Distinguished Visitors

The Barbara and Richard M. Rosenberg Institute for East Asian Studies sponsors visits from noted experts in the field of East Asian Studies throughout the academic year. These scholars offer lectures, presentations and classroom visits during their residency at the college.

Past Speakers

Felix Wemheuer

Felix Wemheuer received his M.A. in Politics of East Asia from Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany. From 2000 to 2002, he studied at the Institute for CCP History at the People's University of China, Beijing. During this time, he did field studies in villages in Henan regarding the Great Leap Forward. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in 2006. He has published two monographs in German on intellectual and peasant memory of the Great Leap Forward. His current research at Harvard is titled, "The Politicization of Hunger: Discourses of Food and State-Peasant Relationships in Socialist China and the Soviet Union." In 2009, the conference volume on "New Perspectives on the Great Forward and the Famine" (together with Kimberley Manning) will be published by University Press of British Columbia. Another conference volume on "Hunger, Nutrition and Rationing under State Socialism" is forthcoming from University Press of Leipzig.

Shang-Jin Wei

Dr. Shang-Jin Wei is Professor of Finance and Economics and N.T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy at Columbia University, and Director of Working Group on the Chinese Economy and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (U.S.), and Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research (Europe). Prior to his Columbia appointment, he was Assistant Director and Chief of Trade and Investment Division at the International Monetary Fund. He was the IMF’s Chief of Mission to Myanmar (Burma) in 2004. He previously held the positions of Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, the New Century Chair in Trade and International Economics at the Brookings Institution, and Advisor at the World Bank. He has been a consultant to numerous government organizations including the U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, United Nations Economic Commission on Europe, and United Nations Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, and to private companies, such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers. He holds a Ph.D. in economics and M.S. in finance from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Wei’s research covers corruption, international finance, trade, and China, and has been reported in the Financial Times, Economist, 20, Business Week, Times, US News and World Report, Chicago Tribune, Asian Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post, and other international news media. He has published widely in world-class academic journals including Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Finance, American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Journal, Journal of International Economics, European Economic Review, Canadian Journal of Economics and Journal of Development Economics. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of several books including China’s Evolving Role in the World Trade (with R. Feenstra, forthcoming University of Chicago Press), The Globalization of the Chinese Economy, (with J. Wen and H. Zhou, Edward Elgar, 2002), Economic Globalization: Finance, Trade and Policy Reforms, (Beijing University Press, 2000), and Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System, (J. A. Frankel with E. Stein and S.-J. Wei, Institute for International Economics, 1997).

J.P. Sniadecki

J.P. Sniadecki is a doctoral candidate in the Social Anthropology Department at Harvard University with an emphasis on Chinese society and sensory ethnography. He began making films in his home state of Michigan, focusing on his experience as an instructor in a prison education program. His first film in China, Songhua (2007), was screened at the 2008 Vienna International Film Festival, the 2007 Shadow Festival, and the 2007 SIGGRAPH. It has also received awards at the 2008 PLATFORMA Video Festival, the Negotiated View Film Festival, and the Eyes & Lenses Ethnographic Film Festival in Poland. J.P. is currently working on Sichuan Triptych, a film about three major events in 2008 that have shaped not only Sichuan but all of China: the March uprisings, the May earthquake, and the August Olympics.

Wang Chenguang

Professor Wang is Professor of Law and Dean, Tsinghua University Law School. He received his B.A., LL.M., and Ph.D. from Peking University, and an LL.M. from Harvard University. His research interests include Jurisprudence and Comparative Law. Professor Wang has also been an Arbitrator for CIETAC; Vice President, Legal Theory Association, China Law Society; Adjunct Professor, National Judges College; and Adjunct Professor, Law School, City University of Hong Kong.

Bruce Cumings

Cumings' research and teaching focus on modern Korean history, 20th century international history, U.S.-East Asian relations, East Asian political economy, and American foreign relations. His first book, The Origins of the Korean War, won the John King Fairbank Book Award of the American Historical Association, and the second volume of this study won the Quincy Wright Book Award of the International Studies Association. He is the editor of the modern volume of the Cambridge History of Korea (forthcoming), and is a frequent contributor to The London Review of Books, The Nation, Current History, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and Le Monde Diplomatique.

He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999, and is the recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, NEH, the MacArthur Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study at Stanford, and the Abe Fellowship Program of the Social Science Research Council. He was also the principal historical consultant for the Thames Television/PBS 6-hour documentary, Korea: The Unknown War. In 2003 he won the University’s award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, and in 2007 he won the Kim Dae Jung Prize for Scholarly Contributions to Democracy, Human Rights and Peace. He has just completed Dominion From Sea to Sea: Pacific Ascendancy and American Power, which will be published by Yale University Press. He is working on a synoptic single-volume study of the origins of the Korean War, and a book on the Northeast Asian political economy.

Beata Grant

Beata Grant is Professor of Chinese and Religious Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where she teaches a broad range of courses in classical Chinese literature, popular religious literature, and women in premodern Chinese history, as well as survey courses in Asian religions. In terms of research, her general area of interest lies in the intersection between religion and literature, with a particular focus on women and Buddhism. She is the author of a number of articles and several books, including Mount Lu Revisited: Buddhism in the Life and Writings of Su Shih, 1036-1101 (Hawaii University Press, 1994); Daughters of Emptiness: Poems by Chinese Buddhist Nuns (Wisdom, 2003); (with Wilt Idema) The Red Brush: Writings by Women of Imperial China (Harvard Asia Center, 2004); and most recently, Eminent Nuns: Women Chan Masters of Seventeenth-Century China (Hawaii University Press, 2008).

William Grimes

William Grimes is an associate professor in the Department of International Relations at Boston University, where he has taught since 1996 and received tenure in 2003. In 2008, he was appointed to be the founding director of the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia. In past years, he has served as associate chair and director of graduate studies of International Relations. At BU, he is also an affiliate of the Department of Political Science. He has also been active in the Japanese studies community at Harvard, where he is affiliated with the Program on US-Japan Relations and Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and serve as the coordinator of the Reischauer Institute’s Contemporary Japanese Politics Study Group.

Hurst Hannum

Hannum is a Professor of International Law at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He has been a consultant to the United Nations on issues ranging from minority rights to the situations in Afghanistan, East Timor, and Western Sahara and has served on the boards of a number of nongovernmental human rights organizations. He was the primary consultant to ICAP in developing the Dublin Principles and contributed to the Conference on Alcohol, Ethics, and Society. Among numerous other publications, Professor Hannum is author of Autonomy, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination: The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights, editor of Guide to International Human Rights Practice and Negotiating Self-Determination, and co-author of International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Policy, and Practice; Brandies and Liqueurs of the World; and The Fine Wines of California.

Watch Professor Hannum's lecture, "Human Rights and China: Inside and Out."

Yasheng Huang

Yasheng Huang is professor of political economy and international management at Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His previous appointments include faculty positions at the University of Michigan and at Harvard University and consultant at the World Bank. In addition to academic journal articles, Professor Huang has published Inflation and Investment Controls in China (1996), FDI in China (1998), Selling China (2003), Financial Reform in China (2005, co-edited with Tony Saich and Edward Steinfeld), and Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics (2008). Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics is a detailed narrative account of history of economic reforms in China and is based on archival and quantitative evidence spanning three decades of reforms. This book shows that private entrepreneurship, facilitated by financial liberalization and microeconomic flexibility very early on in the reform era, played a central role in China’s economic miracle. There is no evidence that China’s economic takeoff was state-led. The book predicted and discusses in detail the current economic challenges facing China. The book was selected by the Economist magazine as one of the best books published in 2008.

His research has been profiled in many publications, including the Wall Street JournalThe Economist, BusinessworldLe Monde, Economic Times, Daily Telegraph, Bloomberg, Businessweek, Guardian, The Australian, Canberra Times, The Standard, Financial Times, Times Magazine, The Globalist as well as in numerous Chinese publications and publications in Germany, France, Sweden, Romania, Brazil, and Russia. He has published opinion articles in Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, McKinsey Quarterly, Forbes, Far Eastern Economic Review, Emerging Markets, and Foreign Policy. He is currently working on a book manuscript on consumption and urbanization in China.

In addition, using the newly-available household survey data, he is writing papers on rural finance and wealth creation and urbanization in China. In collaboration with other scholars, Professor Huang is undertaking joint research projects production of scientific knowledge, human capital in China and on ethnic and labor-intensive FDI. At MIT Sloan School, Professor Huang founded and runs China Lab and India Lab, which aim to help indigenous entrepreneurs in China and India improve their management. He has held or received prestigious fellowships such as National Fellowship at Stanford University and Social Science Research Council-MacArthur Fellowship. He is a member of MIT Entrepreneurship Center, a fellow at Center for Chinese Economic Research and Center for China in the World Economy at Tsinghua University, a fellow at William Davidson Institute at Michigan Business School, a World Economic Forum Fellow, and a non-resident fellow for the OECD’s global development outlook project.

Peter Perdue

Perdue has a Ph.D. (1981) from Harvard University in the field of History and East Asian Languages. He is the author of Exhausting the Earth: State and Peasant in Hunan 1500-1850 A.D. (Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1987) and China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia (Harvard University Press, 2005). He has also written on grain markets in China, agricultural development, and environmental history. His research interests lie in modern Chinese and Japanese social and economic history, history of frontiers, and world history. He is a recipient of the 1988 Edgerton Award and the James A. Levitan Prize at MIT. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007. He is currently Professor of History at Yale University.

Mark Ramseyer

Mark Ramseyer is the Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Legal Studies at Harvard University. Over the past several years, his research has focused on the finance and governance of Japanese firms. He regularly teaches both American Corporate Law and courses related to Japanese law, and is co-editor of casebooks in both fields. Prior to his work at Harvard, Ramseyer taught at the University of Chicago (1992-1998) and at UCLA (1986-1992). Ramseyer was raised in Japan, where he attended Japanese schools until the 6th grade. He attended Goshen College (B.A., History, 1976), the University of Michigan (A.M., Japanese Studies, 1978), and the Harvard Law School (J.D. magna cum laude, 1982).

Paul Ropp

Paul Ropp is the Andrea and Peter Klein Distinguished Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies at Clark University. He began studying China in graduate school at the University of Michigan in 1966. A specialist in late imperial China, he is the author of two books: Dissent in Early Modern China: "Ju-lin wai-shih" and Ch'ing Social Criticism (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1981), and Banished Immortal: Searching for Shuangqing, China's Peasant Woman Poet (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001); and the editor of two books: Heritage of China: Contemporary Perspectives on Chinese Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), and (with Paola Zamperini and Harriet T. Zurndorfer), Passionate Women: Female Suicide in Late Imperial China (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2001).

In 2010, he will publish China in World History with Oxford University Press. Professor Ropp has been at Clark University since 1985, and has served as Chair of the History Department, as Associate Dean of the College, and for one year as Dean of the College. He founded the Asian Studies program at Clark in the late 1980s. He has lived and studied several times in Taiwan since 1968, and first visited the People’s Republic in 1975. He is currently working on a study of political dissent through China’s long history, and he spent the spring semester in Nanjing in 2005 as a research fellow at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, a program jointly administered by Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University.

Lobsang Sangay

Senior Associate at East Asian Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School. Lobsang Sangay studied at Tibetan refugee school in Darjeeling and did his B.A. (Honors) and LLB (Bachelor in Law) from Delhi University. In 1995, he received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue Master Degree at Harvard Law School. In 2004, he completed his Doctorate in Law and became the first Tibetan among six million to graduate from Harvard Law School. He was a recipient of 2004 Yong K. Kim' 95 Prize of excellence for his Doctorate dissertation. In 2006, he was selected as one of the twenty-four young leaders of Asia by Asia Society, a global organization based in New York City. He has given numerous lectures on Sino-Tibet issues in various institutes and venues around the world. He organized major conferences on Tibet between Chinese and Tibetan scholars at Harvard University including an unprecedented meeting between 35 Mainland Chinese scholars and the Dalai Lama in 2003 and with 100 Chinese scholars in May 2009.

He is also an editorial consultant for Radio Free Asia and has a weekly radio program. As an expert on Tibet, international human rights law, democracy and conflict resolution, he has been consulted by the news media, including the Wall Street Journal, BBC, TIME Magazine, Washington Post, Far Eastern Economic Review, Boston Globe, and the Times of London. He coordinates a Tibetan Nutrition Project helping around 2000 Tibetan refugee students in India. He has published articles about Tibet in the Harvard Asia Quarterly, Journal of Democracy, Harvard South Asia Journal and chapters in books on Tibet and Human Rights.