East Asian religions
Sau-yi Fong is a scholar of late imperial and modern China, as well as a historian of science and technology. Her research focuses on the transimperial histories of industrial technology, maritime knowledge, and military mobilization. She is currently working on a book project that examines late Qing China’s naval rebuilding program to explore the politics of industrial technological transfer from the West to China in the nineteenth century. Tracing the personal, material, and institutional networks connecting the Qing empire to the world’s naval technology, the project uncovers a global regime of arms production that blurred the boundaries between the arms race and the arms trade, secrecy and openness, competition and collaboration.
In addition to her book project, she has written an article investigating the career trajectory of Ding Gongchen (1800-1875), a Muslim maritime merchant and amateur military technologist in mid-nineteenth-century China. This article, published in Late Imperial China 43, no. 2 (December 2022), received honorable mention for the quadrennial Zhu Kezhen Award given by the International Society for the History of East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine.
Her most recent publication is an article examining the Guomindang’s student military training program from 1928 to 1937, which appears in Modern China 49, no. 4 (July 2023).
Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the D. Kim Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Esherick-Ye Family Foundation, and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She received her PhD in East Asian History from Columbia University in 2022.
Samuel M. Hellmann
Field: Chinese Media and Cinema
Advisor: Ying Qian and Lydia Liu
Samuel Hellmann is a PhD candidate in Chinese media and cinema. He is affiliated with the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society and the Center for Comparative Media. His dissertation, tentatively titled “International Form / Socialist Content,” looks at the work of central state architects in the early years of the Chinese Revolution alongside their Soviet counterparts, turning to both design work and theoretical output to reconstruct the parameters of socialist internationalism as it materialized in the physical spaces of urban and rural China. Before coming to Columbia, he earned a BA in history from McGill University and an MA in political theory from the CUNY Graduate Center