October 4, 2023 | 1 Minute Read

Gale and AAS Award Fellowships to Five Scholars to Support Asian Studies

Fellowship Projects to Use Gale Primary Sources’ Asian Studies Collections and Gale Digital Scholar Lab to Expand the Use of Digital Humanities Approaches to Forge New Research Pathways and Discoveries

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. & ANN ARBOR, Mich. – October 4, 2023 – Gale, part of Cengage Group, in partnership with the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), has awarded fellowships to five researchers. The Gale-AAS Non-Residential Fellowships support research or teaching projects that rely on Gale Primary Sources and the use digital humanities (DH) methodologies. The fellowships aim to help scholars expand the fields of Asian studies for research and teaching as well as equip them with the digital skills to apply the latest DH methodologies to their work.

Funded by Gale, each fellow receives $2,500 and access to the China and the Modern WorldArchives Unbound: Asian Studies, and Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Asia and the West collections for a period of six months to use with their research projects. They also have access to Gale Digital Scholar Lab (the Lab) along with a series of training sessions on its text and data mining tools so that the scholars can apply DH methodologies to their research projects.

Gale and AAS congratulate the following candidates who were awarded the fellowships for the 2023 academic year: 

AAS Fellowship Collage (with names)2.png 

Daniel Barish, early career scholar, Baylor University, U.S.

Project: Barish’s book, The Imperial Politics of Life and Death in Modern China, 1861–1929, explores changes to major Qing Court rituals such as imperial weddings and funerals and their impact on Republican-era politics. He will explore the increasingly global audience and international roster of participants in Qing rituals to uncover their relationship with nation-building projects and the place of the Qing in the international world order. 

Ruochen Chen, Ph.D. candidate, Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. 

Project: Chen’s research “Amphibious Semi Colonialism: Navigation, Maritime Law, and State-Building in Modern China” studies how negotiations and contestations between multiple sovereignties in controlling a set of infrastructural sinews between sea and land fermented a semicolonial political and legal structure in treaty-era China. He will use Gale archives and Gale Digital Scholar Lab to map how British diplomats and merchants adopted different visions and strategies in shaping the Chinese Maritime Customs Service as a wedge of its informal maritime empire in China from the 1850s to the 1920s.

Xiaoyu Gao, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Chicago, U.S.

Project: Gao’s research investigates the causes of the Qing Empire’s financial and economic crises in the mid-nineteenth century. These crises catalyzed the devastating Taiping and Panthay Rebellions, claiming more than 20 million lives. Utilizing archives from Latin America, Britain, and China, this study explores how British private merchants had dominated Latin American copper production and trade, smuggling millions of pounds of higher-quality, cheaper metal into China annually. By delving into these connections, Gao contributes to understanding the intricate dynamics between colonial powers and the Qing Empire’s financial stability.

Haoran Ni, Ph.D. candidate, University of Kansas, U.S.  

Project: Ni’s project will explore the popularity of American foods, represented by Coca-Cola, in Republican Shanghai (1912–1949). This is an interdisciplinary study of food, gender and women, and science and technology. Ni will investigate the American cultural influences on Republican Chinese societies, the transnational economic exchanges between China and the U.S., and contemporary Shanghai residents’ daily entertainment and everyday lives.

Wei Wu, Ph.D. candidate, University of Oslo, Norway

Project: Wu will investigate the evolution of personnel management at the Maritime Customs Service of China to illustrate the role of meritocracy in the formation of modern East Asian bureaucracy. Wu’s research will reconstruct staff appointment, promotion, and withdrawal via the Records of the Maritime Customs Service of China, 1854–1949 in Gale’s China and the Modern World series, and explore the interrelationship between the archival materials via Gale Digital Scholar Lab.

“The Association for Asian Studies is delighted to partner with Gale in providing fellows digital access to Gale Primary Sources,” said Hilary V. Finchum-Sung, Ph.D., Executive Director at AAS. “The fellowships provide recipients opportunity to apply digital humanities methodologies in their research, which will prove valuable throughout their academic careers.” 

Scholars must complete the fellowships and submit a fellowship report in November 2023. Fellows will also present their work at the AAS Annual meeting in March 2024. Each fellowship will support the equivalent of one month's full-time work (160 hours). Awardees may dedicate four consecutive weeks of their total working hours to the fellowship project, or they may spread their work out over a more extended period.

“We're delighted to support members of the Association for Asian Studies with these fellowships. Offering these fellows access to a vast repository of primary sources related to the history of the Asia region will help fuel digital scholarship in this fascinating area of study,” said Seth Cayley, vice president of global academic product at Gale. “Using the Lab will also help them interpret these materials through data analysis tools and hopefully yield fresh new discoveries to contribute to our understanding of Asia and its relationship with the West. One of our goals is to support early-career researchers with developing digital humanities skills, and it’s heartening to see many of the awarded fellows are at this stage of their career journey.”

Gale has been at the forefront of supporting digital scholarship for several years. Gale Digital Scholar Lab was created to address common challenges researchers and scholars face when analyzing large sets of archives. In offering fellowships, to scholars in multiple disciplines, Gale is increasing access to text and data mining tools and furthering opportunities in both research and teaching.

For more information on Gale-AAS Non-Residential Fellowships, visit its webpage.

About Cengage Group and Gale

Cengage Group, an education technology company serving millions of learners in 165 countries, advances the way students learn through quality, digital experiences. The company currently serves the K-12, higher education, professional, library, English language teaching and workforce training markets worldwide. Gale, part of Cengage Group, provides libraries with original and curated content, as well as the modern research tools and technology that are crucial in connecting libraries to learning, and learners to libraries. For nearly 70 years, Gale has partnered with libraries around the world to empower the discovery of knowledge and insights – where, when and how people need it. Gale has 500 employees globally with its main operations in Farmington Hills, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.gale.com.

Follow Gale on:

About The Association for Asian Studies (AAS)

The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. is a scholarly, non-political, non-profit professional association dedicated to the principled advancement of the field of Asian Studies through international intellectual exchange; network building; publications; scholarly projects; support for research, teaching, public outreach, and engagement; and career development, both within the academy and beyond. AAS is open to all persons interested in Asia and the study of Asia. With approximately 6,500 members worldwide, representing all the regions and countries of Asia and all academic disciplines, the AAS is the largest organization of its kind.

Follow AAS on:


Media Contact:

Kayla Siefker, Gale, part of Cengage Group


[email protected]