Doctoral Students

Doctoral Students: Profiles

Bowman, SophieSophie Bowman
Korean Literature

Sophie Bowman is a PhD candidate in modern Korean literature. She previously studied at SOAS University of London, and Ewha Women’s University in Seoul. Her research focuses on writing by women during the dictatorships in South Korea in the second half of the twentieth century. Her research interests include ideology, the politics of literature, feminist criticism, urban space, and translation. Her English translations of Korean literature, poetry, and literary criticism have appeared in various magazines and journals.

Buchanan, Brenton J.Brenton Buchanan

Brenton Buchanan is a PhD student in modern Japanese history and culture at the University of Toronto. He received his B.A. (2010) in Interdisciplinary Studies from Boise State University, and his M.A. (2013) in Japan Studies from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. His current research applies a transpacific approach, triangulating between Japan, the United States, and the Marshall Islands to examine post-war history, memory, and representation centered around discourses of nuclear things. His research bridges scientific, political, and cultural discourses, focusing on knowledge production and colonial dynamics.

Chen, XiXi Chen
Chinese Literature

Xi Chen is a Ph.D candidate in modern Chinese literature and cultural history. She received her B. A.(2006) and M.A.(2009) from Tsinghua University, Beijing. Her research focuses on the discursive formation of species,  and particularly an inquiry into the concept of the animal (dongwu) and its relations with the human subjectivity in the 20th century China. She is currently writing  her dissertation tentatively entitled with “The Question of the Animal in the 20th Century Chinese Cultures” with the support from the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowship (2015-16).

Cheng, Wen YinWen Yin-Cheng
Chinese Archaeology

Wen Yin is a PhD candidate in Chinese archaeology. She completed her MSc in Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials from the Institute of Archaeology in University College London. Her research interest is in the use of scientific analysis of archaeological materials to understand technological processes in the past. Her previous research encompasses Indigenous Wendat pottery, Chinese Neolithic to Bronze Age pottery, as well as ancient Chinese armour use and production from Qin dynasty to Han dynasty. Her current PhD investigating the bronze vessel casting production and organization of the Shang dynasty,  specifically focusing on the bronze moulds housed at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Jeong, SeongpilSeongpil Jeong

Seongpil Jeong is a PhD candidate in modern Korean history. His research scrutinizes the outdoor culture of postwar South Korea focusing on the relationships between nature and human subjectivity, the governmentality and the population, and everyday life and capitalism. He is also interested in the intellectual and cultural history of historical socialisms in East Asia.

Jocic, AlexandraAlexandra Jocic

Alexandra Jocic is a PhD student in Japanese and former Yugoslavian literature and history, though she enjoys liaisons with the anthropology department from time to time. She earned her BA in Psychology and the Humanities, and her MA in Japanese and European Literature from York University. For her dissertation, she is researching the supernatural in late 19th and early 20th century Japanese and Balkan fiction and its relationship to genocide and other forms of mass violence in modernity. She has received an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and has twice been a recipient of the Dr. David Chu Scholarship to conduct research in Japan. She is also a Gemini and loves red velvet cupcakes.

Kaygusuz, BanuBanu Kaygusuz
Japanese History, Visual Culture   

Banu Kaygusuz is a PhD student in Japanese history and visual culture. She received her B.A. and History at Bogazici University. She was an exchange student at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, as well as a research student at Keio University. Her research focuses on the politics of photography from a multidisciplinary perspective. Her M.A. thesis (“Representing Japan in the Photography Collection of Abdulhamid II”) incorporates research conducted in both the Ottoman archives and the archives in Japan, and elaborates on the transnational exchange of photographic technologies, and representation strategies. The comparative approach to socio-cultural aspects of Meiji Japan and the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire embodies her historical perspective.

Lee, Do Kyung TinaDo Kyung Tina Lee
Korean Cultural History   

Tina Do Kyung Lee holds a BA in English (York University), a BFA in the History of Art (Concordia University), and an MA in the History of Art (SOAS, University of London). Her MA thesis explored the relationship between celadon and aristocratic statehood in the Koryo dynasty. Looking at South Korea in the 1980’s, her doctoral dissertation considers the concept of the private individual and its staging in the form of the home interior. For this she is drawing on a miscellany of sources that include lifestyle magazines, paintings, short stories, furniture and floorplans. Most recently, her studies have received funding from a SSHRC doctoral award.

Liu, Shasha Shasha Liu

Shasha Liu is PhD candidate in modern Chinese visual culture history. She holds a Master degree in Art History from the University of Toronto (2011). She is currently working on her PhD dissertation, which investigates the issue of mediating Dunhuang in the 20th century through the perspectives of four visual media: photography, painting, animation, and film. She has interned at the Royal Ontario Museum (Far Eastern Department) from 2011 to 2017 and has received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship in support of her work at the University of Toronto.

Michielsen, EdwinEdwin Michielsen 

Edwin Michielsen is a PhD student in Modern East Asian Literature. He received his BA and MA in Japanese studies from Leiden University. His current research is tentatively called “Envisioning an International Community: Proletarian Arts in East Asia” and deals with articulations of trans- and internationalism in proletarian literary and cultural movements in East Asia and Russia during the 1920s and 1930s.

Sivak, KristinKristin Sivak
Japanese Literature

Kristin Sivak is a PhD candidate in Japanese Literature and received her B.A. in the same from Boston University in 2011. She is currently writing her dissertation on the role of servants in early 20th century Japanese literature with a focus on the ways in which the narratological function of character might open new avenues for rethinking issues of personhood from within the spaces between presence, presentation, and representation. She has received an Ontario Graduate Scholarship Visa Award in support of her work at the University of Toronto and a Japan Foundation Fellowship for a year of research at Hokkaido University in Japan.

Wang, YunYun Wang

Yun Wang finished her BA, double-majoring in Art History and East Asian Studies, as well as MA at U of T. Her thesis, “ From Kilns to Markets: Re-examinations and Re-interpretations on Cizhou-Ware Pillows of Song-Jin Dynasties (10th-13th Centuries), China” was based on the ROM collection under Prof. C.Shen’s supervision. Currently she is continuing her PhD study, solely focusing on Song ceramics, and covering a wider range of official and popular kilns scattering in northern and southern areas of China. She examines their social values and aesthetic transformations contextualized within the manufacture, technical advancement as well as cultural activities engaged among literati-elite class to explore the possibilities of how and why Song ceramics can be re-configured as a particular cultural invention through the hands of their cultivated inventors.

Wen, YuYu Wen

Yu Wen is a first year PhD student in pre-modern Chinese literature. She received her B.A. (2012) from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature in Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou and M.A. (2014) in East Asian Studies from Arizona State University in United States. Her research interest lies in classical poetry 3rd through 11th century, especially banquet poetry and poems concerning music. Currently she is focusing on sensory studies on the “Han and Meng Poetry School” (韓孟詩派) in late Tang period, poet Li He (李賀) in particular. She is also interested in performance literature, as medieval Chinese performance texts and narratives.

Weng, Ruoyang GabrielRuoyang Gabriel Weng

Ruoyang is a PhD student in Chinese philosophy. He received his B.A. (2012) from the Department of Religion and Philosophy in Hong Kong Baptist University and M.A. (2015) from the Division of Humanities in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His current academic interest lies in comparative philosophy between China and the West, focusing on the study of emotion. He is also interested in Chinese history (especially the Song dynasty) and intellectual history.

Yo, Yvonne Jia-RayeYvonne Jia-Raye Yo

Yvonne received her B.A from Tshinghua University, Beijing and her M.A. from East Asian Studies at University of Toronto. Her current research interest is on the concept of landscape in modern Taiwanese literature, particularly in modern poetry. She is also interested in topics such as modernity, neo-Confucianism, and eco-poetics.

Zhang, YuanfangYuanfang Zhang

Yuanfang Zhang is a PhD student in modern East Asian history. He holds BA degrees from Peking University and Waseda University received in 2008, majoring in international relations; and received a MA degree in University of Victoria in 2012. He studied Marxist criticism of capitalist political economy, and modern Chinese and Japanese histories. He is currently working on Japanese immigrants in China in the beginning years of postwar period.