Citizenship Lab Calls for Grant Applications for Faculty-Student Research Collaboration

The Citizenship Lab invites applications for funding from faculty, Class of 2024, and Class of 2025 students working on or developing Signature Work (SW) projects related to citizenship.

Citizenship Lab Faculty Grants

The Citizenship Lab, part of DKU’s Humanities Research Center, invites proposals from faculty working on projects related to citizenship (broadly construed). The Lab will provide funding of up to 10,000 RMB, and the call will remain open until the available funds are exhausted. Grants may be used to cover any research expenses so long as the project involves collaboration with student researchers. Projects leading to or involving Signature Work (SW) are encouraged but not mandatory. If required, the Lab can assist in identifying students interested in conducting SW in a related field.

Applications should include an abstract-length proposal (300-500 words), a brief statement explaining the anticipated role of the student(s) in the project, and a proposed budget. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please submit your application, or any queries, to by 15 November 2023.

Citizenship Lab Student Grants

The Citizenship Lab invites Class of 2024 and Class of 2025 students working on or developing Signature Work (SW) projects related to citizenship (broadly construed) to apply for funding of up to 5,000 RMB. Grants may be used to cover any research expenses including those relating to field-based and experiential learning activities. Proposals must indicate whether you have or are seeking a mentor.

Applications should include an abstract-length proposal (300-500 words). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Finalists may be asked to provide additional information, including a proposed budget and budget justification. Please submit your application, or any queries, to by 15 November 2023.

Addendum: Potential Research Topics

The Citizenship Lab welcomes applications on projects relating to the following topics. (This is a non-exhaustive list of topics that the Lab will consider funding.)

  • Political participation or active citizenship
  • Historical formation of political communities
  • Extending rights beyond the human
  • Environmental justice and activism
  • Climate change and social justice
  • Indigenous social movements
  • Memory and responsibility for (in)justice
  • Including future generations in present citizenship practices
  • The future of citizenship
  • Democratic innovations
  • Digital civic participation and engagement
  • Citizenship in non-democratic regimes
  • Struggles for and over the rights
  • Gender, racial, or class inequality
  • AI, Big Data, and citizenship
  • Surveillance capitalism, privacy, and freedom
  • Democratizing transnational and/or global governance
  • Planetary or cosmopolitan notions of citizenship
  • Refugees, borders, and walls
  • Home and belonging
  • Global health and citizenship

Congratulations to Titas Chakraborty on her recent publications

Congratulations to Titas Chakraborty on her recent publications!


“Nederlandse slavernij in Zuid-Azië “(Dutch Slavery in South Asia) in Staat en Slavernij, eds, Rosemary Allen, Matthias van Rossum, Esther Captain, Urwin Vyent (Athenaeum, 2023) 

This chapter provides an overview of the nature and impact of slavery and slave trade as carried out by the Dutch East India company in South Asia. The chapter was part of a book commissioned by the Dutch Ministry by the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), as a direct result of a motion filed by Dutch parliamentary Don Ceder which asked the Dutch government to present the results of independent national research into the history of slavery and into “what took place at the time of slavery, on behalf of whom and how” before the end of 2023. The publication of the book accompanied the King of Netherlands’ public apology for the Dutch state’s involvement in slavery and slave trade.

“Slavery in the Indian Ocean World” in The Palgrave Handbook of Global Slavery, eds, Damian Pargas and Juliane Schiel (Palgrave MacMillan 2023)  

This chapter provides a comprehensive history of various forms of slavery in what came to be known in historical works as the Indian Ocean World, or a specific zone of multi-regional connections through maritime practices. It explores the dynamics of enslavement including the trade in slaves, the range of work that enslaved men and women performed, and the possibilities of social mobility for slaves and ex-slaves. In doing so, the chapter familiarizes readers with three major historiographical debates in the field, namely, who/what constituted the figure of a slave; the relationship between slavery in the Indian Ocean world and other forms of bondage such as the Atlantic slavery and indentured servitude; and the relationship between abolition and colonialism in the Indian Ocean world. 


Titas Chakraborty is Assistant Professor of History. Her work focusses on slavery, labor, migration and gender in South Asia and the Indian Ocean World.

Congratulations to Caio Yurgel on his recent publication!

Congratulations to Caio Yurgel on his recent publication!

God, a Metaphor: A Meditation on Alejandra Pizarnik’s ‘Awakening.’ TEXT 27 (Special 70): 1–14. 2023.


Alejandra Pizarnik’s life was a long preparation for suicide. But instead of letting the Argentine poet’s death define her legacy, this article will focus on her intellectual sparring with the notion of God – and her ultimate strategy of turning God into a strawman for her own processes of creation. In her diaries, Pizarnik vows – like a prayer – never to call on God, never to invoke him. This is, she writes, the ultimate test: her blood may boil, her screams may consume her, her veins may burst, but she would rather keep her mouth shut. Pizarnik couldn’t bring herself to believe in God – which means she couldn’t stop writing about him.

This article will centre its analysis on Pizarnik’s most famous poem, “Awakening,” in which she repeatedly invokes the Lord (“Lord / the cage has turned into a bird / and taken flight”) until she turns him into something else, something darker still. By resorting to her diaries spanning the late 50s until her death in the early 70s, as well as her connection to the oeuvres of Sylvia Plath, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Jacques Lacan, this article will show how Pizarnik – labeled as a “gifted girl” – was placed (and placed herself) in the impossible position of being expected to be ambitious (because she was gifted) but not too ambitious (because she was a woman). “Awakening,” written and published between 1956 and 1958, articulates the turning point of Pizarnik’s extreme position toward God: how can someone who pushed herself so hard accept a God that would be willing to forgive anything? Continue reading “Congratulations to Caio Yurgel on his recent publication!”

Congratulations to Hyun Jeong Ha on her new article in the Journal of Peace Research and the Excellent Academic Book Award

Congratulations to Hyun Jeong Ha on her new article!

Klocek, J., Ha, H., & Sumaktoyo, N. G. (2023). Regime change and religious discrimination after the Arab uprisings. Journal of Peace Research 60.3: 489–503.  Continue reading “Congratulations to Hyun Jeong Ha on her new article in the Journal of Peace Research and the Excellent Academic Book Award”

Upcoming Events of the Gender Studies Initiative

The Gender Studies Initiative is pleased to announce its lineup of events for the fall semester 2023. Explore a wide range of topics including gender inequality, sexuality, gender identity formation, feminism,  liberation and more. 

  • October 11: Gender+Body 
  • October 23: Buddhist Nunneries in Sichuan
  • October 25: Gender+Household
  • November 7: Lecture: “Bury the Corpse of Colonialism: The Revolutionary Feminist Conference of 1949” 
  • November 10: Lecture: “Homosocial, Homophobia, Misogyny:  Understanding Patriarchal Society”
  • November 12: Gender+Education
  • November 22: Gender+Feminism

Faculty and students are invited to join the Gender Studies Initiative, a place for everyone to explore gender conversations

Contact Lia Smith <> or Yixin Gu <> for more information.

McaM 2023 Youth Theater Drawing the Lines: Spinning and Weaving Histories at a River’s End

A research project initiated by Ho Rui An and Zian Chen in collaboration with Feng Haoxin, Liew Xiao Theng, Sun Jiyuan, Wang Ruohan, Xiong Xin, Yan Jiayue, Zeng Yuting, Zhang Tianyu, Zhang Yilin, Zhou Feiyang

Duration: 7th-11th Oct, 2023

Public Program: 7th Oct,2023 (Sat)

Organizers: Ming Yuan Group, Ming Contemporary Art Museum

Supported by: DKUNST Art on Campus|Division of Arts and Humanities | Humanities Research Center, Duke Kunshan University

Drawing the Lines: Spinning and Weaving Histories at a River’s End is a research project initiated by Ho Rui An and Zian Chen that examines the historical development of the textile industry within the Yangtze River Delta region beginning in the late nineteenth century. Following a six-month process of fieldwork, archival research, and workshops supported by Duke Kunshan University’s (DKU) DKUNST Art on Campus program and with the participation of DKU undergraduates, the project culminates in a research-based installation and one-day public program at Ming Contemporary Art Museum—formerly the premises of a paper machine factory in a reflection of Shanghai’s industrial heritage. 

The installation organizes the materials gathered over the research process into three sections, namely Narration, Network, and Noise, each providing an artistically inspired framework to probe into the shifting relations between labor, technology, and capital across over a century of textile histories in the region. Through the public program, the objects and images on display are further articulated through a series of live interventions that include a lecture, guided tour, mapping exercise, and tea session with former textile workers.

The DKUNST Art on Campus program is curated by Prof. Zairong Xiang.

Student Report on Picture a Scientist Screening and Discussion

Reported by Lia Smith, Class of 2026

The screening and discussion of Picture a Scientist was the first Gender Studies Initiative event of the Fall 2023 semester. Picture a Scientist is a powerful documentary that illustrates challenges faced by women scientists in the U.S. Women scientists in various fields such as biology, chemistry, and geology discuss their daily encounters of harassment, both big and small. These encounters can range from degradation and bullying from mentors, failing to get the same-sized office compared to their male collogues, and seemingly minor but constant harassment at work. This documentary also reveals the intersectionalities that are at play with gender to further marginalize women of color and women of older age in the field. Continue reading “Student Report on Picture a Scientist Screening and Discussion”

Student Report on Gender + Mind Talk

Reported by Lia Smith, Class of 2026

The HRC Gender Studies Initiative‘s Gender+ series continued on Wednesday, September 13, 2023with a discussion of Gender+Mind in DKU’s Water Pavilion. This event brought philosophy professors Hwa Yeong Wang and Emily McWilliams together for a conversation on the development of philosophical thought in relation to gender. Continue reading “Student Report on Gender + Mind Talk”

Congratulations to Gürol Baba on his recent publications!

Congratulations to Gürol Baba, Global Fellow of Arts and Humanities at DKU, on the recent publication of a special issue on the theme of South Asian Impulses in the Middle East: An Asymmetrical Transregionalism, in the Journal of Asian and African Studies, which he guest edited with his colleague Amit Ranhan. The issue features Baba and Ranjan’s introduction, as well as Baba’s research article Middle East–South Asia Relations: Transregional Minilateralism Cemented with Bilateralism.
Continue reading “Congratulations to Gürol Baba on his recent publications!”