12 New Dissertation Reviews Fields Coming 2012-13


We are proud to announce that, starting in the 2012-13 academic year, Dissertation Reviews will undergo a major expansion to include 12 new and enlarged fields (for a total of 15 fields in all). If you would like to have your dissertation reviewed, or help us by serving as a reviewer, please contact dissertationreviews@gmail.com.

Our new fields, and their respective Field Editors, include:

Bioethics (Tamara Kayali)
Chinese Literature (Lucas Klein)
Inner Asian Studies (Loretta Kim)
*Korean Studies (John DiMoia)
Medical Anthropology (Orkideh Behrouzan and Leon Rocha)
Premodern Japanese Literature (William Fleming)
Russian Studies (Elizabeth McGuire and Philippa Hetherington)
South Asian Studies (Rebecca Grapevine)
Southeast Asian Studies (Chiara Formichi)
Tibetan and Himalayan Studies (Nicole Willock and Nancy G. Lin)
Visual Studies (Rikke Schmidt Kjaergaard)
[* Korean Studies is both a continuation and expansion of the field pioneered this past year by Nancy Abelmann and Laura Nelson]

In addition, our current constellation of fields will continue to operate, featuring reviews of work in:

Chinese History (Thomas S. Mullaney)
Japan Studies (Dennis Frost)
Science Studies (Leon Rocha)



Orkideh Behrouzan (Medical Anthropology) is an Assistant Professor in medical anthropology at the UTMB Institute for the Medical Humanities. Her research focuses on global and cross-cultural psychiatry, mental health, trauma and subjectivity. Using both anthropology and Science Technology Studies (STS) as conceptual frameworks, she has combined multi-sited and cross-national ethnography with discourse analysis, with focus on historical and social analysis of biosciences and biotechnologies, interdisciplinary analysis of psychiatric and neuroscientific subjectivities, as well as history and anthropology of the Middle East. Dr. Behrouzan received her PhD from MIT in History and Anthropology of Science, Technology and Society (HASTS) in 2010. Prior to coming to the United States in 2005, she was a graduate student and research scholar in the Department of Clinical Medicine at University of Oxford, UK, where she studied molecular genetics. Prior to that, she was trained as physician and researcher at Tehran University. Currently, she is working on the manuscript of her first monograph, Prozàk Diaries, based on her doctoral dissertation, for which she received the 2011 Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award in Social Sciences, from the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA). Dr. Behrouzan is fluent in English and French (as well as her native Persian), and competent in Spanish and classic Arabic.

John P. DiMoia (Modern Korea) is Assistant Professor in History at the National University of Singapore, where he teaches courses about the history of Modern Korea (1876-present) as well as the broader history of Science, Medicine, and Technology (Western Europe, North America, East Asia / 18th century-present). He is also affiliated with the STS group at the University and is an Associate Fellow at Tembusu College at NUS. He holds a PhD in the History of Science from Princeton University (2007) with a dissertation on the formation of South Korean scientific institutions and practices (1945-present), and in much revised form, this book project is currently under review under the working title Reconstructing Bodies: Biomedicine, Health, and Nation-Building in South Korea Since 1945. Other interests include the history of disease and epidemics, the comparative history of statistics, demography and epidemiological practices, the history of nuclear power, and energy issues since the mid to late 19th century.

William Fleming (Premodern Japanese Literature) is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University, and in 2012-13 will start as Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures and Theater Studies at Yale. He specializes in the literature and cultural history of early modern Japan. His dissertation, entitled “The World Beyond the Walls: Morishima Chūryō (1756-1810) and the Development of Late Edo Fiction” (Harvard 2011), explores the rich interrelationship between early modern Japanese fiction and contemporary intellectual movements including nativist studies and inquiry into Dutch, vernacular Chinese, and Russian materials. The dissertation challenges the view of Edo fiction as largely isolated from outside influence and offers a new way of thinking about the transformation of gesaku, the period’s so-called “playful literature,” from a pastime of the intellectual elite into a form of true popular fiction. His current research interests include the representation of disease and the body in premodern Japanese literature and the reception of Chinese fiction in the late Edo period, with a particular focus on the case of Pu Songling’s celebrated collection of “strange” tales, Liaozhai zhiyi.

Chiara Formichi (Southeast Asian Studies) is Assistant Professor of Asian and International Studies at City University of Hong Kong. She has a PhD in History of Southeast Asia (SOAS, London), and her background is in Arabic language and Islamic Studies (BA Hons., University of Rome “La Sapienza”), and Southeast Asian Studies (MA, SOAS). Her academic interest in Indonesia developed after she started her undergraduate studies in Rome, and it was a confluence of fascination with the political position of Islam there, and her upbringing in Bali, where is only performed by Javanese migrants (for the most part) and under the heavy shadow of a Hindu majority. PhD research developed around the life and political career of Kartosuwiryo, leader of the Darul Islam movement and head of an Islamic state of Indonesian in the 1949-1962 period. The related monograph is titled Islam and the making of the nation: Kartosuwiryo and Political Islam in 20th century Indonesia, and will come out in 2012, co-published by KITLV and University of Hawai’i Press. Current research has focussed on the transfer and impact of Mustafa Kemal’s secularization reforms to Indonesia, as well as on ‘Alid piety and the formation of Shi’i communities in contemporary Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. On this she has a co-edited volume Shi’ism and Beyond: Alid Piety in Muslim Southeast Asia (Formichi and Feener, eds) which is also to be published in 2012. Her research interests range from modern Islamic political thought, contemporary expressions of Islam, and transnational connections between Muslim Southeast Asia and the greater Middle Eastern region. She teaches undergraduate courses on Religion and Society in Asia, History and Society in Asia, and postgraduate modules on Transnational Islam, and State and Society in the Middle East.

Rebecca Grapevine (South Asian Studies) is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation, “A Common Law Doctrine in a Post-Colonial World: Coverture in India, 1945-70,” examines the history of a patriarchal English legal doctrine in India after Independence. Her broader scholarly interests include Indian legal history, and its connections to American and English legal history, the history of 20th century India, and the history of religion in India. She is fluent in Hindi and has a reading knowledge of Urdu. From 2008 to 2010, she conducted archival research in New Delhi and Lucknow, India with the support of a Fulbright-Hays DDRA fellowship. She also spent two terms as a visiting student at the Delhi University Faculty of Law, where she studied Family Law and Constitutional Law.

Philippa Hetherington (Russian Studies) is a PhD candidate in Russian history at Harvard University. She is currently completing research for her dissertation, titled “Victims of the Social Temperament: Prostitution, Migration and the Traffic in Women in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union.” Building on research conducted in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Odessa, Geneva and London, this project examines the emergence of ‘trafficking in women’ as a specific crime in turn of the century Russia, and links this with the development of international humanitarian law, imperial governance, and migratory regimes. Her broader interests include the history of gender and sexuality, comparative legal history, and culture and society at the fin-de-siècle.

Tamara Kayali (Bioethics) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Social Sciences at Cambridge University. Her PhD dissertation focuses on issues of control, responsibility and the self in depression and used qualitative interviews with women to explore this topic. She has a variety of research interests, but is primarily interested in the ethics and sociology of medicine. She first completed a Bachelor in Biotechnology from the Australian National University before studying bioethics in her Honours year at Sydney University as well as during her MPhil at Cambridge University. She has also worked in the Department of Health and Aging in Australia and in mental health research.

Loretta Kim (Inner Asian Studies) is Assistant Professor History at Hong Kong Baptist University. She holds AM and PhD degrees from Harvard University, and started her academic career at the State University of New York at Albany. Her primary research interests are Qing-dynasty frontier administration, the history of Northeastern China from 1600 to the present, and ethnicity in contemporary China. In addition to these topics, she has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on 20th century Chinese history in film, Europeans in East Asia during the 15th through 19th centuries, and comparative cases of imperialism and colonialism in Asia.

Rikke Schmidt Kjaergaard (Visual Studies) is Assistant Professor of Visual Communication of Nanoscience at Aarhus University (Denmark). She received her PhD in Science Communication in 2008, and have since held Postdoctoral Fellowships at University of Cambridge and Harvard University working with optimizing visual communication in molecular biology. Her research focuses on animation and graphics in science, and on how changing technologies, and changing modes and usage of visualization tools transform visual representation, the scientific process, scientific communication and visual culture, and inspire scientific innovation. Her most recent publication is the chapter “Things to see and do: how scientific images work” for the book Successful Science Communication: Telling it like it is (Cambridge University Press 2011).

Lucas Klein (Chinese Literature) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Chinese, Translation & Linguistics at the City University of Hong Kong. His dissertation, “Foreign Echoes & Discerning the Soil: Dual Translation, Historiography, & World Literature in Chinese Poetry” (Yale 2010), looks at the intersections of concepts of World Literature and Chinese Poetry in both the modern and medieval eras to trace the shifting configurations of “Chineseness” against foreign poetic influence. He is the co-editor, with Haun Saussy and Jonathan Stalling, of The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry: A Critical Edition, by Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound (Fordham University Press 2008), and the translator of Notes on the Mosquito, the selected poems of Xi Chuan (New Directions 2012).

Nancy G. Lin (Tibetan and Himayalan Studies) is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Religion and the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Program at Dartmouth College. In January 2013 she will start as Assistant Professor of Buddhist Traditions of South Asia in the Department of Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests are in the cultural history of Tibetan Buddhism during the early modern period, and include Buddhist hagiographical literature and art, the innovative interpretation of canonical tradition amidst social change, and Tibetan engagement with other courtly cultures of South and East Asia. Her current book project examines how Tibetan monastic and courtly culture intersected during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially through productions of the Wish-Fulfilling Vine (Skt. Avadanakalpalata, Tb. Dpag bsam ‘khri shing), Ksemendra’s Sanskrit anthology of Buddhist narratives. Professor Lin’s other research projects address Tibetan re-imaginings of the Buddha’s life and the development of classical Tibetan poetry and poetics from Sanskrit models in institutional, material, and ritual contexts.

Elizabeth McGuire (Russian Studies) is an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Areas Studies, and earned her PhD at UC Berkeley in 2010. Her book manuscript is entitled The Sino-Soviet Romance: How Chinese Communists Fell in Love with the Russian Revolution. Her second project is called Communist Neverland: A Russian International Children’s Home and the Global Family it Created, 1933-2013.

Nicole Willock (Tibetan and Himayalan Studies) holds two Ph.Ds. from Indiana University, the first in Religious Studies and the second in Tibetan Studies within the Department of Central Eurasian Studies. Dr. Willock is a three-year postdoctoral fellow at the University of Denver. She currently teaches the following courses: Religions of Tibet; Buddhism in the USA: Local and Global Perspectives; and Politics and Religion in Modern China. Her research explores the complex relationships between state-driven secularization, religious practice and ethnic identity in 20th century China, especially focusing on the lives and works of Tibetan monastic scholars in China. Her most recent publication is a book review of “Labrang Monastery: A Tibetan Buddhist Community on the Inner Asian Borderlands, 1709-1958 by Paul Nietupski,” in the Journal of Asian Studies. She is currently working on revising the manuscript, A Tibetan Buddhist Polymath in Modern China, for publication. Dr. Willock is a select participant in the five-year “Tibet and Literary Seminar” in conjunction with the American Academy of Religion (AAR) annual meetings and serves on the AAR steering committee for the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group. She also serves as a consultant for Treasury of Lives Advisory Committee.


Nancy Abelmann (Korean Studies) is Professor of Asian American Studies, Anthropology, East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of numerous books, including The Intimate University: Korean American Students and the Problems of Segregation (Duke University Press 2009) and The Melodrama of Mobility: Women, Talk, and Class in Contemporary South Korea (University of Hawaii Press 2003).

Dennis Frost (Japan Studies) is Wen Chao Chen Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies at Kalamazoo College. His first book, Seeing Stars: Sports Celebrity, Identity, and Body Culture in Modern Japan (Harvard Asia Center, 2011), traces the emergence and evolution of sports celebrity in Japan from the 1600s through the present, giving particular attention to the ways in which sports stars have both reflected and shaped society and body culture. He is currently working on two different projects. One is a study of sporting events for disabled athletes, which examines the different ways in which Japanese society has perceived and addressed disability in the postwar period, and the second is a comparative study examining the histories of several military “base towns” in Okinawa and other regions in Japan, which explores the U.S. military’s ongoing influence on the people, society, culture, and environment of post-war Japan.

Thomas S. Mullaney (Editor-in-Chief/Chinese History) is Assistant Professor of Chinese History at Stanford University. He is the author of Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China (University of California Press 2011, Foreword by Benedict Anderson). This book charts the history of China’s 1954 Ethnic Classification project (minzu shibie), a joint social scientific-Communist state expedition wherein a group of ethnologists, linguists, and Party cadres traveled to the most ethnically diverse province in the People’s Republic to determine which minority communities would and would not be officially recognized by the state. He is also principal editor of Critical Han Studies: The History, Representation and Identity of China’s Majority (University of California Press 2012). His current book project, The Chinese Typewriter: A Global History, examines China’s nineteenth- and twentieth-century development of a character-based information infrastructure encompassing Chinese telegraphy, typewriting, character retrieval systems, shorthand, Braille, word processing, and computing.

Laura Nelson (Korean Studies) is Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology at California State University East Bay, and is the author of Measured Excess: Status, Gender, and Consumer Nationalism in South Korea on economic and social change in South Korea. She has two projects in development for this area, one on credit cards and one on changing demographics in South Korea. Her research extends as well to the anthropology of public policies in this country, particularly from an applied perspective.  She is conducting interviews with women in the Bay Area who participated between 6 and 10 years ago in microenterprise programs aiming to help them achieve self-sufficiency to find out what their experiences have been with self-employment.

Leon Rocha (Managing Editor/Science Studies/Medical Anthropology) is Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, affiliated with the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Faculty of History and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. He is also Affiliated Researcher at the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge. In 2012 he was International Research Fellow at the Dahlem Humanities Center, Freie Universität Berlin. He completed his doctoral thesis, entitled “Sex, Eugenics, Aesthetics, Utopia in the Life and Work of Zhang Jingsheng (1888-1970)” at Cambridge (2010), and was Lecturer in the History of Medicine at Yale University and D. Kim Foundation for the History of Science and Technology in East Asia Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Needham Research Institute. His current research interests include the history of gender and sexuality in twentieth-century China, and the making of Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilisation in China project.

  1. The book The Art of Denis McLoughlin to be published next Spring, is wrtietn by Denis McLoughlin’s good friend and biographer David Ashford as well as containing an account of the artist’s life, art and influences wrtietn by Denis McLoughlin himself. The book will feature reproductions from the surviving original artwork,

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