In the 2015 academic year, USCET welcomed two new scholars to the U.S. as American Studies Fellows. Dr. Lin Ling from Shanghai International Studies University who studied at Harvard University during Spring of 2015. Read on to hear about Dr. Ling's experience. We currently have Dr. Shi Yi of China Foreign Affairs University also placed at Harvard for the Fall 2015 semester.
Lin Ling, Associate Professor of College of English and Center of American Studies at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), completed her semester-long fellowship in Spring 2015 at Harvard University under the mentorship of Prof. Ali Asani with the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization (NELC). Through taking courses at the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Center and Department of African and African American Studies, her time at Harvard has greatly enriched her research which focuses on race and ethnicity, women studies, religious culture and intellectual history. She particularly enjoyed the course, World's Religions in Multicultural America: Case Studies in American Religious Pluralism offered by Prof. Dianna Eck, which allowed her to explore key issues facing the African American community and to gain deeper insight into the diversity of America’s religious landscape.
In addition to coursework, Dr. Lin actively engaged in academic workshops and conferences. She regularly attended the bi-weekly workshop of “Islam in the West” and participated in the annual conference on “Intra-Muslim Relations” where she was able to engage in discussions with fellow scholars and network with journalists and activists of prominent Muslim advocacy organizations as well as the greater Muslim American community. She was also involved in events at the Department of African and African American Studies. What she found most memorable was a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of the Selma-Montgomery March of the Civil Rights movement. There, she had a chance to hear a speech by Ilyasah Shabazz commemorating the life of her father, Malcolm X.
Meanwhile, she took full advantage of the resources on campus and kept herself updated on current events such as the Ferguson incident and ongoing ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign by going to lectures and workshops. These activities, she says, “have further enhanced my understanding of racial politics in American society.” Dr. Lin had been in the U.S. for short visits previously, but she strongly believed that her experience of studying, researching and networking at Harvard as an American Studies Fellow was impactful and special. She plans to use her experience to help develop international exchanges and outreach of American Studies programs at her home institute SISU.