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The Social Science Research Council's
InterAsia Program Selects 2018 Transregional
Research Junior Scholar Fellows

BROOKLYN, NY (September 28, 2018) – The InterAsia Program of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has announced its 2018 cohort of Transregional Research Junior Scholar fellows.

The program awarded 16 fellowships to scholars working on innovative transregional and transnational research projects that transform conventional understandings of Asia and cross traditional area studies boundaries. Collectively, this international cohort represents six countries, multiple academic disciplines, and 15 universities.

Since the fellowship program’s inception in 2011, Transregional Research Junior Scholar Fellowships: InterAsian Contexts and Connections have been awarded to over 80 scholars whose projects reconceptualize research on Asia as an interlinked historical and geographic formation stretching from West Asia (including Turkey) through Eurasia, Central Asia, and South Asia to Southeast Asia and East Asia. Expanded in 2016, the program now includes a focus on projects that explore linkages beyond this expanse, particularly looking at Afro-Asian connections, as well as the work of international scholars. Proposals supported by the fellowships examine processes that connect places and peoples (such as migration, media, and resource flows) as well as those that reconfigure local and translocal contexts (such as shifting borders, urbanization, and social movements).

“Through this innovative program, the SSRC is supporting a new generation of scholars who will be instrumental in reshaping the ways in which world regions are studied, conceptually and empirically. This, in the longer term, will have positive outcomes on pedagogical practices, degree programs, and university departments,” said Seteney Shami, InterAsia Program director.

The 2018 cohort recently met at an InterAsia partner institution, Duke University in Durham, NC, for a workshop focused on sharing working papers, fellowship experiences to date, and plans for completing the research projects. A second workshop will take place in the late summer/early fall of 2019 as the fellowship term nears completion.

The SSRC Transregional Research Junior Scholar Fellowship is funded through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Danna Agmon

Assistant Professor, History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 
A World at Court: Law and French Empire across the Indian Ocean

Majed Akhter
Lecturer, Department of Geography, King's College London 
Decolonizing Infrastructure: Empire, Expertise, and the Imaginative Geographies of the Colombo Plan, 1950–1973

Ismail Fajrie Alatas
Assistant Professor, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies & History, New York University 
The Labor of Sainthood: Islamic Universality and the Making of a World Religion

Annie Chan
Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of the Sciences of Antiquity, University of Geneva 
Tribute, Truce, and Tutelage: Chinese Objects in Early Medieval Steppe Geopolitics

Shine Choi
Lecturer, School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University 
Terrible Cultural Diplomacy: Authoritarianism and People Power in the Age of Global Politics

Young Rae Choi
Assistant Professor, Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University 
The Yellow Sea: A Window onto the Anthropocene

Sakura Christmas
Assistant Professor, History Department and Asian Studies Program, Bowdoin College 
Nomadic Borderlands: Imperial Japan and the Origins of Ethnic Autonomy in Modern China

Erin Collins
Assistant Professor of Global Urban Studies, School of International Studies, American University
Sarah DeMott
Research Specialist, Bobst Library Data Services, New York University
Tropical Design: French Empire, Colonial Intimacies, and the Invention of a Tropical World

Debanuj DasGupta
Assistant Professor, Geography & Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Connecticut
Queering Inter-Asian Linkages

Matthew Erie
Associate Professor, Oriental Institute, University of Oxford​​​​​​​
Illiberal Law and Development: China and the World

Arunabh Ghosh​​​​​​​
Assistant Professor, History, Harvard University​​​​​​​
Trans-Himalayan Science in Mid-Twentieth-Century China and India

Stefan Hübner​​​​​​​
Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
City upon the Sea: Asia's Colonization of the Oceans since the Early Twentieth Century

Mahmood Kooriadathodi
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Netherlands Institute in Morocco & School of Middle Eastern Studies, Leiden University
Afro-Asia-Arab Triangle: Indian Ocean Muslims and the ‘Peripheral Histories’ of Islamic Law

Maria Repnikova
Assistant Professor in Global Communication, Communication, Georgia State University
China Dreams in Authoritarian Contexts: Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ethiopia

Miya Xie
Assistant Professor of Chinese, Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures, Dartmouth College
Frontier Narration and the Modern Nations in Transnational East Asia: The Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese Literary Territorialization of Manchuria (1920–1950)
For more information on the SSRC and its InterAsia Program, please visit the website at


The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is an independent, international nonprofit with the mission of mobilizing social science to disseminate essential knowledge. Founded in 1923, the SSRC fosters innovative research, nurtures new generations of social scientists, deepens how inquiry is practiced within and across disciplines, and mobilizes necessary knowledge on important public issues. Based in Brooklyn, NY, the SSRC currently administers 22 programs in the US and around the world. For more information on the SSRC and its programs, please visit


Dewey Blanton
SSRC Communications