identity co-construction as a foreign professional in modern Chinese workplace. The project examines foreign professionals (including academians) with advanced Chinese skills working in a multilingual environment in China where being able to use Mandarin is integral to the subjects’ professional standing and performance. Engaging the current debate over a “multilingual/multicultural turn” in fields concerning language learning and development as well as intercultural engagement, this project adopts, and contributes to the theorization of, Third-Space personae as a key analytical notion in understanding the negotiated and co-constructed nature of selfhood/identity in multilingual and intercultural interactions.

This paper focuses on the ways race and native-speakerness as well as their ideological manifestation in a Chinese context interfere with selfhood/identity negotiation of heritage and non-heritage (white) CSL speakers. We examine if and how Third-Space personae mediate the racialized expectations of these foreign professionals in multilingual Chinese workplaces.

  • Zhu Hua, Professor and Chair of Educational Linguistics, University of Birmingham
  • Xiaobin Jian, Associate Professor of Chinese, The Ohio State University 

Junior Faculty Research Seminar Series-05

Horvath Gergely, Assistant Professor of Economics is scheduled to give a seminar to introduce his research concept (see below). Please email fx28@duke.edu if you want to get the Zoom link.

Presentation date& time: March 12 (Friday) 9:30-10:30am Beijing Time via Zoom

• 9:00 -9:30 presentation
• 9:30-10:00 Q&A

In an online experiment, we study the effectiveness of policy interventions in reducing the impact of behavioral biases on the job search. Due to the present bias, individuals set a lower search effort and a lower reservation wage than the optimal values, while the sunk-cost fallacy makes individuals reduce their reservation wage over the search spell. We compare the effects of search cost reduction and nudging on alleviating these biases. We find that search cost reduction increases the investment in the search effort and the individual welfare but not the reservation wage. Conversely, nudging increases the reservation wage, but not the investment in search effort or individual welfare. Furthermore, we show that both search cost reduction and nudging are effective in alleviating the impact of sunk-cost fallacy on the choice of the reservation wage. Our results suggest that behavioral interventions should be part of active labor market policies.

  • Andrew Schotter, Professor of Economics, NYU

Junior Faculty Research Seminar Series-04

Benjamin Anderson, Assistant Professor of Global Health is scheduled to give a seminar to introduce his study proposal in February (see below). Please email fx28@duke.edu if you want to get the Zoom link.

Presentation date& time: February 26 (Friday) 9:30-10:30 am Beijing Time via Zoom
• 30mins presentation
• 30mins Q&A

Pork production in China is rapidly increasing and swine production operations continue to expand to meet demand. Disease outbreaks can readily threaten these production sites resulting in large economic losses. Recent disease examples include porcine epidemic diarrheal virus (PEDV), highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2), and African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV). The movement of pathogens between humans and animals (zoonoses) also pose a unique challenge for disease control in swine production settings. Surveillance within swine farms can be an effective approach for the early identification of new disease threats and the mitigation of transmission before broad dissemination among a herd occurs. However, due to being moderately invasive, standard surveillance practices might not always be feasible as they may disrupt normal production operations. Furthermore, the cost of conducting surveillance, particularly in large-scale settings, could also be a barrier to its routine implementation. Non-invasive environmental bioaerosol sampling could be an effective and affordable approach for conducting routine surveillance in farms, providing an additional tool for farmers to protect their animals and themselves from new disease threats.

In this proposed two year prospective epidemiological study, we aim to 1) use a novel bioaerosol sampling approach to determine the prevalence of known swine pathogens; 2) apply a pathogen discovery algorithm to identify new disease threats; 2) evaluate the transmission dynamics of detected pathogens by comparing bioaerosol sampling, with water, fecal slurry, and surface sampling data; 4) characterize zoonotic transmission risk of detected pathogens by also studying swine worker sera and nasal wash samples.

  • Greg Gray, Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases;Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore Professor, Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases”, Duke
  • Charlie Nunn, Gosnell Family Professor in Global Health, Duke
  • Chris Woods, Duke
  • L Gayani Tillekeratne Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Gavin Smith, Professor & Interim Director | Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS
  • Lijing Yan, DKU
  • Jim Junfeng Zhang, Duke
  • Patrick Casey James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke-NUS

2021 Arts & Humanities Mini-Retreat

We cordially invite you to attend an hybrid, Arts& Humanities Retreat. Below is a outline of the event, for more details, please see event schedule.

Two morning sessions to focus on:

(1) building research funding opportunities in the Arts and Humanities and

(2) promoting the humanities at DKU and beyond (to build collaborations, experiential learning for our students, and a more general support for the Humanities in Jiangsu).

Please email fx28@duke.edu to get Zoom Password.

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