Chen wins digital humanities fellowship

Ruochen Chen

Ruochen Chen, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has won a Gale Non-Residential Fellowship from the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). The fellowship is intended to help scholars expand the fields of Asian studies for research and teaching, and to foster the skills to apply digital humanities methodologies in their work.

Chen, one of five recipients for 2023, is currently working on his dissertation project, titled “The Ocean’s Child: Infrastructural Semicolonialism and the Making of the Modern Yangtze River.” It explores the cultural shift of the Yangtze River from a natural barrier defending against potential threats from the sea to a thoroughfare connecting China to global industrial capitalism, while also delving in the lives of those, both Chinese and foreign, who maintained the river’s infrastructure.

The fellowship is sponsored by Gale, part of the Cengage Group, which provides libraries with research tools and technology; and by the AAS, a 6,500-member organization dedicated to advancing Asian studies through international intellectual exchange. Chen will receive a $2,500 stipend; access to Gale Primary Sources, the Gale Digital Scholar Lab and other research tools; and an additional $500 stipend to present his work at the AAS annual conference in March in Seattle. For more information, visit For more about the AAS, visit

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