Yige Dong Named Suzanne Wilson Barnett Chair in Contemporary China Studies

February 20, 2019

University of Puget Sound recently announced the appointment of Yige Dong as the Suzanne Wilson Barnett Chair in Contemporary China Studies.

A standout Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Johns Hopkins University, Dong is a widely published writer and an acclaimed undergraduate teacher. Her teaching and research interests include labor, gender, and technology in global capitalism; the political economy of international development; and politics, economy, and culture in Chinese societies.

“Yige is a promising scholar who will greatly enhance the Asian Studies Program’s social-scientific curriculum,” said Nick Kontogeorgopoulos, director of Puget Sound’s Global Development Studies and Asian Studies programs. “Her specialization on the political economy of gender in China will attract a wide variety of students to her courses.”

Dong has been awarded numerous teaching fellowships at Johns Hopkins and has been published by both scholarly and public platforms in the United States and China, including American Quarterly, Modern China, Tsinghua Sociological Review, and China Development Brief. Her academic accolades and awards include the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship in Women’s Studies, the Rose Laub Coser Dissertation Proposal Award by the Eastern Sociological Society, and the Best Graduate Student Paper Prize by the China and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies.

“As a social scientist who embraces humanistic approaches, I have always believed in the value of liberal arts education,” said Dong. “Puget Sound will be an ideal place for me to make the best of my multidisciplinary and multicultural training to cultivate young minds in critical and innovative ways.”

Having grown up, earned an undergraduate degree, and conducted extensive research in China, Dong will bring a wide variety of international connections to her work at Puget Sound.

“My past working experience as an NGO officer in Beijing and my years of fieldwork across several regions in China have helped me build strong and lasting local networks, especially in higher education, cultural, and nonprofit sectors,” said Dong. “At Puget Sound, I look forward to organizing student field trips to China and fostering transpacific conversations in years to come.” 

Dong earned a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in psychology at The University of Hong Kong and a master's degree from The University of Chicago's Master of Arts in the Social Sciences Program. She will join the Puget Sound faculty in fall 2019 as a member of the International Political Economy Program.

The Suzanne Wilson Barnett Chair in China Studies position was established through a gift from The Trimble Foundation, and was announced by Puget Sound President Isiaah Crawford in May 2018. The position is named for Professor Emerita of History Suzanne Wilson Barnett, who taught at Puget Sound from 1973 to 2007.