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Sinologia: History and Memory in Contemporary China
SupChina’s Sinologia Conference is an online workshop that seeks to bridge the gap between journalism and academia by offering a forum for the newest generation of China-focused scholars in Political Science and Applied History. Presenters are given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a diverse audience of practitioners.
SupChina’s Sinologia Conference is an online workshop that seeks to bridge the gap between journalism and academia by connecting the SupChina community with the newest generation of China-focused graduate students in Political Science and Applied History. Sinologia represents a practical exchange. Presenters are given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a diverse audience of practitioners, while attendees get to engage with highly-polished, multi-disciplinary work that draws from the latest cutting-edge methodological innovations from the academy.
This year’s theme is History and Memory in Contemporary China; our presentations will focus specifically on how perceptions of China’s past shape the policies of its future.
This Year’s Presentations
Emma Shleifer — (Never) Again? National Memory Narratives in Xi and Netanyahu’s Foreign Policies
Emma Shleifer is a Johns Hopkins SAIS graduate in international political economy and economics. Her research focuses on how states and private actors use education to serve policy goals. A Yenching scholar at Peking University and War Studies graduate from King’s College, London, her work has appeared in The Diplomat, Strife Journal, and the SAIS China Studies Review. She will present on how state-constructed national memory narratives serve specific foreign policy goals.
Donald Santacaterina — The Mass Line: The Role of Correspondent Journalism in Building a Socialist China (1949-1956)
Donald Santacaterina is a Ph.D Candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill whose work focuses on newspaper culture in China under high socialism (1949-1976). His dissertation examines “print socialism,” or the process of forming intimate, imagined communities across China through local newspapers that have long been overlooked as obedient, monolithic mouthpieces subsumed under the control of an all-powerful People’s Daily. He has published on topics of “newspaper reading groups” (读报组) in socialist China, advertisements for goods and services across newspapers under high socialism, and the role of foreign radio propaganda (such as the BBC and Voice of America) in shaping domestic Chinese understandings of the news. He will present on amateur newspaper “correspondents” (通讯员) and their role in shaping public conceptions of Chinese socialist newspapers as democratic forums open to the active participation of “the masses.”
Tabitha Speelman — Immigration Attitudes and National Identity in Mainland China
Tabitha Speelman is a PhD candidate studying China’s immigration reform at Leiden University. She previously worked as a China-based correspondent for Dutch daily newspaper Trouw. Her research interests include Chinese state and societal perspectives on international migration, China’s media landscape, and China-EU relations. Her work has appeared in publications including China Perspectives, China Information, Foreign Policy and The Initium.
Jason Zhou — Comprehensive Mirror in Aid of US-China Relations: Views of a Rising Generation
Jason Zhou is a current Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University whose research focus includes US-China relations and the role of emerging technology in great power relations. Jason previously provided analysis and briefings to US policymakers on the ISIS insurgency and the Syrian Civil War while working at the Institute for the Study of War. Jason graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Studies and is professionally fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Oliver Dieckmann — The Reception of Stalin’s Short Course Among the CCP Leadership during the Yan’an Period
Oliver Dieckmann is a graduate student of Modern China Studies at Freiburg, Germany. Currently, he is an exchange student in the Russian city of Tver. There he is preparing his master’s thesis on the pro-Soviet CCP-leader and inner-party opponent of Mao Zedong, Wang Ming.
Nick Ackert is a Ph.D. candidate at the MIT Department of Political Science specializing in Security Studies and International Relations. His research interests include China's engagement with its periphery, the dynamics of international patron-client relationships, small state coercion, and political violence in Southeast Asia. Nick graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard with a concentration in Classics. Before joining the MIT community, he completed a double MSc in International Affairs (Political Science and International History) with Peking University and the London School of Economics.
Natasha Lock holds a degree in History, International Relations and Mandarin Chinese from the University of Exeter. As a Yenching Scholar at Peking University, her work focused on the Party’s use of historical narratives and modern Chinese nationalism. Natasha currently resides in Taipei, where she is conducting field research alongside working in political consultancy.
Kaiser Kuo is co-founder of the Sinica Podcast, the most popular English-language podcast on current affairs in China, which he hosts with Jeremy Goldkorn. The show has run since April 2010, and has published nearly 400 episodes. Until April 2016, Kaiser served as director of international communications for Baidu, China’s leading search engine. In 2016, Kaiser returned to the U.S. after a 20-year stint in Beijing, where his career spanned the gamut from music to journalism to technology. Kaiser also spent a year in Beijing from 1988 to 1989, when he co-founded the seminal Chinese heavy metal band Tang Dynasty as lead guitarist.
Cheng Li is the director of the John L. Thornton China Center and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. He is also a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Li focuses on the transformation of political leaders, generational change, the Chinese middle class, and technological development in China. Li is also the author or the editor of numerous books, including “Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era: Reassessing Collective Leadership” (2016), “The Power of Ideas: The Rising Influence of Thinkers and Think Tanks in China” (2017), and “Middle Class Shanghai: Reshaping U.S.-China Engagement” (Spring 2021). He is currently completing a book manuscript with the working title “Xi Jinping’s Protégés: Rising Elite Groups in the Chinese Leadership”. He is the principal editor of the Thornton Center Chinese Thinkers Series published by the Brookings Institution Press.