Field: Chinese History
Advisor: Madeleine Zelin
Gavin Healy is a Ph.D. candidate in modern Chinese history. His dissertation, “The Political and Cultural Economy of Sightseeing: Foreign Tourism in the ‘New China’ (1949-1978),” examines how personnel within China’s state tourism bureaucracy struggled to balance the use of tourism as a form of political, historical, and cultural representation with the demands of developing a revenue-generating service industry in a socialist economy. He received his BA in Asian Studies from Cornell University, a JD from Columbia Law School, and an MA in Chinese Studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before entering the PhD program, he practiced law in New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul for ten years. During the 2017-2018 academic year, he was a visiting student at the School of Tourism of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou. His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the American Historical Association, the Confucius Institute, the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and Columbia University. He has presented portions of his dissertation research at the annual conferences of the Association for Asian Studies and the American Historical Association. His paper, “Visual Culture and the Tourism Industry in Mao-Era
China: ‘Scenery Export’?” was awarded the Association for Asian Studies China and Inner Asia Council Graduate Student Best Paper Prize in 2019.