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Shuangting Xiong – MA Spring 2017

Shuangting Xiong, M.A. 2017

Shuangting Xiong graduated with a B.A. in English from Renmin University of China. She finished her M.A. degree in English at UO in 2015 before joining Asian Studies.

Her thesis “The Problematic Formation of the Modern Self in Lu Xun’s ‘In Memoriam’ and Ding Ling’s ‘Miss Sophia’s Diary'” explores the functions of first-person narrative and the use of “I”—a presumably optimal site–to construct subject and subjectivity—in the works of two iconic May Fourth writers, Ding Ling and Lu Xun.

She will continue her doctorate study in East Asian Languages and Literatures (EALL) at UO. Her current research interests include twentieth century Chinese literature, Marxian criticism, genre theories, and aesthetic functions of literary texts.


Katherine Messer – MA Spring 2017

Katherine Messer, M.A. 2017

In the Asian Studies MA program, Katherine focused on modern history, researching Red Guard factions during the first year of the Cultural Revolution and the use of the Blood lineage theory. She was awarded a Chinese Government Scholarship for the 2015-2016 academic year, and was able to study language at Nanjing University. While there Katherine was also awarded a readership for the John Hopkins Nanjing Center Library, where she began to conduct research for her final MA Project.

For the 2016-2017 academic year, she was awarded the Foreign Language Area Studies scholarship (FLAS). After leaving the University of Oregon, Katherine plans to begin working as an English teacher at Taiyuan Mercan, and English training school in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China. This will be her third trip to China, as well as being the second year of living in the country. She hopes to work on her Mandarin Chinese language proficiency while in Taiyuan, maybe at the local Shanxi University. After some time in China, she will apply to a doctorate program in history.

Brandon Folse – MA Spring 2017

Brandon Folse, M.A.  2017

Brandon Folse graduated from Nicholls State University in 2006 with dual B.A.s in English literature and history. Upon college graduation, he spent nearly a decade working and studying in China before returning to the U.S. to enter the Asian Studies program at U.O. in 2015.

A 2015-2016 FLAS recipient, Brandon took a range of courses relate to modern China before focusing on the issue of Chinese birth tourism in the U.S. During the summer of 2016, he traveled to China where he carried out ethnographic interviews with individuals who had given birth in the U.S. and returned to China to raise their American-citizen children. Brandon received generous research funding from CAPS, Asian Studies, and the Global Oregon Initiative. His thesis, “Aspirational Migration: The Case of Chinese Birth Tourism in the U.S,” focused on the motivations of people who engage in the risky transnational process of birth tourism and the complex global infrastructure which promotes and enables such movement.

In fall 2017, Brandon enters the PhD program in sociology at the U.O. where he plans to continue researching Chinese birth tourism and tracking the lives and obstacles of birth tourists raising their foreign-born children in China.

Roland Lewinski – MA Spring 2016

Roland Lewinski, MA Spring 2016

Roland Lewinski, M.A.  2016

Roland Lewinski focused on Sino-Japanese relations, International Politics and Diplomacy in his M.A. studies. He won a Fulbright scholarship to attend the Asian Studies M.A. program. He won a Chinese Government Scholarship in Language Training (2014-15), and he acted as Secretary/Public Diplomacy Specialist to the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland March through June 2015. Roland graduated with a Master’s degree in Asian Studies in Spring 2016. Previously, he had earned an M.A. in Communication Design at the University of Wroclaw. Roland served as the Asian Studies undergraduate advisor, helping undergraduates to navigate Asian Studies requirements. His thesis explored the “Axiological Basis of the Ideological Discourse in Sino-Japanese Relations in Regard to Yasukuni Shrine.”


Feng Cheng – MA Spring 2016

Cheng Feng, MA 2016

Feng Cheng, M.A.  2016

Feng Cheng graduated with a Master’s degree in Asian Studies in Spring 2016. He entered the program with a Promising Scholar Award in Fall 2014, having already M.A. degrees from Shanghai International Studies University and University of Bayreuth (Germany). His thesis, “Constructing a New Asian Masculinity: Reading ‘Lilting’ Against Other Films by Asian Filmmakers” raised important questions about western media traditionally representing Asian men as either effeminized or emasculated, by contrasting ways in which Asian media counter these stereotypes. After graduating from the Asian Studies M.A. program, Feng Cheng relocated to Boston, and is working for a company that specializes in translation, interpretation and foreign credentialing.



Kitt McAuliffe – MA Spring 2015

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Kitt McAuliffe – M.A. 2015

Kitt McAuliffe graduated with a Master’s degree in Asian Studies Spring 2015. Kitt entered the program in Fall 2013. During her master’s program, she served as the Asian Studies undergraduate advisor, holding regular office hours to assist undergraduates with various issues. Kitt’s study focused on Japan, and her thesis was especially topical: “The East China Sea Dispute in Japanese Politics.” Kitt took some time off after graduation. She will begin graduate work in the political science department at George Washington University in Fall 2017. She hopes to research issues in international relations, with a focus on East Asia and Japanese foreign policy.



Rachel Wallner – MA Summer 2014

Rachel Wallner – M.A. 2014

Rachel Wallner graduated with a Master’s degree in Asian Studies Summer 2014. Rachel entered the Asian Studies master’s program in Fall 2010. Generous resources at the University of Oregon enabled her to develop her Chinese language skills for two academic years at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. She returned to Asian Studies in Fall 2013 to finish a master’s thesis titled: “Science, Space, and the Nation: The Formation of Modern Chinese Geography in Twentieth-Century China.” In 2015 she began doctoral studies in History at Northwestern University. Rachel is currently a fellow in Northwestern’s Science and Human Culture Program and is exploring how Republican-era scientists transformed China’s maritime domains to national territory.”


Matthew Kane – MA Spring 2014

Matt Kane

— Matthew Kane – M.A. 2014

Matthew Kane graduated with a Master’s degree in Asian Studies in spring 2014. He entered the program in Fall 2005 after earning his B.A. with majors in Economics Philosophy and Pre-Law, where he won scholarships for academic excellence and memberships in various Honor Societies. Matt took an official leave from the Asian Studies Master’s Program to deepen his study of Japanese, returning in winter 2013 to finish his M.A. Matt’s thesis title is: “An Examination of Modern Expressions of Mindfulness Practice: Pertinent Questions and Potential Pitfalls.” Matt is currently teaching Zen meditation and mindfulness classes in Eugene.



Sara Menton – MA Winter 2014

Sara Menton – M.A. 2014

Sara Menton graduated with a Master’s degree in Asian Studies Winter 2014. Sara entered the Asian Studies master’s program in Fall 2012. She focused on Chinese painter Zhang Daqian. Her thesis: “Authenticity and the Copy: Analyziing Western Connoisseurship Chinese Painting Through the Works of Zhang Daqian.” Sara’s thesis committee: Jenny Lin (History of Art and Architecture), Albert Narath, (History of Art and Architecture), and Daniel Buck (Asian Studies). Currently, Sara is working on her law degree at the University of Miami in Florida.



Julie DePaulo – MA Spring 2013

Julie DePaulo- M.A. 2013

Julie DePaulo graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ohio University with a B.A. in World Religions. She entered the Asian Studies M.A. program in Fall 2011 and graduated in spring 2013. Her thesis, “Mizuko Kuyō Online: Digital Media and Religious Ritual in Contemporary Japan” shows how individuals now actively participate in dialogues about misuko kuyō online and how this affects its cultural practice. Her thesis explores the shift from a temple dominated religious practice to a more secular ritual. Alisa Freedman was her committee chairperson. Daniel Buck and Jason Webb, along with Kimberly Andrews Epsy were on Julie’s thesis commmittee.

Julie is currently working as a Systems Analyst for The Ohio State University. Julie lives in Columbus with her cat Pickles.



Jesse Rodenbiker – MA Spring 2013

Jesse received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and went on to live and work in Asia for five years in education and journalism before entering the M.A. Asian Studies program at the University of Oregon.

Jesse Rodenbiker – M.A. 2013

His research at UO engaged the intersections of contemporary and historical urbansim, knowledge production, and the environmental and cultural politics of sustainable cities in China. Dan Buck was his committee chairperson, supported by committee members Ina Asim and Yizhao Yang. While at Oregon he worked for the Sustainable Cities Initiative’s China Programs, with various Chinese and U.S. urban planning issues and institutions. He graduated from the M.A. program in 2013.

Now he is pursuing his Ph.D in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley researching environmental governance and peri-urban livelihood transitions surrounding urban ecological areas, the history of the science of ecology, and contemporary city-level practices of “ecological civilization” building in Southwest China. He is a visiting scholar with the Sichuan University School of Public Administration in the Department of Land Resources for the 2016-2017 academic year. He enjoys surfing, rock climbing, trekking, and making art with his daughter.

Jing Pei Goh – MA Spring 2012

Jing Pei Goh – M.A. 2012

Jing Pei came to the University of Oregon Asian Studies program as a Fulbright Fellow from Malaysia. Her M.A. thesis presented an interdisciplinary research on identity politics in Malaysian Chinese education. She is the Regional Director of Partner Engagement (Asia Pacific) with Teach For All, a global non-profit aiming to end education inequity. Previously, she earned a B.A. degree in East Asian Studies and International Relations at the University of Malaya. Combining her interests in regional studies, history, education and leadership development, Jing Pei has worked in tech startup, consulting, non-profit and social enterprises. In her free time, she enjoys meditation, history, CrossFit and Gong Fu tea.


Matthew Hayes – MA Spring 2012

Matthew Hayes – M.A. 2012

Matthew Hayes graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Religious Studies and later returned for his M.A. in Asian Studies. His thesis concerned geographical and social movement as possible forms of physical, cognitive, or even spiritual release from the strictures of early modern Japanese society, an argument illuminated by the theoretical models of Pierre Bourdieu, Victor Turner, and Catherine Bell.

He is continuing his research at the doctoral level in Buddhist Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. His dissertation broadly engages the social and religious implications of Japanese Buddhist ceremonial lectures (kōshiki) and the use of their commentarial literature by clergy. More narrowly, his project focuses on the Kyoto temple Chishakuin and the lasting influence of its eleventh abbot, Kakugen, in guiding religious curricula using these ritual texts and performances.

Matthew currently resides in Tokyo as a Visiting Researcher at both Taisho and Waseda Universities. He will return to UCLA at the end of July 2017 to continue his research and write his dissertation. He intends to pursue a teaching position in the field of Japanese Religion in the future.