Six Duke Students Present Papers at DKU Humanities Research Conference

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Six Duke Students Present Papers at DKU Humanities Research Conference

A group of five Duke seniors and one junior are at Duke Kunshan University this weekend to present papers at the first DKU Undergraduate Humanities Research Conference. Over 230 submissions were received, and 40 students were selected to present at the conference. DKU's Humanities Research Center (HRC) distributed the application through the Office of DKU Programs, who partnered at Duke with Directors of Academic Engagement to forward event details to students. Duke participants were selected based on the quality of their research papers.

Each of the six Duke students will present research papers at the conference, many of which are their senior theses. All of the students were placed on panels organized around specific themes, and will present alongside undergraduate students from across China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Duke and Duke Kunshan faculty in the humanities and interpretive social sciences are serving as discussants. The conference agenda can be found on the HRC website

More information about the Duke student participants, including their paper titles and brief insights shared ahead of their visits to DKU, can be found below. 

Jack Bradford, Class of 2019, English Major

Paper Title: "Errand into the Water Closet: Scat and the Making of the American Modernist Novel"
"I was impressed by the recent exhibit about DKU in the Perkins Library lobby, and the exhibit of photographs of Kunshan in the Rubenstein Library, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to visit! This will be my first academic conference, and I'm excited that I get to hear from students and scholars not just in the Duke community (in Durham and in Kunshan) but from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Since my work is on English-language American literature, I am particularly looking forward to reconsidering my paper in a context outside of the U.S., and learning from and about researchers and the humanities outside the U.S. academy."


Tiffany de Guzman, Class of 2019, Political Science and Italian Studies Majors, History Minor

Paper Title: "The United Nations' Use of Unarmed Observers: Short-Term versus Long-Term Protection of Civilians"
"First of all, as a senior, I am incredibly excited to be experiencing another part of Duke before I graduate! Additionally, I am fortunate enough to know a few of the other Duke students attending the conference through extracurriculars, so I am really looking forward to learning more about their academic pursuits and passions."


Jessica Chen, Class of 2020, Art History (Museum Theory and Practice Concentration) and Public Policy Majors

Paper Title: “My Secret World: Martin Wong's Urban Landscapes, 1983-1988”
"I’m looking forward to meeting the other conference presenters, getting a tour of DKU, and eating authentic Chinese food!"


Janie Booth, Class of 2019, Art History (Museum Theory and Practice Concentration) Major

Paper Title: ”The Display and Conservation of Archives as Artworks in Museums"
"I am looking forward to seeing China for the first time, as well as connecting with other students interested in humanities research. I am so honored to be selected to attend the inaugural conference, and can't wait to meet everyone in person!"


Elle Winfield, Class of 2019, Public Policy Major

Paper Title: “The Rise of Private Military Contracting In The 20th Century and Beyond”
"I’m looking forward to learning more about the rise of Global China, the mission of DKU and catching up with an old friend on campus!"


Grant Wen, Class of 2019, History Major

Paper Title: “Hues of Healing: Reconstructing Chinese Immigrant Identity Through Medicine”
"I'm looking forward to conversing with Chinese students about their research and about their experiences as DKU, as well as exploring what Kunshan has to offer."