Four Hamilton Professors Receive Freeman Foundation Research Grants

Hamilton College Professors Cheng Li, Ann Frechette, Thomas Wilson and Kyoko Omori have been awarded research grants from the Freeman Foundation for their proposals for Asian studies research projects. The grant program funds both long-term and short-term projects. Projects that receive funding from the Freeman Foundation are focused on professional development of the Hamilton Asian Studies faculty.

William R. Kenan Professor of Government Cheng Li was awarded for his proposed long-term project, "Techno-Nationalism versus Techno-Globalism: Worldviews and Values of Foreign-Educated 'Returnees' in China." This project will examine two conflicting worldviews, techno-nationalism and techno-globalism, that could potentially cause division in Chinese policymaking. With the help of a student assistant, Li will study the "backgrounds, values, and policy orientations of "returnees," or foreign-educated Chinese, and how the views of "returnees" differ from locally-trained Chinese policy-makers. Li believes this study "will contribute to the scholarly debate on the role of national identity and the diffusion of international norms."

The Luce Junior Professor of Asian Studies Ann Frechette also received an award for her long-term research project. The project funds three months of field research in China that Frechette will begin in June 2005. While in China, Frechette and a student researcher will focus on completing research for Frechette's book on China-US adoptions and the disparities in the adoption process between different Chinese provinces.

Professor of History Thomas Wilson was also awarded for his long-term project, a comparative book on Confucian sacrifice and corresponding video documentary. Wilson will travel to China for one month to work in libraries and archives in Beijing, Qufu, Shanghai, Quzhou, and Taiwan to gather information on Confucian sacrifice. Wilson will also travel to India for three weeks to visit Hindu temples and film rituals. Upon his return, a student assistant will help him edit the documentary film.

Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature and Language Kyoko Omori was awarded grant funding to complete her current book project. The book is titled Detecting Modanizum: Shinseinen [New Youth] Magazine, Tantei Shosestu [Detective Fiction], and the Culture of Japanese Vernacular Modernism 1920-1950. Omori explains that it will be the first study to examine the broad relationship between the detective fiction genre and the sociopolitical changes in Japan post-World War II. The book will also examine the specific relationship between the genre of Japanese literature and the cultural movement known as modanizumu, which occurred in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s.

-- by Emily Lemanczyk '05

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