Recent PhD Graduates
Sean Callaghan graduated in November 2012. His dissertation, “The Disagreement of Being, A Critique of Life and Vitality in the Meiji Era,” submerged him in texts on the history of Japanese life insurance, vitalism, evolutionism, naturalism, the political novel and romanticism. Aside from Meiji era literature and political economy, his interests also include contemporary French philosophy, anime, manga, video games, and poker.
David Chai graduated in June 2012. His dissertation was titled: “Nothingness, Being, and Dao: Ontology and Cosmology in the Zhuangzi.” His research focus is the metaphysical, phenomenological, and hermeneutic aspects of pre-Tang philosophy, with an emphasis on Daoism. He also engages in work of a comparative nature, particularly the writings of Hegel, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty.
Olga Fedorenko convocated in November 2012. Her dissertation, entitled “Tending to the ‘Flower of Capitalism:’ Consuming, Producing and Censoring Advertising in South Korea of the 00′s,” takes an anthropological approach to advertising-related practices in contemporary South Korea. Olga is currently Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at the Department of East Asian Studies at New York University.
Xiaowen received her B.A. and M.A. from Shandong University (1991, 1994), and Ph.D. in English language and literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University (1997). Since then, she has had a successful teaching and translation career. She is now a Ph.D. candidate in East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. Her current research interest lies in the intertextual relation between Tang tales of marvels and contemporary Chinese fiction.
Yue Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Studies. He obtained Chinese and English teaching certificates from the Chinese Ministry of Education. During his subsequent graduate studies in the U.S. and Canada, he has taught various courses as instructor or teaching assistant on Chinese language, literature, history, culture, East Asian civilization, and global Asia in four departments at the University of Toronto and University of Colorado at Boulder. He is completing his dissertation on historical memory and nostalgia in poetry—poems on history in early Medieval China (220-589). Currently, he is translating Wendy Swartz’s book Reading Tao Yuanming: Shifting Paradigms of Historical Reception (427-1900) (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008) into Chinese. His articles appear in several academic journals, such as: Early Medieval China, China Review International, Michigan Journal of Asian Studies, and East Asia Forum. He has also participated in several government sponsored projects in Canada, the U.S., and China. Besides academic research, he contributed many articles to the Toronto Seasons and University of Toronto Chinese Journal to promote Chinese literature and culture in local areas and make it more accessible for people out of academia.