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Kimberly Cheng Awarded 2018-2019 Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Research Fellowship

Kimberly Cheng, a PhD candidate in the Joint PhD Program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies and History at New York University, has been awarded the 2018-2019 Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Research Fellowship at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. Cheng is the second recipient of the Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Research Fellowship, and will be in residence at the Center from September to October 2018 to conduct research for her dissertation, which examines central European Jewish refugee life in Shanghai from 1937 to 1951.

During her time at the Center, Cheng will conduct research with Visual History Archive testimonies of former Jewish refugees from Shanghai in order to understand “the ways in which Jews navigated the changing landscape of postwar Shanghai from the end of World War II through the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.” She also plans to explore the photographs, personal papers and pre-interview questionnaires in the archive and library collections to paint a picture of the relationships between Jewish refugees and their Chinese neighbors in postwar Shanghai. Cheng hopes that her research will help reconfigure Holocaust geography by “shed[ding] light on the consolidation of these refugees’ sense of personal identity, the distinct experiences of refugee children and adolescents with Chinese people, postwar Sino-Jewish relations, and the construction of foreignness and race more broadly in Shanghai.” Her linguistic proficiency in English, Chinese, Hebrew and German will allow her to utilize a wide variety of testimonies and relate them to each other in her research.

Cheng earned her BA in History and Diaspora Studies from Cornell University and her MA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education before coming to NYU. As a graduate student in the Joint PhD Program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies and History at NYU, Cheng has studied both modern Jewish history and modern Chinese history, with a focus on relating the Jewish and Chinese experiences of the Holocaust to each other. She has worked as a documentary archival assistant and as a freelance writer and has studied abroad extensively during her education, with stints at universities including Freie Universität, Berlin and National Taiwan University, Taipei.

The Breslauer, Rutman, and Anderson Research Fellowship is awarded annually to an outstanding advanced-standing Ph.D. candidate from any discipline for dissertation research focused on testimony from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and other unique USC research resources. The fellowship enables the recipient to spend one month in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research during the academic year and to deliver a public lecture about his or her research.

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