Faculty Expertise on Contemporary China | Duke Kunshan University

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Faculty Expertise on Contemporary China

Core affiliates of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China are Duke Kunshan University faculty in the social sciences and humanities with a primary research and teaching focus on contemporary China.

Xin Zhang

Assistant Professor of Chinese and Intercultural Communication, Duke Kunshan University

Xin Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Chinese Language and Intercultural Communication at Duke Kunshan University.

She received her MA and PhD in East Asian Languages and Literature (2016) from the Ohio State University. In 2016-19, she held an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellowship and served as a visiting assistant professor of Chinese at Oberlin College. Dr. Zhang’s primary research interests lie at the intersection of second language acquisition, Chinese language pedagogy, and Chinese rhetoric. Her projects have received several awards including from the Five Colleges of Ohio Consortium, National Federation of Modern Language Teachers’ Association, Chinese Language Teachers Association, and National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages. Her current China-related research project is a book manuscript on the role of literary language and cultural references in modern and contemporary Chinese discourse, and its effects on intercultural interactions by non-native speakers of Mandarin at the workplace in China. She is also interested in chengyu usage in multimodal performances in Chinese digital media using big-data methods.


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Xiaochen Zhang

Assistant Professor of Economics, Duke Kunshan University

Xiaochen Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Applied Economics at Duke Kunshan University.

He received his PhD from Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at Ohio State University (2018). He also obtained a Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Demography while pursuing his PhD. Prior to PhD program, he received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Shandong University (2010) and a MS in Population, Resource and Environmental Economics from Fudan University (2013). Dr. Zhang is trained as an applied microeconomist with primary research interests in regional & urban economics. His current research focuses on a wide range of topics in applied economics, such as policy evaluation and the impacts of population aging on local labor markets. Prior to joining Duke Kunshan University, Dr. Zhang has teaching experience for a wide range of undergraduate courses, such as Principles of Economics, Microeconomics, Population & Development.


Kim Hunter-Gordon

Assistant Professor of Chinese and Performance Studies, Duke Kunshan University

Dr Kim Hunter Gordon is an Assistant Professor of Chinese and Performance Studies at Duke Kunshan University.

He received his MA (Honours) in English Literature and Psychology at the University of Glasgow and trained as a newspaper journalist with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) in London. He earned his PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2017, for which he spent two years as a China Studies Fellow at Nanjing University. Before joining DKU, he held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Dr Hunter Gordon’s research is at the intersection of performance and history, with a primary expertise in kunqu. He is particularly interested in the relationship between culture and its written or audiovisual record, together with the controls and contingencies to which the record and archives are subject. In addition to his academic work, he has translated subtitles for the Jiangsu Province Kunju Theatre for over five years and worked as producer on two major kunqu shows. He sings the xiaosheng role and regularly performs on the avocational kunqu circuit in China and beyond. Prior to his doctorate, Dr Hunter Gordon worked as a reporter at The Observer in London before spending several years in Shanghai and Beijing, where he studied Chinese and worked in various media roles. At DKU his teaching interests include Chinese Drama and Media and the Arts.


Jingbo Cui

Associate Professor of Applied Economics, Duke Kunshan University

Dr. Jingbo Cui is Associate Professor of Applied Economics at Division of Social Sciences in Duke Kunshan University.

Prior to the current position, he was a Chu-Tian Junior Scholar from Department of Education in Hubei Province, associate professor in the School of Economics and Management at Wuhan University, post-doctoral research associate and visiting scholar at Iowa State University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University, an M.S. in economics from Wuhan University, and B.S. in economics and mathematics from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China. Dr. Cui’s research centers on Environmental Economics, Economics of Innovation, and International Trade. His research has appeared in top academic journals in the fields of Environmental and Resource Economics and Energy Economics, such as American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Energy Economics, and Energy Policy. He has been serving as the referee for leading journals in Environmental Economics, such as JEEM, JAERE, ERE, and many others. His current research projects on climate change and low-carbon innovation have been funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.


Coraline Goron

Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy, Duke Kunshan University

Coraline Goron is Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy at Duke Kunshan University.

In 2017, she obtained a double PhD Degree in Politics from the University of Warwick (UK) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). In March 2018, her PhD dissertation entitled “Climate Revolution or Long March, The Politics of Low-Carbon Transformation in China, The Case of the Power Sector” was awarded the Marthe Engelborghs-Bertels for Sinology. Before coming to DKU, in 2018-2019 she did a postdoc at the Oxford University China Center. Coraline’s research interests cover China’s domestic politics of environment, climate change and energy, as well as China’s increasing role in the global governance of environmental issues. Her most recent publications include “Ecological Civilization and the Political Limits of a Chinese Concept of Sustainability”. China Perspective, 2018/4 pp 39-52 http://journals.openedition.org/chinaperspectives/8463


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Annemieke van den Dool

Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy, Duke Kunshan University

Annemieke van den Dool is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy at Duke Kunshan University.

She is an interdisciplinary scholar studying policy processes and environmental issues, in particular in China. Predominantly using qualitative methods, she examines policy change after public health crises such as food safety scandals, environmental accidents, and epidemic outbreaks. Dr. Van den Dool received her BA in Chinese Languages and Cultures from Leiden University and MS in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management¾a joint degree¾from Central European University, Lund University and the University of Manchester. She received her PhD in Law from the University of Amsterdam.


Lincoln Rathnam

Assistant Professor of Social Science, Duke Kunshan University

Lincoln Rathnam received his BA in Philosophy (Honors) from Davidson College, participated in the Inter-University Program in Chinese Language Studies with C

oursework in Mandarin Chinese at Tsinghua University, received his MA in East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto and his PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto (2017). In 2016-2017 he was a Visiting Instructor in the Department of Political Science at Davidson College and he is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University. Dr. Rathnam’s fields of study are Political Theory and Comparative Politics. His current project is a comparative analysis of Montaigne and Zhuangzi on freedom, toleration, and the limits of government authority. His next project is a re-examination of the “Asian values” debate through a comparative analysis of David Hume and Mencius. His teaching interests at DKU include Ethics and Leadership, Global China Studies, U.S. Studies, Institutions and Governance, and Political Science.


Nellie Chu

Assistant Professor of Social Science, Duke Kunshan University

Nellie Chu is an Assistant Professor of Social Science at Duke Kunshan University.

She received her BA in International Relations (Highest Honors) and German Language and Culture (High Honors), from the University of California, Davis and her MA and PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (2014). In 2016-2017, she held a fellowship from the American Council for Learned Societies/Henry Luce Foundation for China Studies and the National Endowment for the Humanities and served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Goettingen Center for Modern East Asian Studies in Germany. In 2017-2018, she held a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University’s School for Industrial and Labor Research. Dr. Chu’s current research focuses on global supply chains in fashion and the transnational role of migrant entrepreneurs. She has also started a new project on West African and Korean religious communities related to the doctrine of prosperity. Her research site for both projects is Guangzhou.


Zach Fredman

Assistant Professor of Humanities, Duke Kunshan University

Zach Fredman is an Assistant Professor of Humanities at Duke Kunshan University.

He received his BA in History from the University of Arizona and his MA and PhD in History from Boston University (2016). Dr. Fredman’s research focuses on U.S.- China relations, and his first book, forthcoming with University of North Carolina Press, examines the U.S. military presence in China during the 1940s. Dr. Fredman has carried out extensive archival research in China, and his work has been published in Frontiers of History in China, Diplomatic History, Diplomacy and Statecraft, and The Washington Post. In 2017, he received the Edward M. Coffman First Book Manuscript Prize from the Society for Military History and the Betty M. Unterberger Dissertation Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. Prior to joining Duke Kunshan University, he held postdoctoral fellowships at Dartmouth College (2017–2018) and Nanyang Technological University (2016–2017).


Selina Lai-Henderson

Assistant Professor of Humanities, Duke Kunshan University

Selina Lai-Henderson is an Assistant Professor of Humanities at Duke Kunshan University.

She received her BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong, her MA in American Studies from Heidelberg University, Germany, was a Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University, and received her PhD in American Studies from the University of Hong Kong (2013). Prior to joining Duke Kunshan University, she was a Research Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Hong Kong. Dr. Lai-Henderson’s first book, Mark Twain in China (Stanford University Press) was published in 2015, and her current work focuses on W.E.B. Du Bois and Langston Hughes in Shanghai. She is a cultural and literary scholar and historian.