Current NYU Shanghai Global Research Initiatives Fellows

Claire Y. Song
PhD Candidate, Department of Comparative Literature, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Synopsis of Research in Shanghai: September 11 - December 8

Claire Y. Song’s work focuses on the linguistics and translation problems of Chinese and English, in the age of the mechanization of language understanding, generation and translation. In recent years there has been a growth in the quick evolution of powerful natural language processing models, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT (2022). Song is setting out to investigate the assumptions and findings about languages on the part of linguists, philosophers, neural scientists and computer scientists, in their dialogues, debates and collaborations on the merging of natural language and mechanical processes, which is a key legacy of the Cold War. 

Xinyi Zhang
PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Synopsis of Research in Shanghai: October 23 - December 15

In Shanghai, Xinyi Zhang will be revising her manuscript of a research project “Who can(not) be Chinese and Why? The Construction of Symbolic Boundaries Against Immigrants in Chinese Online Discourse.” The paper uses social media data collected in 2020 from Sina Weibo and provides qualitative and computational content analysis on online discussion about loosening regulations on permanent residency in China. Zhang hopes to strengthen the paper by conducting additional literature review on racial discourse in China, using NYU Shanghai’s library. She also hopes to workshop her paper draft with scholars who focus on race and immigration in a global context in Shanghai.