Visiting Researchers and Affiliated Fellows Programs

The Boston University Center for the Study of Asia (BUCSA) invites applications from highly motivated scholars, artists, literary figures, journalists, and teachers from around the world with well-conceived projects to conduct self-supported scholarly, artistic or literary activity under the guidance of or in collaboration with BU Asian Studies faculty. Visiting Researchers receive a formal university appointment for a fixed period of time, as approved by the Dean. Affiliated Fellows, normally residents of the New England area, receive an informal affiliation with BUCSA as approved by the BUCSA Board. Both Visiting Researchers and Affiliated Fellows can pursue their work and exchange ideas with our faculty, other visiting scholars, and with BU’s significant body of Asian Studies-related graduate and undergraduate students. Details about the Visiting Researcher and Affiliated Fellows programs and the application process can be found here BUCSA-Visiting-Researcher-and-Affiliated-Fellow-Program-details 2023b

 If you are interested in working with the BU Center for the Study of Asia, or if you would like to recommend someone who would benefit from collaboration with the BUCSA community and access to BUCSA’s resources, we invite you to contact our Assistant Director, Maria Elena Rivera-Beckstrom at <>.

Current affiliates for the 2022-2023 year include:

Visiting Researchers:

Grant F. RHODE

BA Tufts University
MA University of New Brunswick, Canada
Diploma University of Oxford, UK
Certificate University of Cambridge, UK
MALD The Fletcher School, Tufts University
PhD The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Tel. (617) 212-8111
Grant Rhode teaches and conducts research at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He is Associate in Research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University and Faculty Affiliate of the China Maritime Studies Institute of the U.S. Naval War College. He has been a Visiting Scholar in Taiwan at both National Chengchi University and National Taiwan University. He trained in Chinese studies in the UK before his doctoral studies in Asian Diplomatic History and International Relations.

Dr. Rhode’s current research focuses on China’s role in historical and contemporary Eurasian maritime affairs. On the historical front, he is completing a book on Eurasian Maritime History for Global Strategists: Great Power Clashes along the Maritime Silk Road. On the contemporary front, he directs Boston University’s program series Assessing China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Recent publications include “By Land and By Sea: China’s Belt and Road in Europe” (2019), “China, Global History, and the Sea” (2020), “Mongol Invasions of Northeast Asia: Korea and Japan” (2020), “China’s Emergence as a Power in the Mediterranean: Port Diplomacy and Active Engagement” (2021), “Tasting Gall: Chiang Kai-Shek and China’s War with Japan” (2021), and “Shi Lang’s Amphibious Conquest of Taiwan in 1683” (2021).

Recent teaching includes the following courses:

Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University
The Sea in International Relations
International Relations of the Asia-Pacific Region

U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island
Eurasian Maritime History for Global Strategists
Taiwan: Transformation and Geopolitics
Asian Maritime History and Current Disputes
Strategy and War

Affiliated Fellows:

Chaya BhuvaneswaranChaya G. BHUVANESWAR (e-mail: <>) is a practicing physician and writer who studied Sanskrit at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and who also holds an MA in South Asian Studies. Her interest in the Hindu epics, as well as colonial and post-colonial South Indian history, are reflected in her current project focusing on orphans and their trauma and resilience under the East India Trading Company regime. Her fiction primarily examines race, class and gender identities within a framework of Indian poetic traditions. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Santa Fe Writers Project, Other Stories podcast, Her Mother’s Ashes: an anthology of writing by South Asian Women in the US and Canada (Toronto South Asian Review Press), Blue Lake ReviewBangalore ReviewaadunaSixPennySouth Asian Magazine of Action and Reflection, and has received recognition from Glimmer Train, Squaw Valley Writer’s Workshop, and Grub Street Boston.

Byington Photo

Mark E. BYINGTON (e-mail: is the founder and project director of the Early Korea Project at the Korea Institute, Harvard University, in which capacity he serves as editor of Early Korea, an edited serial publication focused on early Korean history and archaeology, and the Early Korea Project Occasional Series. He is also the president and co-founder of the Cambridge Institute for the Study of Korea, an organization that seeks to develop academic studies involving Korea and the surrounding region outside of the university setting. He received an A.M. degree from the Regional Studies East Asia program at Harvard (1996) and a Ph.D. degree from the department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard (2003), with a research focus on the early history and archaeology of the Korean peninsula and northeastern China. His primary research interest centers on the formation and development of early Korean states, particularly Koguryŏ and Puyŏ. He is also a past lecturer in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, where he has taught courses on Korean history and archaeology.


Maggie CUMMINGS (e-mail: has taught Hindi-Urdu for more than a decade, and served as Part-Time Lecturer in Hindi-Urdu at Boston University from 2014-2016. She is currently finishing an MA degree in Hindi-Urdu Language, Culture and Foreign Language Pedagogy at Kean University, and is focusing on developing authentic and story-based communicative materials for Hindi language learning, as well as raising the profile of Hindi-Urdu among potential learners in the US. She is also working on new translations of several classic Hindi stories by Premchand and Mohan Rakesh, and hopes to translate contemporary short fiction in the future. Prior to teaching at BU, she taught and designed Hindi courses at the India School in Washington, DC, and was a Program Specialist for ten years at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, where she worked on Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month programming as well as the Silk Road Festival. She helped establish a library and extracurricular educational programming at a government school in a village in Haryana, India working with a small private donor in the US. Ms. Cummings majored in Hindi-Urdu at Brown University, and did graduate study in the Harvard University Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies. Ms. Cummings is also interested in alternative economies, and has served on the Board of the Time Trade Circle in Cambridge for the last three years. She has studied French, Spanish, Sanskrit, and Japanese as well as Hindi-Urdu, and would love to spend more time to learning Japanese someday.

Lee Yoonji.jpgYoonji LEE (e-mail: received her Ph.D. in Marketing from Gachon University in South Korea in 2016. Dr. Lee was a Lecturer in the Business Management Department at Gachon University in 2014-2015 and served as a researcher at Gachon University’s Gil Medical Center. Her research focuses on the influence of environmental values and knowledge on consumer purchase intentions. She graduated from Parsons School of Design and holds a Masters degree from the School of Visual Arts (both in New York). Her publications include The Little Moon Princess (HarperCollins, 2010).




It is with profound sadness that we inform you that Charlotte MASON passed away on April 11, 2023 after a long battle with cancer. She was a longtime friend and colleague to many of us in the Asian Studies community Mason, Charlotte obit 4.13.23 Boston Globe

Charlotte MASON was the co-founder and director of The China Exchange Initiative (CEI) in Newton, Massachusetts, from 1999 to 2012. CEI was formed in 1999 with funding from the Freeman Foundation to create exchange programs, educational partnerships, and shadowing programs for school administrators between schools in the U.S. and China. CEI continues to create networks of schools in states and regions in the U.S. and China.  In 2000, Charlotte Mason co-chaired the National Commission for Asia in the Schools to increase the quality and quantity of instruction about Asia in schools throughout the United States.  Mason was a teacher in Newton, Massachusetts, and an exchange teacher at the Beijing Jingshan School in 1989.  Upon her return from China in 1989, she served as co-chair of the Newton-Beijing Jingshan School Exchange Program, which was founded in 1979, and which continues to thrive.

Over a period of twenty-five years, as a frequent visitor to many kinds and levels of schools in China, and then over a period of 13 years as Director of CEI, working with hundreds of Chinese and U.S. principals in CEI’s shadowing programs in both China and the U.S., Charlotte has observed and collected data about the relative strengths (and weaknesses) of schools in China and the U.S. At Boston University, she is undertaking a comparative study of schools in the U.S. and China at pre-college levels. She compares mission statements, student experiences, the roles and perceptions of teachers and school leaders, the aim (and relevance) of curricula, and the ability of the schools to meet the expectations of society.

Richardson, Ron Vineyard picture.jpg

Ronald Kent RICHARDSON (e-mail, PhD is associate professor of European and Japanese history at Boston University where he is also the director of the Global Theater Project in collaboration with the School of Theater. He has taught at the University of Rhode Island, Howard University in Washington, D.C., Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and Harvard University. He rebuilt and directed the African American Studies Program at BU from January 2000 to September 2008. Doctor Richardson has been an Associate in Research at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard since 2003 and has received a Japan Fulbright teaching award.   Among his publications are Moral Imperium, a study of English anti-slavery thought, and Churchill’s Ghost’s (in manuscript). He has written five plays, two novels and has directed several stage productions. Professor Richardson teaches courses on Japanese history, the comparative study of Black and Asian writers and racial thought. His current projects include a book in preparation on Winston Churchill and the modern racial self and an interpretive study of Japan during the Bakumatsu and Meiji periods.


Recent Visiting Researchers affiliated with the Center for the Study of Asia included:

Han Sang KIM (e-mail: received his PhD in sociology at Seoul National University South Korea.  He is currently working on his first book, entitled Visualizing Mobilities: Cinema, Transportation, and the Trans-National Imaginary in 20th-Century Korea, which will document a cultural history of modern and contemporary Korea with a theoretical framework concatenating visuality and mobility.

LUO Qun 罗群 (e-mail: is Associate Professor in the School of Humanities, Zhejiang University of Media and Communications. She earned her MA and PhD in Philosophy at Zhejiang University, completing her doctoral thesis in 2011 on “Julius Aleni and his Diary of Oral Admonitions <口铎日抄>” in Zhejiang University’s Research Institute of Ancient Works. Her research has focused on (1) the work of the Italian missionary Julius Aleni (1582-1649) in Fujian, which mainly centered on Li Jiubiao’s Diary of Oral Admonitions《口铎日抄》; (2) Research on scholars and believers of middle and lower social classes and their works, including the ideas and works of Li Jiugong, Li Jiubiao and Zhang Geng; and (3) Research on Julius Aleni’s thoughts, specifically a review of his Chinese works, such as his Recorded Scholarly Discussions from FuzhouSanshan lunxueji 三山论学记》 and 《Xingxue cushu 性学粗述》 which take humanity as their main theme, as well as doctrinal and religious art works. While at BU, Prof. Luo will research the spread of Catholicism among scholars and believers of middle and lower social classes in Fujian during the late Ming dynasty.

Sardia SAEED (e-mail: received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2010. Dr. Saeed was appointed as a Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Sociology at Boston University in 2014-2015. While at BUCSA, her research explored how notions about minority rights have been imagined and institutionalized beyond the framework of the nation-state in the twentieth century. It examined formal institutions and political formations that both transcend and are located within the nation-state.

Masumi Kagaya SASAKI (e-mail:, is Associate Professor, Research and Education Center for Comprehensive Science, Akita Prefectural University, Japan. Her research interests focus on Japanese literature, English and American literature, comparative literature, and the history of US-Japan cultural exchange, particularly the American experiences of Japanese students in the Meiji era. She earned her M.A. degree from the University of Tsukuba, and is now tackling her doctoral thesis in which she is undertaking a comparative study on the reportage of poverty in Japan from the late 19th century to the early 20th century and success stories of emigrants abroad, which became a fad immediately after this period, basing her research on novels, newspapers, and historical data.

Her latest work is “Aru Tobei Kugakusei” (“A Self-supporting Japanese Student in the U.S.: Findings from Rikko Sekai”) (Kindai Bungaku Shiryo Kenkyu, No. 2), in which she traces the lives after graduation of Japanese international students who worked their way through Rutgers University.

While at BUCSA, Prof. Sasaki held a research grant from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to research the lives of Japanese international students in Boston, including their interaction with local people and their lives in college, by especially focusing on Japanese international students working their way through college and the organizations operated by them, such as theJapanese Benefit Society of Boston.

Chunxia SHAO 邵春霞 (e-mail:, is based at the School of Politics and International Relations at Tongji University 同济大学政治与国际关系学院 in Shanghai, China. She is the author of Chuanmei bianqianzhong de gong gong lingyu 传媒变迁中的公共领域 (The Limited Public Sphere in Changing Mass Media) (China Society Press, 2014) and has published in Chinese journals nearly twenty articles related to the Chinese public sphere and governance. Her academic interests focus on changing state-society relations in China, which she explores through an examination of the public sphere and the governance mode in China. In her studies, she has been trying to answer such questions as, How does the cyber discussion shape the Chinese public sphere? and How does the authoritarian system under the CCP work? While at BU, her research focused on how the campaigning tradition of the CCP molds the present governance in China.

Zijie SHAO 邵梓捷 (e-mail:, a Ph.D candidate at the School of Government, Peking University. Her research focus in the study of political communication involved a comparative study of how Chinese and American official propaganda guide public opinion.

Feibiao XU 徐飞彪 (e-mail:, Associate Professor and the Director of the Division for International Trade and Investment Studies, the Institute of World Economic Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) 中国现代国际关系研究院世界经济研究所贸易与投资室 in Beijing, China. Professor Xu, a political economist, is currently researching “the Changing International Financial Order and Its Impacts on Sino-U.S. Relations.”

ZHANG Lanxing 张兰星 (e-mail: is Associate Professor of History at Sichuan Normal University in Chengdu. He earned his MA and PhD in History from the Department of History, Sichuan University, and undertook postdoctorate research at Fudan University that focused on the relationship between Japan and Western countries during the Tokugawa period (1603-1868). While in residence at BU, he is focusing on research on maritime trade between China and Southeast Asia, especially trade involving herbs, spices, and other materials related to traditional medicine.