The Humanities Research Center is led by two co-directors, James Miller at Duke Kunshan University, and Carlos Rojas at Duke University. The co-directors work with an advisory board of scholars from both universities. The center welcomes the involvement of all Duke faculty, DKU faculty, and affiliated scholars whose work has a humanistic dimension.


James Miller

James Miller, PhD
James Miller is the inaugural Professor of Humanities at Duke Kunshan University and the former Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Strategy. He is co-director of the Humanities Research Center and responsible for fostering interdisciplinary research in the arts, humanities and interpretive social sciences at DKU. His research lies at the intersection of religion, philosophy, culture and ecology, and he is a noted expert on Daoism, China’s indigenous religion. He has published seven books including China’s Green Religion: Daoism and the Quest for a Sustainable Future (Columbia 2017).

Carlos Rojas

Carlos Rojas, PhD
Carlos Rojas is Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies; Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies; and Arts of the Moving Image. His research focuses on issues of gender and visuality, corporeality and infection, and nationalism and diaspora studies, particularly as they relate to the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the global Chinese diaspora. He works primarily in the early modern, modern, and contemporary periods. He is the author of three books: The Naked Gaze: Reflection on Chinese Modernity, The Great Wall: A Cultural History, and Homesickness: Culture, Contagion, and National Transformation. He is the co-editor of five books: Writing Taiwan: A New Literary History (with David Der-wei Wang), Rethinking Chinese Popular Culture: Cannibalizations of the Canon (with Eileen Cheng-yin Chow), The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas (with Eileen Cheng-yin Chow), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures (with Andrea Bachner), and Ghost Protocol: Development and Displacement in Global China (with Ralph Litzinger). He is also the translator of five volumes of literary fiction, including Yu Hua’s Brothers (translated with Eileen Cheng-yin Chow, and shortlisted for the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize), Yan Lianke’s Lenin’s Kisses, The Four Books, The Explosion Chronicles, and Marrow (of which The Four Books shortlisted for both the 2016 Man Booker International Prize and the 2016 FT/Oppenheimer Emerging Voices Award), and Malaysian Chinese author Ng Kim Chew’s Slow Boat to China and Other Stories.

Senior Program Coordinator

Eugenie Chao

Eugenie Chao

Eugenie Chao received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and her Master’s degree in Performing Arts Administration both from New York University. In her professional life, Eugenie has focused on making arts accessible. She has taught music in public schools and ceramics in her local community. She also organized antique art fairs, and, most recently, managed public art events for Arts Brookfield. She brings her broad experiences as an arts educator and arts administrator to the Humanities Research Center. As Senior Program Coordinator, Eugenie is responsible for the overall administration of the Center’s activities by supporting its research programs, labs, workshops, and conferences to foster interdisciplinary research and exchange in the arts, humanities, and interpretive social science at DKU.

Advisory Board

Titas Chakraborty, PhD
Assistant Professor of History at Duke Kunshan University

Chris Chia, PhD (ex officio)
Associate Director of the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University

Michaeline Crichlow,  PhD
Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies and Sociology at Duke University

Ranjana Khanna, PhD (ex officio)
Professor of English, Women’s Studies, and the Literature Program at Duke University, and Director of the Franklin Humanities Institute

Selina Lai-Henderson, PhD
Assistant Professor of American Literature and History at Duke Kunshan University

Prasenjit Duara, PhD
Oscar L. Tang Family Distinguished Professor of East Asian Studies at Duke University

Affiliated Students

Zainab Farooqui

Zainab Farooqui

Zainab Farooqui is from Lahore, Pakistan. She is in the graduating class of 2023. She is a Global Cultural Studies Major at Duke Kunshan. In the past, she has written a scholarly article for a team-based research project on Clarice Lispector’s “The Hour of the Star”, which is set to be published in a significant Portuguese literature magazine. She also participated in Stephanie Anderson’s Project “An Archive of Spies in the Audience”, where she focused on writing modules for both a breakdown of publishing and its elements and the necessity of community in producing a physical magazine. She has been working as an Editorial Assistant for the Shanghai Literary Review- for the past two years, curating pieces for online promotions and organizing magazine events.

Xiao (Anne) Liu

Anne Liu

Xiao (Anne) LIU majors in Media and Arts/Art History (UG 23’). She works as the photographer and videographer for the HRC, covering events, seminars, and conferences. Anne’s research focuses on the Silk Road history, imperial Chinese history, and material culture, and she embraces an interdisciplinary approach. Topics in the humanities always fascinate her. She also enjoys reading, traveling, taking photos, and visiting museums.

Zishuo Wu

Zishuo Wu

Zishuo Wu is from Wuhan, China, from the class of 2024, majoring in Psychology in Behavior Science. He is an HRC Student Assistant who is supporting HRC’s Chinese social media and is also a reporter for HRC events. He has reported dozens of HRC events, including the General Report of the 2021 Fall Conference. To Zishuo, HRC is a place full of wisdom and knowledge, providing every one of its members with a comprehensive and splendid learning-and-sharing platform.