Graduate Students

Field of Study

All Graduates

  • Raiyah bint Al-Hussein

    Premodern Japanese Literature
    Raiyah bint Al-Hussein completed an undergraduate degree in Japanese at the University of Edinburgh and an MA in Japanese Literature at Columbia University. She is interested in the reception of medieval warrior narratives in Japan and the Arab World and their impact upon the construction of national identities.

  • Andrea Kim Cavicchi

    Modern Korean History, Asian American Studies
    Andrea is a Ph.D. Candidate of Modern Korean History and also holds a concentration in Asian American Studies. Her dissertation focuses on the multiple ways that overseas Korean adoptee returnees practice resistance in Korea, such as forming coalitions with unwed mother organizations and families of origin who have lost their children to overseas adoption. Her research interests include activism, women’s rights, Korean/Asian diasporas, transnationalism, nationalism, race, ethnicity, and identity.

  • Jin Aeng Choi

    Korean Literary and Cultural Studies

    Jin Aeng Choi is a Ph.D student in Modern Korean Literature. She received her B.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literature and Media and Communication Studies from Korea University, M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literature from Korea University, and M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literature from the State University of New York – Stony book. She is interested in Korean Diasporas and its cultural products.

  • A photo of Julia Clark
    Julia Clark

    Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies
    Julia Clark received her BA in Linguistics from Carleton College in 2012. Her current research focuses on postwar Zainichi Korean authors. She is interested in literature emerging from the Ikaino neighborhood of Osaka in the postwar period as a space of intersecting issues of gender, class, and ethnicity, and in the historicization and canonization of Zainichi women’s writing.

  • Lance Crisler

    Early Chinese Literature
    I am interested in early historical texts. In particular, I want to better understand the Chinese historiographic impulse during the early period and how the early empire conceived of its memory of itself. To this end, I research multiple literary genres to help me develop a theory of historiographic textuality prior to and during the Han.

  • Lindsey DeWitt

    Japanese Religions
    Lindsey DeWitt’s dissertation research interest concerns the social and historical dimensions of Japanese religions, particularly as they relate to the place of women and gender at pilgrimage and mountainous worship sites. She is broadly trained in Japanese religions, art history, history, and language, as well as Chinese religions and history. She holds an M.A. in International Studies/Comparative Religion from the University of Washington (2008) and a B.A. in Political Science/Asian Studies from Colorado State University (2004). In addition to scholarly pursuits, Lindsey is an avid photographer and purveyor of the arts and music.

  • A photo of Lin Du
    Lin Du

    Chinese Language and Culture

    Lin DU is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She received her B.A. in Chinese Literature from Peking University, and her M.A. in Regional Studies East Asia from Harvard University. Her research interests include modern and contemporary Chinese photography, cinema, art, and literature in Mao era and post-Mao era.

  • Kyoungmi Ha

    Korean Linguistics
    Discourse analysis, conversation analysis, second language acquisition, language pedagogy, and Korean linguistics. 
    Kyoungmi Ha is a PhD candidate and a graduate teaching fellow. Her current research explores the use of specific sentence-ending suffixes in which Korean speakers convey certain social actions and knowledge levels in both ordinary conversation and institutional talk.  In her prior research, she examined second language learners’ perception and production of Korean word order. Kyoungmi has a BA degree in both Education and in Korean Language/Literature and an MA degree in Linguistics. She has taught college-level Korean courses at universities in the U.S. She is also a TESOL certified instructor.

  • Matthew Hayes

    Buddhist Studies (Japan)
    Matthew Hayes received his B.A. (2006) in Religious Studies from the University of Oregon, where he returned for his M.A. (2012) in Asian Studies. He is broadly interested in ritual practice and social change in Japan during the Tokugawa period, as well as in the intersections between ritual and ideology, economy, and geography. He is currently exploring kōshiki (Buddhist ceremonial texts) with some of these issues in mind. His dissertation project concerns the use of Shingon kōshiki in the solicitation of temple patronage, as well as how the curation of ritual content ordered the relationships between clergy and lay patrons. His project will include not only studies of kōshiki, but also commentaries that may highlight their textual evolution in light of new lay concerns during the early modern period.

  • James Hillmer

    James Hillmer is PhD student in Modern Korean history. He received his B.A. in History and East Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. from UCLA in East Asian Studies. He is interested in the development of the modern Korean prison system and the historical changes in penological discourse on the Korean peninsula. He is primarily focused on the turnover of Japanese colonial penal institutions to the U.S. occupation government after Liberation in 1945.

  • A photo of Yiyang Hou
    Yiyang Hou

    Chinese Language and Culture

    Yiyang Hou received his BA in Sociology, and Cinema and Cultural Studies from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and MA in Film and Media Studies from Columbia University in the City of New York. Currently, he is a doctoral student of East Asian cinema and media studies at UCLA. Intersecting Film Studies, Sociology and East Asian Studies, his research focuses on the material history of Chinese cinema in relation to architecture, urban development, and technological integration.

    Working as a dedicated translator of Film Studies, Yiyang has translated and published John Anderson’s Edward Yang (2013) and Laura Mulvey’s Citizen Kane (2014) in China. In addition, his translation of Arthur De Vany’s Hollywood Economics, Thomas Elsaesser’s Metropolis, and The French New Wave: Critical Landmarks will soon be published through Peking University Press.

  • Philip Wei-li Hsu

    Buddhist Studies

    Philip Hsu received his BA in history from National Chengchi University and MA in history from National Tsinghua University. Before joining the Buddhist studies program at UCLA, he worked at Academia Sinica and enrolled in PhD program in history at National Chengchi University, with a research focus on Chinese intellectual history during the Sung-Yuan-Ming period. He is interested in Chinese Buddhist-State relations, Buddhist monastic codes and Buddhist hagiography from Sung dynasty down to the early Qing period.

  • A photo of Joon Hur
    Joon Hur

    Premodern Korean History

    Joon Hur is a Ph.D. student of Premodern Korean history. He is completing his dissertation which focuses on whether among Koreans in the premodern period, there existed a shared collective identity that could be utilized by modernizing nationalists and that significantly informed the nature of nationalism in twentieth century Korea. He received both his B.A. and M.A. in History from Sogang University in Korea and subsequently earned another M.A. degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia in 2010.

  • A photo of Seunggon Jeong
    Seunggon Jeong

    Seunggon Jeong is currently working on the use of interrogative ending suffixes in Korean conversations using the frameworks of Corpus linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Conversation Analysis.

  • A photo of Jaehyun Jo
    Jaehyun Jo

    Korean Linguistics
    Jaehyun has currently been working on revisiting the concept of formality in language and how Koreans manage to express their perception of ‘self’ and ‘other’ in interaction through different linguistic devices. He is also interested in language use and its connection to context, culture and society from a functional/interactional linguistic perspective.
    Jaehyun got his B.A. and M.A. in Korean linguistics at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. Before coming to UCLA in 2015, he had taught Korean and Korea-related courses at Wellesley College, Qatar International Academy for Security Studies, Yonsei University, and the University of Costa Rica. He received the 1st annual award for excellence in teaching from the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, UCLA in 2017.

  • Kirk Kanesaka

    Premodern Japanese Literature
    Kirk Kanesaka earned his MA from USC where his interest was in the different portrayals of the Shunkan sequence found in the different variants of the Tale of Heike. Currently, his interests has shifted to the Edo period where he examines the relationship between popular fiction and theater. In particular, he focuses on writers such as Ihara Saikaku, Chikamatsu Monzaemon and Ki no Kaion. He is also interested in the portrayal of the supernatural, animals and the deranged figures by the Bunraku and Kabuki Theaters. He is currently a Fulbright scholar for 2013-2014, where he is conducting his research at Waseda University and Tokyo University.

  • Hieyoon Kim

    Cultural and Comparative Studies – Korea Focus
    Hieyoon Kim is currently finishing her dissertation, which reconceptualizes a discursive history of film preservation and archive in Korea. Her project demonstrates the formation of archives vis-à-vis the postcolonial process of modernization in Korea, the transition from colony to nation-state, and the country’s involvement in the Cold War. Her research interests include modern Korean history, postcolonial theory, comparative film history, and archive studies.

  • A photo of Sung Eun Kim
    Sung Eun Kim

    Modern Korean History, Cultural/Intellectual History

    Sung Eun is a Ph.D. student in Modern Korean History. He received his M.A. in East Asian Regional Studies from Columbia University, and his B.A. in Asian Studies and Political Science from Vassar College. His main research focuses on the development of cultural and intellectual history of North Korea through a comprehensive analysis of written works related to it’s history, literature, film, visual art and other media.

  • Natalia Konstantinovskaia

    Japanese Linguistics
    I got my B.A. in Japanese Linguistics from Far Eastern University of Humanities in Russia. I also studied one year in Tokyo at Keio University. At UCLA my focus lies in sociopragmatics, corpus linguistics and second language acquisition. In particular, I am interested in comparing the genderlects of Japanese and Russian languages. My other project is acquisition of Japanese honorific speech in various speech acts, such as requesting.

  • Yasmine Krings

    Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies

    Yasmine Krings received a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Chicago and an MA in Regional Studies – East Asia from Harvard University. Her research focuses on conceptions and portrayals of mixed-race-ness in Japan across visual and textual media from the postwar era to the present day. Her prior work and general interests include women’s literature, motherhood, gender and sexuality, blackness and postcolonial studies.


  • Matt Lauer

    Pre-Modern Korean History
    Matt Lauer received his B.A. in International and Area Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and his M.A. in East Asian Languages and Literatures from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Matt works chiefly on microhistory from the Chosŏn period, and finds particular interest in points of intersection between regional religious practice and social conflict. He focuses on the city of Namwŏn after the Hideyoshi invasions, with special emphasis on all issues pertaining to reconstruction following the war. He also loves thumbing through old legal documents and literary collections. In his very small amount of spare time, he likes to play ice hockey and cook.

  • Don Lee

    East Asian Linguistics – Korean and Japanese
    Don received his B.A. in Art History and M.A in East Asian Studies at UCLA. He is interested in language change, semiotics, and comparative Korean and Japanese linguistics. His dissertation explores the notion of dialogicity as an inherent attribute in human interaction and its residual effects on language use and forms.

  • Heeju Lee
    Korean Linguistics
    Second/Heritage Language Acquisition, Applied Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics, Conversation/Discourse Analysis, Grammaticalization
    Heeju is a Ph.D. candidate, currently working on her dissertation on the acquisition of second language prosody in Korean and English.
    B.A. (2007) and M.A. (2009) in English language and literature from Sogang University, Seoul, Korea, and M.A. (2011) in Applied Linguistics & TESL from UCLA.
  • HeeJin Lee

    HeeJin received her AB in East Asian Studies and Government from Harvard University in 2005 and her JD from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2009. She is interested in examining questions of language and their impact on identity formation as manifested in literary texts of early 20th century Korea and francophone Africa.

  • A photo of Seongryong Lee
    Seongryong Lee

    Bhikkhu Dukil (Seongryong Lee)

    Ph.D. Focus: The Early Phase of Indian Buddhism

    I am a Korean Buddhist monk. I received a B.A. in Statistics from Seoul National University in Korea. I learned Pali language and its literature at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka for about four years. I earned an M.A. in the History of Religion from the University of Virginia. Then, I started my Ph.D. program in the field of Buddhism at UCLA in 2015. My current research interest is in the Atthakavagga of the Sutta Nipata, one of the earliest Buddhist literatures. I am much intrigued by how this doctrinally unsystematized text have been understood by different Buddhist traditions. I mainly compare the Pali version with the Chinese one together with their multilayered commentaries. For the larger picture of my study, I also enjoy reading the early Upanisads, which roughly precedes the institutionalizations of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

  • Jiajun Liang

    Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies
    Jiajun Liang received his B.A. in Japanese Studies and Economics from Macalester College, and his M.A. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the relationship between the dissolution of the Japanese empire and the emergence of transnational literature in the postwar period, especially in the context of globalization and multilingualism.

  • Hannah Saeyoung Lim

    Modern Korean History
    Emphasis on post-1960 South Korean gender and public culture. Hannah is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the USC Korean Studies Institute.

  • Fang-Ru Lin

    East Asian Cultural and Comparative Studies – Japan Focus

    Fang-Ru Lin received her M.A. in Drama and Theatre from National Taiwan University. She is currently working on postwar Japanese theatre and performance. Her research interests also include performance theory, Sinophone theatre, intercultural theatre, and postcolonialism.

  • Faye Qiyu Lu

    Chinese Language and Culture

    Faye Qiyu Lu is a PhD student of modern Chinese literature, film and media culture. Her academic interests include the aesthetics and politics of time and the conception of Asia in China. She hopes to explore these themes in intellectual discourses and popular culture of the Republican era and beyond. Faye completed her BA in Political Science and French at Wellesley College (2013) and MA in Critical Asian Humanities at Duke University (2017).

  • Iris Lujing Ma

    Modern Chinese Literature and Cinema
    Iris is a Ph.D. candidate working on Chinese martial arts fiction in the Republican Era. Her research interests include the literary and intellectual history of modern China, material culture, vernacular fiction, and Chinese cinema. Iris’ dissertation examines the historical transformation of martial arts fiction from chivalric/court-case fiction in the late imperial era into the modern conception of “Kung Fu” literature and cinema. Her project speaks to the interplay of literature, popular culture, and politics in early twentieth century China. She is currently teaching western mythology and has taught Chinese Civilization, Japanese Civilization and Modern Chinese Literature in Translation.

  • Casey Martin

    Japanese Studies
    My research concerns literary and cinematic interpretations of both the incendiary and atomic bombings of Japan during World War II. I am particularly interested in discovering how these mediums have affected memories of the war in modern Japanese society.

  • Kim Mc Nelly

    Premodern Japanese Literature
    Kim Mc Nelly completed a B.A. (2008) in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Smith College and an M.A. (2015) in Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is interested in Japanese medieval women’s involvement in the transmission of war-related narratives and the continuing influence of their gendered portrayals through WWII.

  • Evan Nicoll-Johnson

    Chinese Literature
    Evan Nicoll-Johnson received his M.A. from the University of Southern California, and BA from Occidental College. He is studying early medieval Chinese literature and culture, with research interests that include the poetry and prose of the Northern and Southern Dynasties, religious literature, and the history of the book. Currently, he is working on a dissertation that discusses the relationship among bibliographic methods, theories of genre, and the production of textual knowledge.

  • Sangmee Oh

    Cultural and Comparative Studies – Korea Focus

    Sangmee Oh received her B.A. and M.A. at History Department from Yonsei University, and is currently working on her dissertation, which concerns Korean Studies in the United States, and knowledge construction on Korea from 1882 to 1970s. Her research interests involve establishment of area studies in the U.S., Cold War, American writings of Korea, knowledge construction on the colonized nation, comparative colonial studies, transnational intellectual networks and interactions, American images of Korea, Orientalism, etc.

  • Jong Woo Park

    East Asia Intellectual History, Korean and Japanese History
    Jong Woo Park is a Ph.D. student in Asian Languages and Cultures at University of California, Los Angeles, where he is working on the history of the formation and circulation of modern knowledge in East Asia from the 1850s to the 1920s. His research focuses on ways in which imperialism and colonialism affect the formulation of modern knowledge, and how traditional languages and intellectual discourses have transformed through translation and institutionalized modern educational systems. He holds an A.M. (2011) in Regional Studies-East Asia from Harvard University and a B.A. (2009) in Philosophy, History, and Religious Studies from Sogang University, Seoul, Korea.

  • A photo of Chiara Pavone
    Chiara Pavone

    Japanese Modern and Contemporary Literature

    Chiara Pavone received her B.A. in Asian History and Culture from the University of Bologna, and her M.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from Ca’ Foscari University (Venice). Her research interests include disaster literature, Japanese contemporary thought and postmodernism, but she focuses particularly on the new narrative trends appearing in post-Fukushima literature and how they appear to shape the collective imaginary of catastrophe.

  • Frederick M. Ranallo-Higgins

    Korean History and Religions
    Frederick M. Ranallo-Higgins graduated from the University of Colorado in 2005 with a BA in Art History and Religious Studies and received his MA in Korean History from Columbia University in 2010.  His research interests include Korean intellectual and religious history; subversion and dissent in Chosŏn; new religious movements from Late Chosŏn to the early years of Japanese occupation; shamanism; and Won Buddhism.

  • Laura Reizman

    Korea, Vietnam, the transpacific
    I am interested in the issues of race and racism in South Korea post 1945. As such, my research looks into the human consequences of U.S. and Korean militarisms, respectively, during the Cold War era. Applying interdisciplinary methodologies, I analyze films, photographs, and literature to rethink how race has been determined within an ethnic national framework as well as how current Korean multicultural policies have impacted mainstream perspectives on marginalized communities such as those labeled as “damunhwa families.” My work is informed by critical race theory, postcolonial theory, and feminist and queer theory.

  • A photo of Maarika Rickansrud
    Maarika Rickansrud

    Korean Literary and Cultural Studies 

    Maarika Rickansrud is a Ph.D. student in Modern Korean Literature. She received her B.A. in Asian Studies and Japanese Language from UC Berkeley, and her M.A. in Regional Studies East Asia from Harvard University. Her research interests include the decolonization of East Asia in the aftermath of World War II, with a particular interest in how former colonial writers in Korea and Taiwan envisioned their ‘national’ language and literature before and after Japanese occupation, and how Japanese language writings are dealt with in contemporary popular memory.

  • Diego Loukota Sanclemente

    Buddhist Studies
    I was born and grew up in Colombia and finished with honors my BA in History (Asia) at the University of Bologna in Italy. During my BA I had the chance to spend one year in China (Dalian) learning Mandarin thanks to support from my university. Also during my BA I spent a few months in Benares, India, learning Sanskrit with the traditional method. After my BA degree I went to Beijing to start a MA in Sanskrit & Pali at Peking University under the supervision of Professor Duan Qing. Now I am starting my PhD in the Buddhist Studies program under the supervision of Professor Gregory Schopen. Although I have not yet defined a doctoral project, I am interested in Buddhism as an international cultural idiom in Asia during the first half of the first millennium AD. I am especially interested in Buddhist narrative and poetry.

  • Kenneth Masaki Shima

    East Asian Cultural and Comparative Studies – Japan Focus
    Receiving his BA from University of Washington, Ken pursued his interest in postwar Japanese film by moving to Tokyo to research 1950s and 60s film and literature. He worked as a researcher for two years at Nihon University before being accepted to the Masters program there and graduating with an MA in 2011. His master’s thesis focused on youth film and literature of the mid 1950s with focus on Sakaguchi Ango, Ishihara Shintarō, and director Nakahiro Kō. In 2012 Ken entered the UCLA PhD program and switched gears from film to focus more on unanswered questions regarding the category of youth and mass media from the turn of the 20th century. By incorporating ideas related to satirical political critique that originated from his interest in social melodramas in popular postwar films, he is currently working on periodicals from the 1890s-1910s and the writing of ‘critical’ or ‘counter’ histories, specifically on the figures of Miyatake Gaikotsu, Umehara Hokumei, and Yokoyama Gennosuke.

  • Eric Siercks

    Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies
    Eric Siercks entered the department of Asian Languages and Cultures after earning a M.A. in Japanese literature from the University of Colorado and a B.A. in English from Lawrence University. He is interested in postwar Japanese literature and intellectual history, how concepts of the nation developed transnationally across complex political spectra, and the impact of postwar thought on contemporary nationalism.

  • Thomas Stock

    North Korea
    Thomas Stock is a third-year PhD student, holding an M.A. degree in East Asian Studies from Indiana University (Bloomington) and a B.A. in History and German from the University of North Texas. His current research seeks to understand North Korean ideology in relation to transnational forces, focusing on North Korea’s ideological discourse with the socialist world, especially East Germany.

  • Danjie Su

    Chinese Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition&Pedagogy, Discourse Analysis

    Danjie Su’s research interests are in Chinese linguistics, Chinese language and culture, applied linguistics and second language acquisition&pedagogy, and discourse analysis. Her research can be characterized as discourse-based, with a focus on the pragmatic and cultural aspects of linguistic choice-making in real-life communication involving the Chinese language. Her dissertation uses empirical data to investigate how Chinese native speakers make alternative grammatical choices in conversational discourse. She also applies discourse analysis to language pedagogy, exploring ways to use authentic materials and implement genuine interactional activities to develop Chinese language learners’ ability to make informed language choices. Her publications appear in international journals such as Discourse Studies, Journal of Pragmatics, Chinese Language and Discourse, Journal of Chinese Linguistics, and journals in Chinese as a second language. She is the founding co-editor of Guoji Hanyu [World Chinese Language Journal], a journal in teaching Chinese as a second language.

    For the past ten years, Danjie Su has taught over 30 and TA-ed for over 20 classes at UCLA and Sun Yat-sen University’s School of Chinese as a Second Language. The courses included all levels of Chinese language courses as well as content courses in Chinese linguistics, literature, & culture, and Asian linguistics, such as Elementary ChineseIntermediate ChineseAdvanced Chinese through FilmTopics in Chinese Language and CultureIntroduction to Chinese LinguisticsIntroduction to Chinese Culture, Methods in Asian Linguistics, and Selected Readings in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature. Su coordinated a writing program of all levels of Chinese language courses while teaching at Sun Yat-sen University in China. In addition to advising Bachelor’s theses in Chinese as a second language at SYSU, she also advised over two dozen graduate students in their Chinese teaching practicums at SYSU and UCLA. She was nominated by the department for the Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award at UCLA in 2015 and received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department in 2017.


  • A photo of Shih-Wei Sun
    Shih-Wei Sun

    Premodern Japanese Literature

    Shih-Wei Sun is a PhD candidate at ALC, focusing on Premodern Japanese Literature. He receives his BA at National Taiwan University (Taipei, Taiwan), MA at Columbia University (New York, USA). He is interested especially in Nara period Japanese texts, and wrote his MA thesis focusing on the Mythologies of Kojiki and Nihon shoki. He is currently working on his dissertation at Waseda University in Japan, supported by the Yanai Initiative Fellowship.

  • Wakako Suzuki

    Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies
    Wakako Suzuki received her Bachelor of Arts in German Literature from Rikkyo University and her Master of Arts in Japanese Literature from Stanford University. She is interested in the role of translation and adaptation in Japanese literature, with a particular focus on the shifting concept of authors and authorship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among her interests is included the modern reception of setsuwa as adaptations of classical folktales and fables in Japan.

  • Mariko Takano

    Mariko Takano received her MA in Japanese literature at Waseda University. Her research interests include postwar literature and literary criticism.

  • Yue Eric Tojimbara

    Buddhist Studies, Premodern Japanese Literature
    Yue Eric Tojimbara received his MA in Asian Studies from the University of Oregon. His work there focused on the intersections between vernacular literature and Buddhism in medieval Japan. Since then his interests have shifted towards the early modern period, where he focuses on questions of Buddhist intellectual history, particularly as they are informed by the development of Edo period print culture. He is especially interested in the dynamic and public intellectual exchange between Buddhists and non-Buddhists that occurred on the printed page, whether in the form of cutting edge scholarship or vernacular narrative. His other interests include Buddhist hagiography and historiography, setsuwa, kanazōshi, the history of the book, medieval Japanese manuscript cultures, questions of lineage in East Asian religious thought, and Meiji intellectual history.

  • Tommy Tran

    Cultural and Comparative Studies – Korea Focus / Cheju Island Studies
    My interests are on the issues of ways in which people initiate or respond to political, economic, folklore, and social projects that have the specific purpose of articulating notions of local identity. Though localism is a global phenomenon, my research is specifically focused on Cheju Island, South Korea where the intensification of urban expansion and a globalized tourism industry have spurred considerable debate and anxieties in the past four decades.

  • A photo of Danica Truscott
    Danica Truscott

    Premodern Japanese Literature
    Danica Truscott received her BA (2011) in Japanese Language from UC Berkeley, and her MA (2014) in Regional Studies – East Asia from Harvard University. Her research interests include Nara and Heian court literature, issues of canonicity, the construction of women’s literary history, and writing as a form of agency.

  • Dermott Joseph Walsh

    Buddhist Studies (Japan)
    Dermott J. Walsh received his BA (2003) in Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin, and his MA (2009) from Leiden University, the Netherlands, in Japanese Studies. His research interests include early Zen in Japan, monastic regulations, and techniques of meditation in East Asian Buddhism. Dermott has published on the Kyoto school of Japanese philosophy in the journal Asian Philosophy, and has recently contributed a co-authored article and translation to From the Things Themselves: Architecture and Phenomenology (2013, Kyoto University Press).

  • A photo of Wei Wang
    Wei Wang

    Chinese discourse grammar, language pedagogy, language change, discourse pragmatics, conversation analysis


    Wei Wang’s dissertation investigates the prosody and functions of discourse markers in Mandarin conversations. Drawing from video-taped natural conversations, she shows the ways in which the different functions of a discourse marker are manifested in prosodic features including duration, pitch range, stress, and prosodic phrasing. Her dissertation also discusses the pedagogical implications of her findings, showing the necessity and feasibility to teach discourse markers with associated prosody in the classroom.

    Wei Wang has taught all levels of Chinese at UCLA and the Middlebury Summer Intensive Program. She consistently uses technology and multimedia materials in her class. She served as the instructor of record for Introduction to Chinese Linguistics in summer 2016. In addition, Wei Wang has taught other content-based courses such as Topics in Chinese Language and CultureIntroduction to Language, Structure of the Chinese Language, and Introduction to Mandarin Chinese Grammar.

  • Elizabeth E. Weber

    Chinese Literature
    Elizabeth is currently researching the international trade in indentured Chinese labor (huagong) in the 19th century. More specifically, her dissertation focuses on fictional representations of Chinese laborers abused by foreign employers, and analyzes the emergence of these figures as symbols of national renovation in early 20th century Chinese literature.

  • Donghyun Woo

    North Korean History, Cold War History

    Donghyun is a Ph.D. student in history of socialism. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Korean History from Seoul National University. His research concerns the relationship between North Korea and the Soviet Union in the Cold War period, focusing on how “socialist” forms of knowledge and technology were constructed, contested and configured. He is interested in integrating approaches and methodologies from different fields such as anthropology, intellectual history and science, technology and society studies (STS). He has presented in several countries including the US, the UK, Russia and Norway. He studied Russian language in the city of Tomsk in 2017 and loves the following Russian phrase: “tol’ko vpered, ni shagu nazad!


  • Matthew W. Wright

    Korean and East Asian Modern History
    I am studying transnational anti-communism in East Asia during the Cold War, with a particular focus on Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

  • Haiping Wu

    Chinese Linguistics
    Chinese Applied Linguistics, with a focus on discourse analysis and language teaching
    In the doctoral program at UCLA, my research is focused on naturally occurring, video/audio-recorded social interactions in a variety of situations: ordinary conversations between family and friends, and conversations in institutional settings. Broadly, I am interested in examining how members of a certain cultural and language community pursue mutual understanding and construct social relations, cultural norms, ideologies and identities through language. My work includes reported speech in Mandarin conversations, stance taking in Chinese, conversational storytelling and language change. Integrating culture and technology into the Chinese language classroom is also one of my pedagogical focuses.

  • Sungha Yun

    Buddhist Studies
    Sung Ha (Sunjung) Yun received her MA in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley. She received her BA in Hindi Literature from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul in 2003 and went on to receive a BA from Wonkwang University in 2005 and an MA from the Won Institute of Graduate Studies in 2007. She was ordained as a Won Buddhist kyomu (Won Buddhist priest) in 2007. As she joins in the Buddhist Studies program at UCLA, she hopes to work on framing and understanding Won Buddhism in Korea within the wider context of Indian and Chinese Buddhism by considering socio-cultural, historical, and philosophical aspects of both Buddhism and Won Buddhism.

  • A photo of Meimei Zhang
    Meimei Zhang

    Classical Chinese literature

    Meimei Zhang is a Ph.D candidate of Classical Chinese literature. She completed an undergraduate degree in Chinese language and literature at Beijing Foreign Studies University and an MA in Chinese Literature at UCLA. She is interested in literature and music from pre-Qin period to the Northern Song of China, and she is especially interested in the representation of guqin in literary texts.

  • Cui Zhou

    Chinese Cinema

    Cui Zhou is currently studying modern Chinese cinema. She got her B.A and M.A from Peking University, China. She also received a M.A in East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interest focuses on director studies, textual studies, Chinese film history, and the relationship between politics and cinema.

  • A photo of Yan Zhou
    Yan Zhou

    Chinese Linguistics

    Yan received her MA in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Beijing Normal University, and her BA in Teaching Chinese as A Foreign Language at Xi’an International Studies University. Before coming to UCLA, she was visiting at Bucknell University, where she studied Linguistics and TAed Chinese language classes. 

    Her research interests focus on functional linguistics, including conversation and discourse analysis, and corpus linguistics. She’s also interested in exploring the social-cultural aspects of language and language usage, such as identity and interaction.

    Yan has been teaching or TAing Mandarin courses since 2012 at different institutions, including Beijing Normal University, intensive summer language program Princeton-in-Beijing, Bucknell University, and now UCLA. She enjoys teaching the language, and strives to apply the results of research in her field to the teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese.