(Anthropology PhD Student, University of Washington)
Having completed an M.A. in East Asian Studies at Columbia University in 2009 and a year of language study at Xinjiang University in 2010, I am currently a student in the Social Cultural Anthrolopogy PhD program at the University of Washington. I’m interested in phenomenology of urban life as expressed through the visual, material culture and the built environment in Northwest China and Central Asia. My most recent research has analyzed public parks of Xinjiang as sites of cultural performance and levity which coexist with the militarized state, widespread cultural displacement and the pervasive threat of ethnic and economic violence in the region. Future projects will focus on the art community of Urumqi centered around the government-sponsored art district Qi Fang Jie. I’m fascinated with the ways in which differently positioned artists, musicians, and poets represent “being Chinese” in the desert and mountain landscapes of Central Asia and how these representations are in turn related to understandings of human ecology and politics.