Gender + Feminism

Join us for a faculty workshop on Gender + Feminism led by Prof. Lindsay Mahon Rathnam and Qian Zhu. Explore diverse gender topics and feminist theory. Open to all interested in contemporary discourse and social movements. See you there!

Time: Feb 27, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Venue: Water Pavilion

Snacks & drinks will be served at the workshop.

“I found myself in this grey and dull city…”: Valery Pereleshin and the Russian poetry circle in wartime Shanghai

Tuesday, February 27  | From 3 to 4 pm  |CCT E4011

Join Professors Zairong Xiang and Caio Yurgel on a journey to explore:

Speaker:

Katya Knyazeva (Novosibirsk, Russia), is a historian and a journalist focusing on urban form, heritage preservation, and the Russian diaspora in Shanghai. She is the author of Shanghai Old Town. Topography of a Phantom City (Suzhou Creek Press, 2015 and 2018), among other publications. She is a Research Fellow at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy.

 

Student Report on “The Disenchantment of Love: Dating in the Digital Age among College Students in Beijing”

Reported by Lia Smith, Class of 2026

This lecture and student workshop were a part of the Gender Studies Initiative’s event series. Each event connects gender to a range of topics where gender, sexuality, and feminism are discussed.

On February 1st, 2024, this event brought together Professor Xiying Wang from Beijing Normal University and 29 event attendees for a lecture on how her new focus group data on dating culture in the digital age among college students in Beijing uncovers a new form of emerging culture and perspective on love and dating.

Following the development of communication technologies, digital media has become a mediator in all sorts of relationships, one of them being dating. This is evident in how young single people are making friends and finding dating partners through the digital world. However, through the standardization of communication technologies, perspectives on love and dating, relationship categorization, and the ways in which relationships start and end begin to take on different forms from our traditional understanding.

The May 4th movement symbolized new forms of modernity including love, freedom, democracy, and science. Professor Wang proceeds to explain how the growing process of intellectualization and rationalization has resulted in a belief that we are no longer ruled by mysterious, unpredictable forces. So, does technology make love a more concrete and predictable force? Does it disenchant love?

Professor Wang continues her lecture by introducing the data from her study, focusing on what words are used to address dating, ranging from traditional terms to playful, uncommitted phrases. These different ways of describe and address their dating situations show that college students have diversified dating experiences.

Some relationships start and end online, often referred to 恋爱永远在线 in Chinese. They use online chats to go on dates, they confess feelings and love online, and when the relationship is made official, they announce their dating partner on online platforms. Major milestones and relationship building all happen online. Additionally, when there are issues in these types of relationships, they seek help or quarrel in public online forums. Following the pattern, these relationships also break-up online as well. These individuals see every app as a potential dating app, since the internet is an unlimited space to get to know people.

These online relationships have massive benefits of anonymity, mobility, flexibility. However, there are those who argue that technology has added a false touch to dating. With online interactions, the interactions could be inauthentic. This is seen with heavy photoshop usage and online exchanges that are misinterpreted.

These changes in interactions and relationship developments have also altered the ideal of love. People seem to no longer believe in the idea of romantic love; instead, the emphasis is on communication, tolerance, mutual pursuit and growth.

After the lecture, the student workshop offered students who attended the lecture the opportunity to discuss their different perspectives and observations on Professor Wang’s new research with her. Students shared how the DKU community environment, with its mesh of both the international and domestic population, created a different dynamic and perspective of love that could potentially be relevant to her research. Additionally, Professor Wang and students talked about how money and status play into both on-online and in-person romantic relations, with an example being only daughters from the Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai areas. Finally, students shared some of the research projects and received feedback and suggestions from Professor Wang.

Student Report on “Health X Series”

By Dong Ding

Recently, DKU Health Humanities Lab (HHL) initiated the new series “Health X”, aiming to bridge the gap between health and humanities and explore the interdisciplinary opportunities of the two subjects. On Feb 7th, 2024, HHL held its inaugural event, a lecture on the topic of “Health X Media”. Our guest speaker, Prof. Fan Liang, the Assistant Professor of Media at DKU, gave an informative and insightful presentation about the role of digital media in health communication.

With forty students and faculty attending, we spent an exceptionally valuable and intellectually stimulating hour. The presentation delved into how social media platforms can influence public health, the psychological mechanisms behind persuasion, the spread and correction of health-related misinformation, and the ethical considerations of AI in health communication. It highlighted the importance of understanding these dynamics to effectively communicate health information and combat misinformation in the digital age. A significant behavioral science concept, the elaboration likelihood model, was mentioned, which was applied to help us better understand health communication and misinformation.

In the Q&A session, the students and the professor engaged in a very interesting discussion about whether behavioral change truly requires a change in mindset as a premise, and whether a change in mindset can necessarily lead to a change in behavior. The discussion delved into the complexities of human psychology and the factors that influence our actions, highlighting the intricate relationship between thought and behavior.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the participants for their active engagement in this event. The discussions and insights shared have significantly contributed to the understanding of the complex interplay between health and media. We look forward to continuing this meaningful dialogue and furthering our collective knowledge in the upcoming events of the “Health X” series.

Student Report on the Screening of ‘Blurring The Color Line’

By Anjini Mani

On November 30th, 2023, DKU hosted award-winning filmmaker Crystal Kwok to share her film “Blurring the Color Line” (2022). Sponsored by UG Studies and the Humanities Research Center (Freedom Lab, Doc Lab, and co-host SuperDeep), the screening was followed by a Q&A session, and a filmmaker and storyteller salon the next day.

Over 150 students and faculty attended the film screening, packing the DKU theater. The short film captivated and touched the audience in different ways. Through the lens of her own family, Kwok narrates race relations in the United States between Chinese Americans and African Americans living in Augusta, Georgia, in the US South. The period revolves around the Jim Crow era, a period of American history that divided, disadvantaged, and discriminated against African Americans in social and legal systems. Kwok draws these stories to the present, illustrating a progression and a greater understanding connecting two worlds, but also systemic racial oppression left behind in the past proliferating still in our communities. The narrative was hard-hitting and emotional, putting in the light an understudied history, forgotten by our high school textbooks. Coming to terms with an uncomfortable past one would rather not face was difficult but important for the young generation to learn, remember, and most of all, understand the present day.

Students and faculty raised intelligent questions in the Q&A section, with curiosity fueled by a deeply introspective film experience. Many felt connected to different parts of the film within their own lives, sharing their unique experiences with the group. Kwok shared the internal dialogue she had in the course of making the film, explaining how the journey of interviewing and storytelling profoundly molded her own views and perspectives on life and family.

Following the screening and Q&A the next day was a filmmaker and storyteller salon in the water pavilion. In a smaller, more intimate group of students, together with Professor Selina Lai-Henderson, Kwok elaborated further on the filmmaking process, taking students on a deep dive of the art of storytelling. The discussion ranged from the more technical parts of filmmaking to the more human side of sharing lives and experiences in the form of art. Students talked about personal experiences of racism and observations of race relations in their own countries and cultures. The intersection of feminism and race relations was a particularly interesting topic; the group discussed the implications of modern feminism and its connection with the erasure of important stories and perspectives.

A heartfelt thank you to all participants for contributing to meaningful dialogues in this event. We trust that it has ignited discussions, introspection, and curiosity in your lives, as it has in ours. Despite its challenges, acknowledging history is vital – the past shapes the present, and the present shapes the future.

Student Report on Superdeep Seminar “Wild Experiment: Feeling Science and Secularism after Darwin”

By Anjini Mani

On Thursday, January 11th, HRC’s Superdeep held a discussion with Donovan Schaefer from the University of Pennsylvania on his monograph, Wild Experiment: Feeling Science & Secularism After Darwin. The conversation focused primarily on the thesis that thinking and feeling are not separate– a commonly held conception by traditional thinkers– but rather are intrinsically linked to one another. To be more specific, thinking is linked with feelings, but not necessarily that feeling must always be connected to thinking. 

In a group of 10 students, Schaefer presented a slideshow elaborating on five key points from his book. After presenting, he invited the students to share their thoughts or questions. Students connected the book to their own cultures and their own experiences, offering both perspectives and new questions to tackle. One discussion that came up was the mystery of dreams. For a long time philosophers, scientists, and artists have attempted to define dreams, to understand them, to crack their code. A dream is a door to the human subconscious and a fascinating topic of conversation. 

The event sparked deep contemplation, self-reflection, and vibrant conversations. Thank you for attending, and continue to examine life to the fullest! 

Student Report on the Screening and Discussion of “Blurring the Color Line”

By Anjini Mani

On November 30th, 2023, DKU hosted award-winning filmmaker Crystal Kwok to share her film “Blurring the Color Line”. The screening was followed by a Q&A session, and a salon the next day.  

Over 150 students attended the film screening, packing the DKU theater. The short film captivated and touched students in different ways. Through the lens of her own family, Kwok narrates race relations in the United States between Chinese Americans and African Americans living in the South. The period is centered around the Jim Crow era, a period of American history that divided, disadvantaged, and discriminated against African Americans in social and legal systems. Kwok draws these stories to the present, illustrating a progression and a greater understanding connecting two worlds, but also the things still left behind in the past proliferating still in our communities. The narrative was hard-hitting and emotional, putting in the light an understudied history, forgotten by our high school textbooks. Coming to terms with uncomfortable facts one would rather not face was difficult but important for the young generation to learn, remember, and most of all, understand the present day. 

Students and faculty raised intelligent questions in the Q&A section, curiosity fueled by a deeply introspective film experience. Many felt connected to different parts of the film within their own lives, sharing their unique experiences with the group. Kwok shared the internal dialogue she had in the course of making the film, explaining how the journey of interviewing and storytelling profoundly molded her own views and perspectives on life and family. 

The salon took place in the water pavilion. In a smaller, more intimate group of students, Kwok elaborated further on the filmmaking process, taking students on a deep dive of the art of storytelling. The discussion ranged from the more technical parts of filmmaking to the more human side of sharing lives and experiences in the form of art. Students talked about personal experiences of racism and observations of race relations in their own countries and cultures. The intersection of feminism and race relations was a particularly interesting topic; the group discussed the implications of modern feminism and its connection with the erasure of important stories and perspectives. 

A heartfelt thank you to all participants for contributing to this event. We trust that it has ignited discussions, introspection, and curiosity in your lives, as it has in ours. Despite its challenges, acknowledging history is vital – the past shapes the present, and the present shapes the future.

Student Report on Citizenship Lab Research Symposium

Reported by Cody Schmidt, class of 2025

This symposium was hosted by HRC’s Citizenship Lab. The Lab provides funding and resources to various research projects exploring manifestations and expressions of citizenship throughout the world.

The Humanities Research Center’s Citizenship Lab hosted a research symposium on November 24th, providing students and faculty an opportunity to present and solicit feedback on their work. Multiple disciplines were represented across the three convened panels, each of which involved Q&A sessions to foster dialogue among participants and audience members.

The Citizenship Lab’s co-directors, Professor Quinlan Bowman and Professor Robin Rodd, began the symposium by providing opening remarks regarding the Citizenship Lab’s mission, including understanding the citizen’s role in mobilization for resistance and activism.

The first panel of the symposium, “Equality, Belonging, and Solidarity,” was moderated by Professor Rodd. Professor Hyun Jeong Ha began the panel with her research into a South Korean religious group, the Shincheonji. Her research to date has featured interviews with 20 Koreans to analyze their experiences with the group and explore how their identification with this religious movement shapes their sense of belonging in Korean society. The second presenter for this session was a senior student, Jiyuan Sun. He provided an overview of his signature work project on autonomy-based conceptions of democratic equality.

Jiyuan reflected on his experience, saying, “I feel glad to have the opportunity to present my signature work at the point where a full draft is coming into shape, and to jump out of philosophy’s ‘armchair’ and engage with faculty members and students approaching citizenship topics from diverse disciplinary vantage points.”

“Nature, Culture, and Citizenship” was the overarching theme of the second panel. Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science Claudia Nisa served as the moderator, and also presented her work on the use of reclassification of farm animals as domestic pets and the subsequent effect it has on individuals. Julián Bilmes from Universidad Nacional de La Plata/Fudan Development Institute examined the Chinese-Argentinian relations in the area of natural resource governance. An iMEP student Lingyu He closed the session, presenting fieldwork she undertook in Tibet concerning religious artifacts and their commodification in modern consumer markets.

The final session was entitled “Power and Social Movements.” Professor Coraline Goron moderated and presented first on the panel. Her fieldwork explored citizen science projects in China and how they play a role in expanding citizen capacities in the country. Tanya Torchylo, a senior student, followed. She presented her insights into the way in which Information and Communication Technology facilitated the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2014.

“The symposium provided a fantastic opportunity for me to contemplate the progress of my signature work. Given that my research is ongoing, this reflection allowed me to organize the theories I’ve already explored, pinpoint weaknesses, and develop a clearer vision of how I want to shape my key argument,” Tanya said of the symposium.

Fellow undergraduates, Cody Schmidt and Lucas Chacko, presented next. Like Tanya, they focused on their signature work projects. They explained the meaning of “degrowth” and its connections to current political movements in Colombia. A PhD student at James Cook University, Helena Lopez Anderson, closed the symposium. She led the audience through a digital tour of Perth, Australia, describing how architecture throughout the city reflects the different stories and perspectives of citizenship for white and Indigenous groups.

Event Report on Innovations in Museum Experiences Through Extended Reality: Dr. Yue Li’s Insights

On Thursday, October 26th, 2023, DKU Humanities Research Center (HRC) sponsored an enlightening talk by Dr. Yue Li, titled “Museum Collections in Extended Reality: Explorations on 3D Artifact Interaction and Manipulation Techniques in Virtual Reality and Tangible Interfaces using Augmented Reality.” This Zoom event, organized and hosted by Dr. Xin Tong from HRC’s Anthropocene XR Lab, garnered significant interest, attracting an audience of 35 attendees from diverse backgrounds who are DKU faculty and students.

Dr. Yue Li embarked on an in-depth exploration of the intersection between extended reality (XR) technologies and museum experiences. Her presentation centered on the transformative potential of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in enhancing the accessibility and interactivity of museum collections. She delved into the nuances of various interaction and manipulation techniques in VR, such as controller-based and hand-tracking interactions, alongside direct and indirect manipulation methods.

The audience, open to the public, engaged actively with Dr. Li, discussing the implications of these XR technologies for future museum design, cultural heritage learning, and museum gifting. The interactive session reflected a keen interest in how XR could revolutionize our interaction with history and culture in educational and recreational contexts.

Event Report on HRC Anthropocene XR Lab Guest Talk Series: Understanding, Predicting, and Enhancing User Behavior in Mixed Reality by Dr. Yukang Yan

On November 17th, Dr. Yukang Yan, an Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester, presented an engaging talk titled “Understand, Predict, and Enhance User Behavior in Mixed Reality.” This virtual Zoom event, organized by Dr. Xin Tong and hosted by Dr. Charles Chang from DKU HRC Anthropocene XR Lab, delved into the evolving realm of human-computer interaction in Mixed Reality (MR).

Dr. Yan’s research focuses on the intersection of digital and physical realities through MR, shedding light on its profound impact on user perception and interaction. He emphasized the shift in user interaction beyond traditional screens, highlighting the importance of understanding and adapting to these changes. The talk detailed his approach to observing and modeling the behavioral and perceptual patterns of users in MR environments. Dr. Yan’s user studies form the basis for developing innovative interaction techniques tailored to these behavioral shifts. Additionally, Dr. Yan explored augmentation methods that enable users to exceed their real-world capabilities, such as embodying virtual avatars that offer unique experiences not possible in reality. His work on embodying healthier or non-humanoid avatars in MR environments sparked intriguing discussions among the audience.

The talk attracted a diverse group of over 15 attendees from the DKU community, who are interested in the latest developments in human-computer interaction and Mixed Reality. Dr. Yan’s insights provided a comprehensive understanding of current trends and future possibilities in MR, stimulating thoughtful discussions and questions from the audience.