Li Zeng Alumnae Dissertation Fellow, 2006
Li Zeng is a film and television scholar. She is an Associate Professor of Cinema Studies, Head of Theatre Studies, in the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State University. She completed her Ph.D. in Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University in 2008. Her dissertation, “The Past Revisited: Popular Memory of the Cultural Revolution in Contemporary China,” won both a graduate research grant and the Alumnae Fellowship from Northwestern University. She has published reviews and articles on Chinese television and contemporary Chinese cinema in Jump Cut, Visual Anthropology, Critical Arts, and the Journal of American-East Asian Relations. Her research interests include film history, film genres, East Asian cinema, feminist theory, cultural memory, and gender studies.
Reflection on the Alumnae Fellowship When I received a Dissertation Fellowship in 2006, I was in the fourth year of my doctoral study in the Department of Radio/Television/Film. I was at the crucial stage of writing and researching my thesis project, “The Past Revisited: Popular Memory of the Cultural Revolution in Contemporary China,” which explores the representation and (re)imagining of the Cultural Revolution in Chinese popular media. Due to the sensitivity of the subject, I had to explore many channels in China to obtain access to archives and to conduct interviews. This fellowship affirmed the value of the project, and made it possible for me to stay in China for an extended period of time to do research. I successfully completed the dissertation in 2008. Two articles were developed from the dissertation and were published in peer-reviewed journals. I have continued to research and write in the field of cultural memory and historical representation in visual media.