Research News | Duke Kunshan University

Research News

Recent research highlights from Duke Kunshan University’s centers and programs, plus a few other places. Use the filter to narrow your search.

Mapping child deaths to help prevent them

Worldwide progress in reducing child deaths is among the greatest success stories in global health. Yet progress has not been universal, with data showing differences across geographical regions and age groups. To help policymakers better understand where, and at what ages, child survival remains most tenuous, environmental health scientist John Ji helped map 123 million child deaths between 2000 and 2017, with the results published in Nature.

Migrant women’s unrequited longings create ‘marginal hubs’

Through stories of women laboring as temporary workers at an informal household workshop in Guangzhou’s garment district, anthropologist Nellie Chu demonstrates in a paper published by Modern Asian Studies how maternal longing and migratory displacement stem from these women having to bridge the spaces of rural-urban, household-factory and reproductive-productive labor. Chu shows how efforts to balance these tensions cause women to feel unfulfilled as industrial workers and domestic caretakers.

China’s challenge in meeting the 2030 health-related goals

The sustainable development goals adopted by U.N. member states in 2015 set bold and ambitious health-related targets to achieve by 2030. To gauge China’s progress toward these targets, population health scientist Shenglan Tang conducted a systematic analysis with colleagues at Duke University and in Beijing. The report, published by PLOS Medicine, recommends that China take concerted action, such as increasing investments in public goods and services for health and redressing the intracountry inequities, to improve the health of its 1.4 billion people.

The core pillars of training cardiovascular health researchers

Early-career global health investigators face numerous constraints and challenges, making attraction, development and retention an important priority. In a viewpoint article for the Global Heart journal, Lijing Yan, an expert in non-communicable diseases, and other mentors involved in global cardiovascular health programs identify the three key pillars for supporting the next generation of researchers: “companionship, light and fuel.”

Constraining political extremism and legal revolution

Extremist populist parties in some states have won an electoral mandate large enough to democratically refashion liberal democracy into “illiberal democracy.” Political scientist Benjamin Schupmann responds to this problem in a paper for Philosophy and Social Criticism. He analyzes justifications for constitutional guarantees of liberalism and outlines four mechanisms that can do so.

Sex and American soldiers in wartime China

The Sino-American alliance in World War II was critical to halting the advance of the Imperial Japanese Army. But by early 1945, the U.S. Army had outworn its welcome, with one issue sparking a violent backlash: Sexual relations between American soldiers and Chinese women. Historian Zach Fredman examines the narratives surrounding “Jeep girls” in a paper for the Journal of Modern Chinese History.

How community health workers can combat NCDs

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are major contributors to the disease burden and deaths globally. At the same time, nearly half of the world’s population has no access to health care services. Behavioral scientist and medical epidemiologist Abu Abdullah and fellow researchers at the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies have published a policy brief that suggests using community health workers to manage and prevent NCDs. The report is based on studies in China, Bangladesh, Nepal and Vietnam.

Shanghai’s elite ballrooms of the 1920s and ’30s

Writing in the journal Built Heritage, historian Andrew Field introduces seven ballrooms built in the 1920s and ’30s that reflect the architects’ ambition to create fantastical spaces for Shanghai’s elites to celebrate their status and socialize with other members of high society. These ballrooms featured technological wizardry such as sprung dance floors and sophisticated lighting, and one was decorated in the style of a traditional Chinese palace.

Health care’s impact on climate action plans

Countries that signed up to the Paris Agreement on climate change, including China, are expected to update their nationally determined contributions by 2020. As policymakers prepare their revised climate action plans, environmental health expert John Ji used a commentary in The Lancet Public Health to urge them to take into consideration the health care sector’s rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Alain Locke’s influence on the African American art scene

In an essay entitled Alain Locke’s New Negro: Of Words and Images, available in “Rethinking America’s Past: Voices from the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection,” Selina Lai-Henderson, a scholar of American literature and history, examines the understudied influence of intellectual Alain Locke on the African American art scene in the U.S. in the early 20th-century. She writes that Locke believed the diasporic nature of black art articulates the universality of human sufferings that cross and transcend cultural, linguistic and national boundaries.

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