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News

Latest stories from the Department

Latest news about the Department and its members, such as new appointments, publications, book launches, awards, speaking engagements, media coverage and standings in world and national ranks. We are also on social media. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Latest news

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Dr Roham Alvandi quoted in Wall Street Journal

On the election of hard-line Iranian judge Ebrahim Raisi, Dr Alvandi said, "This election makes explicit what most Iranians have already known implicitly: that the Islamic Republic will not countenance any peaceful reform. That erodes what little popular legitimacy the current political system has left". Read the full article (19 June).



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On a melting international order

The US, China and Russia are engaged in a struggle over the character of a melting international order. As the Arctic heats up, can its peace be preserved? Find out what Professor Kristina Spohr’s thoughts on this enduring question are in her article in the New Statesman (9 June). Don’t forget to check out her recent co-edited book on the subject.

 

May 2021

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Dr Tanya Harmer on Chile's Popular Unity Experiment at 50

Check out the special issue for Radical Americas that Dr Harmer co-curated and is available open access. “Chile’s Popular Unity (UP) Experiment at 50” sets out to reassess the meaning of the democratic socialist experience of Salvador Allende. Read the introduction that she co-wrote with Marian Schlotterbeck (UC Davis) and Joshua Frens-String (University of Texas, Austin). And have a look at the article she contributed, “Towards a Global History of the Unidad Popular”.



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Post Wall, Post Square released in Chile

Read Professor Kristina Spohr's interview about the book in the Chilean newspaper La Tercera (28 May), and the review of the same book in the digital newspaper Cine Y Literatura (26 May).



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Dr Taylor C. Sherman on "Women, State Feminism and Indian Socialism in the Nehru Years"

In her latest article for South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Dr Sherman argues that in the Central Social Welfare Board, state feminism was concerned with the gradual transformation of women and a radical, if short-lived, makeover of the state. Read the article here



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How Soviet icons sell space

LSE Teaching Fellow Dr Tom Ellis has published a new piece on the Verso Books Blog. The piece looks at how companies like Virgin Galactic have used historical characters from the Cold War space race to market space tourism as a deeply meaningful transcendental experience rather than an extravagant getaway for the super-rich. Read more



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Professor David Stevenson's advice on how to be an expert

Professor Stevenson contributed to a Daily Mail article on “How to Be an Instant Expert” (21 May). Apparently, clever people can fake complex knowledge – he offered a potted guide to one of the subjects we all wish we understood better: the origins of the First World War. His advice: make sure you DON’T ask, “where did Hitler come into it?”. Read the article



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Dr Anna Cant's new book

Land without Masters: Agrarian Reform and Political Change under Peru’s Military Government is out now with University of Texas Press. Dr Cant's first manuscript offers a fresh perspective on the way the Peruvian government’s major 1969 agrarian reforms transformed the social, cultural, and political landscape of the country. Find out more



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Dr Artemis Photiadou on detention of non-enemy civilians during WW2

PhD alumna and Guest Teacher Dr Photiadou’s new article in The Historical Journal focuses on the thousands of civilians from Allied and neutral countries who reached Britain during the Second World War. Nearly all who arrived between 1941 and 1945 were detained for interrogation – an unprecedented course of action by Britain which has been seldom studied. Read it here.



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Professor Kristina Spohr on Angela Merkel's power

"She has ruled with dedication, deep moral conviction, and integrity. And above all, in the era of Putin, Trump, Johnson and Orbán, she has personified power without vanity." Read Professor Spohr's op-ed in the Spanish newspaper El País (14 May), "Angela Merkel or power without vanity" (in Spanish).



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Visiting Fellow Dr Victoria Phillips winner of 2021 LSESU Teaching Award for Innovative Teaching

The competition, which this year received almost 2,000 nominations, is designed to allow students to recognise those members of staff who have made a difference to their time at LSE and say thank you to staff members who have made a positive impact. Dr Phillips was recognised for going beyond the traditional model and methods of teaching delivery, for bringing cutting edge research to her teaching, for providing different and exciting perspectives on the curriculum or subject, for effectively incorporating technology and multi-media resources into her teaching practices, and for including innovative assessment options. Catch up with the ceremony on YouTube.



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New book by Professor Steven Casey

The hardcopy of Professor Casey’s new book The War Beat, Pacific was released in the United States earlier this month. The book covers the history of American war reporting in the Pacific theater of World War II, from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Read the review published in the Wall Street Journal (19 May) and other reviews in the publisher's website. The hardcopy will be released in the UK in July.



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Professor Kristina Spohr interviewed for Spanish newspaper ABC

She spoke to them about her book Post Wall, Post Square (HarperCollins, 2020), published in Spanish by Taurus, and the peaceful nature of the transformations of 1989. Using previously unknown sources, the interviewer claims she wrote with such a detail and journalistic pulse that it was like Dr Spohr had been a direct witness of the complex negotiations herself. Read the interview here (in Spanish, 3 May).



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Congratulations to Visiting Research Fellow Dr Marina Pérez de Arcos

Winner of the Bulletin of Spanish Studies' James Whiston Memorial Prize 2021 for her 2-part research articles on "Education, Intelligence and Cultural Diplomacy at the British Council in Madrid, 1940–1941".  The prize is awarded annually to "the author of the article, on any subject within the field of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, which is judged by a panel of peer assessors to be the most original, accomplished and important study recently published or accepted for publication in the Bulletin of Spanish Studies or the Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies". The editor congratulated Dr Pérez de Arcos on a "wonderfully insightful and intellectually rigorous study". Read the articles Part 1: Founding a School in Troubled Times and Part 2: Shock Troops in the War of Ideas.



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PhD Candidate Katherine Arnold on the Hardcore Humanities podcast

Katherine discusses the unification of Germany, German colonialism, and her work on the colonial and Cairo exhibits at the 1896 Berlin Trade Exhibition. Listen to the episode on Spotify and Apple podcasts.



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LSE alumna Dr Marianna Griffini nominated Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

This was in recognition of her studies on postcolonial legacies in populism. She told us her time as a student in our BSc IR and History (2013) and MSc Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation (2014) programmes was key in identifying and expanding her research interests. Find out more about the award.

April

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Dr David Motadel on the anti-vaccination movement

Read his guest essay in The New York Times. Dr Motadel argues that, historically, although attempts to delegitimise vaccines have posed a serious threat to human health, in the long run, anti-vaccination movements have never succeeded in stopping rollouts.





Professor Marc David Baer

Professor Marc David Baer Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program visiting speaker at Northwestern University

He spoke on his book Sultanic Saviors and Tolerant Turks (Indiana University Press, 2020) which sets out to tell a new history that goes against Turkish antisemitism and admits to the Armenian genocide by looking at the complexities of interreligious relations, Holocaust denial, genocide and ethnic cleansing, and confronting some long-standing historical stereotypes. Find out more



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Read the latest from Dr Gagan D. S. Sood 

Recently named a co-editor of the Journal of Global History, Dr Sood's co-authored piece, ‘Editors’ Note – Global History after the Great Divergence’ introduces the new issue under new editorship. The note contains an important statement, particularly about global history as a field and the role of the journal within it. The Journal of Global History publishes high-quality articles which circulate very widely, a good proportion of which make a meaningful contribution to the historiography. Read more



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Professor Hartley's new publication

We’re excited to announce that Emeritus Professor Janet Harley has a new volume out. Co-edited with Dr Dennis Shaw (Birmingham), Magic, Texts and Travel: Homage to a Scholar, Will Ryan (Study Group for Eighteenth-Century Russia, 2021) focuses on the three themes of magic, text, and travel in relation to Russia and other Slavonic regions. Read more



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"Ungoverned spaces are the greatest asset for extremism to flourish"

Guest Teacher Dr Sajjan Gohel spoke to the Financial Times on 17 April.



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Dr Tom Ellis on Gagarin's spaceflight

Our LSE Fellow was interviewed alongside some other space historians for a BBC Radio 4 documentary “Gagarin and the Lost Moon” (10 April) ahead of the 60th anniversary of Gagarin’s spaceflight last week. He discussed Gagarin’s significance as a propaganda figure and the role his flight played in the Cold War. Listen here. On 12 April, he was also interviewed by BBC Future for an article on Gagarin as an embodiment of “soft power”, discussing Gagarin’s image as both a propaganda hero in the USSR and as a charismatic spokesman for communism abroad. Read the article



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More positive reviews for The Volga

Emeritus Professor Janet Hartley’s book The Volga. A History (Yale University Press, 2021) continues to receive positive reviews. The book explores the history of Russia through the Volga from the seventh century to the present day. Read the latest reviews in History Today (March), Literary Review (April) and The Times Literary Supplement (April). Professor Hartley was also interviewed about the book in the Asian Review Podcast in collaboration with New Books Network. Listen to the interview.



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PhD Candidate wins prize

Charlotte Eaton was recently awarded the Harold Blakemore Prize for an essay submitted on Colombian foreign policy and the Spanish Civil War. The prize is awarded by the Society for Latin American Studies to the best essay submitted each year by a postgraduate student in Latin American Studies based at a UK institution. Read more



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New article in Responsible Statecraft by PhD students Grant Golub (pictured) and Jeff Hawn

Sanctions have grown as a favored tool of American policymakers seeking to cheaply and quickly punish disagreeable international behavior. Golub and Hawn offer a look at US sanctions in historical perspective to discuss how Biden’s latest financial sanctions on Myanmar are unlikely to accomplish much and may in fact harm US global interests. Read more



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New article by Dr David Motadel

Written with Professor Richard Drayton (KCL), and published in the British Journal of Sociology journal as part of the special issue "Debating Thomas Piketty's Capital and Ideology", the article argues that since the rise of a "scientific" historiography in the nineteenth century, the role of ideas in history versus that of material forces has been a key philosophical problem. They read Piketty’s book (2019) as a work of global history, which offers a provocative rehearsal of this question. Read their article and Piketty's reply.



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New book by Dr Tanya Harmer

Dr Harmer released a new co-edited volume Toward a Global History of Latin America’s Revolutionary Left with Professor Alberto Martín Álvarez (Universitat de Girona). The volume showcases new research on the global reach of Latin American revolutionary movements during the height of the Cold War. Read more



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Dr Ron C. Po guest commentator in Professor Wang Gungwu's event

On 16 April, Dr Po was the commentator for the event “A Conversation with Wang Gungwu”, organised by the LSE China Forum and the Washington University in St. Louis China Forum. One of the most eminent historians in the field of Chinese Studies, Professor Wang Gungwu was awarded the Tang Prize in Sinology in 2020. 



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New piece in the Newslines Institute for Strategy and Policy by PhD student Jeff Hawn

Russia cannot compete with other global powers militarily, but it can serve as a chronic disruptor of their interests. He argues that Moscow’s strategy is not to dominate its opponents, rather to keep them off balance by applying diplomatic, economic, military, and political pressure. Read it here



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Dr David Motadel's new advisory position

He has joined the Advisory Board of the Hans Blix’s Centre for the History of International Relations at Stockholm University. The board consists of internationally renowned researchers and aims to contribute to the centre’s development and establishment in the international research landscape. Read more

March 2021

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LSE South East Asia Centre’s Dissertation Fieldwork Grant 

Congratulations to our International History students for winning a dissertation grant. Joshua Tham is writing on “Counter-Communist Efforts by the Catholic Church in Post-War Singapore, 1948-70” under the supervision of Dr Kirsten E. Schulze and to Marcus Chee (pictured) is writing on “British Colonial Gaze in the Malaya Command, 1939-1942” supervised by Dr David Motadel. Read more



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PhD Candidate discusses her research on podcast

Charlotte Eaton analysed how the Spanish Civil War had political and social consequences in the United States, Mexico and South America in a recent episode of the podcast. Listen to it on Spotify.



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Dr Anna Cant on radio education in the Andes during the second half of the 20th Century

Dr Cant has a new article out in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History. The article discusses the hundreds of small radio initiatives that emerged over the course of the 1960s and 1970s across the Andes. Amid widespread illiteracy, entrenched poverty, and a mountainous terrain that limited access to state institutions and the mainstream media, radio was seen as a technology of immense promise that could increase education levels and stimulate development, leading to primarily Catholic-led radio schools. Read more



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New book release

Revolutionary World: Global Upheaval in the Modern Age (Cambridge University Press), edited by Dr David Motadel, shows that the major revolutions of the modern age, which have so often been studied as isolated national or imperial events, were almost never contained within state borders and were usually part of broader revolutionary movements. Browse the book and read the reviews



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Staff news

The Department is delighted to announce that from September 2021 its new specialist on US history will be Dr Elizabeth Ingleson.  Dr Ingleson, who joins us from Yale where she has been a Henry Chauncey Jr ’57 Postdoctoral Associate, is a specialist on US-China relations. We’re greatly looking forward to all that she will bring to the department.



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Golub on North Korea

Read the latest from PhD student Grant Golub in Responsible Statecraft, "How Biden can learn from the US response to China getting the bomb" (12 March). The conundrums American policymakers faced over Chinese nuclear proliferation during the early 1960s hold important lessons for addressing North Korea today. Rather than focusing on the unrealistic possibility of full denuclearization, Washington should work with its local partners to foster a more peaceful environment in East Asia.



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Dr Alvandi on Professor Gasiorowski's work

Dr Roham Alvandi participated in an event honouring Professor Mark Gasiorowski’s lifetime work on 10 March. Organised by the National Security Archive at the George Washington University, the panelists discussed some highlights of his academic career on the CIA and the covert history of US-Iran relations. Read more about the event. Watch the recording.



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Dr Lewis talks to TIME

Dr Joanna Lewis recently talked with TIME Magazine about the Monarchy’s troubled relationship with race in the aftermath of Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah (10 March). She commented, “if we look to history, we can see how the royals have a complex relationship with people of color, because throughout the last decades, it’s visits to the Commonwealth where the monarchy has felt most popular, and most loved”. Read the article here.



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2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject

In the latest rankings, LSE History continued to be placed 5th in the world for the second year running, ahead of Columbia, Stanford, Berkeley and Princeton. In the UK and in  Europe, History at LSE held its third place, behind Cambridge and Oxford. Browse the 2021 QS World University Rankings by subejct

February 2021

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Molly Avery on Pinochet and El Salvador

PhD student Molly Avery was interviewed on the Historias Podcast of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS). She discussed her recent article Promoting a ‘Pinochetazo’ and ongoing PhD research on the international and transnational anticommunist networks during the Cold War in Latin America. Listen here



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PhD student William Mitchell publishes in Church History and Religious Culture journal

Recent scholarship has highlighted the religious dimensions of political argument in William III’s England. The article, "The Primitive Church Revived. The Apostolic Age in the Propaganda of William III", adds to this trend through a political analysis of pieces on the Apostolic Age that were written, re-printed, or cited, in the reign of William III. Read it here



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Dr Ellis on the space race in the 1960s

LSE Fellow Dr Tom Ellis was interviewed for the BBC History Extra podcast series “Everything You Wanted to Know” on 21 February. He responded to listener questions on the great Cold War rivalry that saw the US and the Soviet Union battle for dominance in space in the 1960s. Listen here



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Professor Spohr on the lessons of the end of the Cold War

Catch up with the latest opinion piece from Professor Kristina Spohr in Spanish-language newspaper “El País". The fall of the Berlin Wall and the crackdown on the Tiananmen protests marked an epochal change, but she argues that the new order that emerged now seems exhausted in face of the climate and pandemic crises we are facing. Access the article in El País (14 February). Read for free (in Spanish).



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Dr Harder on India's seat at the UN Security Council and Indo-Chinese dicplomacy

LSE Fellow Dr Anton Harder recently recorded a podcast with an Indian series titled “States of Anarchy”. His episode, “A Seat at the High Table”, discusses some of the history around India’s claim to a seat on the United Nations Security Council and Indian diplomacy in the 1950s, particularly toward China. Available on any podcast app. Read more



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Dr Richards co-winner of the Prince Consort & Thirlwall Prize and Seeley Medal

The Prize has been awarded by the Faculty of History at Cambridge University since 1904 for the best doctoral dissertations. Dr Jake Subryan Richards submitted his PhD thesis at Cambridge in 2020 on how abolition laws shaped the opportunities and limitations for "liberated Africans" in the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. He joined us as Assistant Professor last September. Read more 



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New publication by PhD Student and GTA Rishka Yadav

Rishika has contributed a  chapter on non-white South African soldiers interned in Europe during the Second World War to a new volume Sights, Sounds, Memories: South African Soldier Experiences of the Second World War (African Sun Media, 2021).



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PhD Student Jeff Hawn on Russian current affairs

Read Jeff's opinion articles in Foreign Policy, "Navalny’s Bravery Is Unlikely to Shift Putin’s Entrenched Power" (25 January) and "Time to Think About a World Without Putin" (10 February).



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Life behind the lines during the Great War

Check out the new article published in The Historical Journal by PhD Alumnus and Guest Teacher Dr Alex Mayhew, "British Expeditionary Force vegetable shows, allotment culture, and life behing the lines during the Great War". As part of a programme encouraging the cultivation of unused land around camps in Le Havre, members of the British Expeditionary Force participated in a vegetable competition, offering a new perspective on the experience of the Great War. Read it here



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New book by Visiting Research Fellow Dr Leonardo Davoudi

Persian Petroleum: Oil, Empire and Revolution in Late Qajar Iran (Bloomsbury) charts the development of Persian petroleum from uncertain beginnings to becoming one of Britain’s largest oil companies. Want a discount? Use the code PETROL30 at checkout. Find out more



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The Volga River and Russian History

Emeritus Professor Janet Hartley’s new book with Yale University Press, The Volga. A History of Russia's Greatest River is out now. The Volga River has played a crucial role in the history of the peoples who are now a part of the Russian Federation – and has united and divided the land through which it flows. Professor Hartley explores the history of Russia through the Volga from the seventh century to the present day. Find out more about the book. Read the reviews in Le Grand Continent (31 December 2020, "15 livres à lire en janvier 2021"), The Spectator (16 January), The Geographical (February, "Book of the Month"), The Economist (20 January) and the Financial Times (11 February).

The book launch took place on 9 February and was hosted by the Higher School of Economics (Moscow).

January 2021

Thomas WIlkinson

British and India relations

PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant Tom Wilkinson has written an article for “The Spectator” magazine (26 January). He argues that Britain’s departure from the EU presents an exciting opportunity to build on old alliances around the world, and nowhere is this more true than in the UK’s relationship with India. Read it here



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Después del Muro by Professor Kristina Spohr

 21 January, Professor Spohr discussed her latest book Post Wall, Post Square (Yale University Press, 2020) with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Recently published in Spanish, the book  offers a bold new interpretation of the revolutions of 1989, showing how a new world order was forged – without major conflict. Read the interview here (free for LSE users). Read the book reviews from Spanish-language newspapers, El Pais (29 January), El Manaña (7 February), and Politica Exterior (12 February), which called it "a monumental and brilliant book using unpublished sources"



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New edited book by Professor Kristina Spohr

With Dr Daniel S. Hamilton (editor, Wilson Center) and Jason C. Moyer (associate editor, Wilson Center), The Arctic and World Order (Brookings Institution Press) explores the huge political, legal, social, economic, geostrategic and environmental challenges confronting the Arctic regime, and what this means for the future of world order. Catch up with the book launch, which took place on 12 January in Washington DC at the Wilson Center.



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Dr Ronald C. Po awarded the Young Scholar Visiting Fellowship

The Fellowship is jointly offered by the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the Chaing Ching-Kuo Foundation in Taiwan. The fellowship will support Dr Po's residence at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Chinese Studies and the Institute of Chinese Studies at CUHK as a Visiting Scholar during the 2021/22 academic year.