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Heyu ZhangCohort 2023


  • BA, Human, Social and Political Sciences, University of Cambridge


Heyu's research interests focus on political subjectivity, rural development, precariousness and governmentality in contemporary China. In her PhD project, she hopes to explore the subjective and everyday dimensions of the Chinese state under the recent extensive government poverty alleviation campaigns since 2015. Her project will ask: how do rural communities perceive their dispossession and the self-responsiblising development practices under the grand narrative of national rejuvenation? How does such a citizen-making process foster desires, knowledge and moral reflections on public life in rural China? This project forms a part of her general interests in public life in late socialist China, and how individuals act as political subjects and navigate censorship, confusion, apathy, nostalgia and hope. 

Before joining Emory, Heyu graduated from the University of Cambridge with a BA degree in Human, Social and Political Sciences. She has done ethnographic research on young Chinese feminists' online activism and political subjectivity and has previously worked in policy research.

Advisor: Dr. Phillips