Precious Exchanges with Other Fellows at the Fox Center

by Yiqing Hu, 21C International Studies and East Asian Studies

I am especially honored to be selected as one of the recipients of the Undergraduate Humanities Honors Fellowship at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. For the past three semesters, the strange global pandemic compelled me to be secluded in a 100 squared feet room and face a dull computer screen for more than ten hours daily. Like many others, deprived of fresh oxygen and visible peer pressure, I was lethargic and unproductive. Such news was disastrous for a senior who had just began writing her honor thesis, without even knowing what her thoughts would lead her into. It was not until when I was accepted as a fellow in the spring semester that I started to ponder hard how to express my ideas clearly and powerfully under influence of my peers and people at the Fox Center.

Listening to other fellows’ research projects and sharing suggestions and concerns among each other connected me to them despite the distance between us. I learned so much from their research methods and academic attitudes while gaining back the momentum I used to have on campus to work and write. Both the mock run and the colloquium that allowed me to present my research project to people unfamiliar to the topic—the transition period China was trying to find its own position after 1949—helped me tremendously in enhancing my public speaking skills and developing my thesis. Comments of my peers, Dr. Melion, Keith, and other Fox Center Fellows such as Julie Miller and Martha Groppo gave me valuable insights and took my thesis to another height that I had not thought before. I am especially thankful for the Fox Center’s emphasis on the “interdisciplinary” aspect; it encouraged me to free my mind and think in new perspectives.

Thank you for providing such a valuable experience and I could not imagine how I could finish the thesis three weeks ago without the warm support and constructive feedbacks of people I met through the Fox Center. Whether I will go on the path of humanities research, I am sure this experience will benefit me wherever I go.

Yiqing Hu is a senior double-majoring in International Studies and East Asian Studies. She is currenting writing an honor thesis on Chinese literati during the transition from Republican China to Communist China. Amid waves of radical mass political movements, literati from the “old society” were subject to criticism yet struggled to find their place in the new society. They stood out as a vibrant example of how some Chinese people reacted to the dramatic change of the social, political, and cultural environment. Yiqing decides to do a comparative study on three literati who experienced this era but responded to it differently—Shen Congwen, Qian Zhongshu, and Fu Lei. She aims to show how individuals stood up and tried in their own ways to hold out against the macroscopic howling storm brought about by a new era. 

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