I am currently finalizing a book based on my research on practices of self-improvement in urban China. I studied workshops for interpersonal skills and how they produce affective spaces through which participants can temporarily realize their ideal of personhood in distinction from their everyday lifeworlds. In my new project, I focus on perceptions on the value of the person in contemporary China as it is configured through negotiation between the market economy and conceptions of morality. I examine how value is pursued, identified and maintained through contemporary self-cultivation.
Education and professional career
2019 Australian Anthropological Society Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology, The University of Sydney
2018 Teaching Fellow, Department of Anthropology, The University of Sydney
2014-2018 hD, Anthropology, University of Sydney PhD Thesis: “The Affective Medium and Ideal Person in Pedagogies of 'Soft Skills' in Contemporary China”
2013 M.A., East Asian Studies, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 2008-2013 Research Thesis: "Non-Invasive Therapy: The Forces Shaping the Practice of Psychology in Urban China"
Self-cultivation and personhood
Affect and phenomenology
Globalization and social change
2019 Marketised ‘Educational Desire’ and the Impetus for Self-Improvement: The shifting and reproduced meanings of higher education in contemporary China”. Asian Studies Review 43(3): 493-511
2019 “Speaking the China Dream: Self-realization and nationalism in China’s public speaking shows”. Continuum 33(1): 37-50
2018 "Gendered Self-Improvement: Autonomous personhood and the marriage predicament of young women in urban China”. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 19(4): 298-315
2017 “'Developmental' therapy for a developing nation: The sociopolitical meanings of psychology in urban China”. China: An International Journal 15(2): 4-26
2016 “Evading Chronicity: Paradoxes in counseling psychology in contemporary China”. Asian Anthropology 15(1): 68-81