I study the political and intellectual history of early China. My dissertation is focused on the period of about 300 BCE. This was a period of history when people were beginning to ask some fascinating and original questions about some big topics that we’re still struggling with today: how to organize a state, how to balance individual desires with collective needs, and what it means to be ethical during a period of upheaval.
I research Japanese video games (Bleep Bloop!) and write about the ways in which they engage with social issues and national trauma. For my purposes, this means analyzing console games that address issues of natural disasters, a declining birthrate and aging population, and traumatic war memory in Japan.
My dissertation rests at the intersection of South Asian history and Buddhist studies. Put simply, the conventional view in academia (and beyond) is that sometime between the 12th – 15th century, Buddhism “died” or “disappeared” from India before being “reborn” in 1956 when the Indian constitutionalist, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, converted to Buddhism along with half a million of his Dalit (“Untouchable”) followers.