Duke East Asian Studies Thesis Presentations

November 4, 2022 - 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Registration: https://bit.ly/DukeEAS

During this forum graduating students from the MA program in East Asian Studies will present their thesis projects.

Xinqian Cai

Rural Villages, Urbanization, and Female Villager’s Social Status: Fieldwork in a Shenzhen Urban Village

In 2004, the Shenzhen Municipality announced that Shenzhen would become the first city without rural areas and rural villages in China, a milestone in the process of urbanization. Officially, rural villages in Shenzhen have disappeared. However, they still exist in another form – urban villages. Attending to the processes of urbanization and rampant economic development, my research shows how the social lives of these urban villages has changed in many ways, except for the patriarchal logics which continue to marginalize and devalue female villagers. I focus on how urban villages use their agency as formerly rural villages and how urban villages are reclaiming female villager’s social status.

Yue Gu

Chinese Cloud Players: How Proxy Play Develops from the Game Live Streaming

The term “Cloud Player” (云玩家) has been widely used as a put-down of the alleged pseudo-players who actively engage in online game discussion but seldomly play games themselves, and game live streaming is considered as the major channel for those to indirectly experience games. This paper enquires into the identification and population of the so-called cloud players in China by investigating Chinese players’ habits, consumption, and preferences in game and game live streaming through survey and interviews. The study showed that cloud players are an endogenic subgroup of the Chinese game community that has been marginalized and stigmatized. Cloud player as an identity is not a static but fluid and composite status an individual can opt for in experiencing one game at a time. To analyze the complex play mechanism of cloud players, a particular play conduct named proxy play by which gamers actively take on avatars of avatars, tune their levels of agency to varying play scenarios, is proposed and elucidated based on the established research on individuals’ motivations for and engagement in game live streaming as well as reflective discussion of prominent theoretical frameworks in game studies such as the magic circle and the frame theory.

 Registration: https://bit.ly/DukeEAS

Contact name



  • Asian/Pacific Studies Institute

Event type

  • Speaker Series