Undergraduate Essay Prize in East Asian Studies 2013

East Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Program

At Commencement in May 2013, BU’s East Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Program granted for the first time three essay prizes for the best undergraduate term papers on East Asia submitted in 2012-13.

A committee of East Asian Studies faculty (Professors Joe Fewsmith, IR & Political Science; Eugenio Menegon, History; and Catherine Yeh, Modern Languages and Comparative Literatures), in coordination with EAS Director Professor Min Ye, and IR and MLCL Chairs William Grimes and Sarah Frederick, selected among 16 submissions from several departments the three winners of a cash prize of $ 200 each in three different categories (Economics/IR; Literature; History), as follows:

  1. Calvin Chiu, a junior majoring in IR and Economics, wrote an essay on “The Development and Efficacy of Chinese Banking Reform” showing a sophisticated understanding of the way banking and financial systems work in China. Calvin was also able to offer a trenchant criticism of the findings of professional researchers at several junctures, in his attempt to explain the dynamics of the 2008 financial crisis and its connection to economic trends since the mid-2000s.
  2. Thea Diklich-Newell, a senior majoring in Comparative Literatures, won for her essay “Murakami and Magic Realism.” Japanese celebrated writer Murakami was directly influenced by the quintessential representative of “magic realism,” Gabriel Garcia-Marquez and his masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). Thea’s linguistic expertise is mainly in Spanish, yet she decided to engage on a comparative topic over a Japanese author, deftly summarizing some key episodes in Murakami’s novels in English translation.
  3. Kristen Lee, a senior pursuing a double major in IR and East Asian Studies, in her essay “Pirate Queens and Dragon Ladies” revealed the similarities and differences between an Irish and a Chinese female pirate in the early modern period, and displayed a sophisticated understanding of how texts and images are manipulated in history, often to efface gender and women from master narratives controlled by men.

Congratulations to our winners!