Q: What are you writing your thesis about?
BM: National shame and sexual dysfunction in Chinese literature during the May Fourth movement, which brought with it new Western ideas of modernization and conceptualization of protagonist characters within the space of fiction. My research project will center around these May Fourth notions of gendered modernity and national shame within the modern Chinese literature of the time.
Q: Why did you choose your area of focus?
BM: I took a class on modern Chinese fiction with Professor Todd Foley, during which I read the short story "Sinking" by Yu Dafu, which is the story around which a large portion of my research is centered. That story introduced to me an entirely new angle of the novel modern fiction in China at the time, and I immediately became fascinated with how the changes the May Fourth movement brought to Chinese literature influenced the depiction of sexuality based on what I saw in "Sinking".
Q: What was your favorite part about NYU East Asian Studies?
BM: I think my favorite part of the East Asian Studies department at NYU is the language classes. I have had the time of my life continuing to learn Mandarin at NYU and all of my language professors have provided continual support through my undergraduate journey even once I'd left their classroom.