Dr. Prasenjit Duara

Dr. Prasenjit Duara, Director

Dr. Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University and the Director of the Global Asia Initiative with research interests in modern Chinese social and cultural history, nationalism and transnationalism, history and poststructuralist theory, historical sociology, historical philosophy and historiography.


Yan Gao

Dr. Yan Gao, Research Associate

Dr. Yan Gao is the 2017-2019 postdoctoral research fellow for the Global Asia Initiative. Her research topics include (but not limited to) late imperial and modern Chinese history; China’s social and environmental history; civil society/public sphere in historical and contemporary China; global environmental history; history of water and rivers; environmental humanities, digital humanities. Dr. Gao received her Ph.D. from the department of history from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012.



Rohini Thakkar , program coordinator

Rohini Thakkar joined DUCIGS as Staff Specialist in September 2017. She is responsible for coordinating programs and activities for the Global Asia Initiative (GAI) and the newly created  Duke India Initiative (DII). Rohini holds an M.A. in English from Pune University (India).  Rohini has also studied Japanese both at Pune University and Nagoya University (Japan).  She worked for Hewlett Packard and Oracle in Bangalore (India) before obtaining her Masters in International Studies from NCSU. She has worked at the Study Abroad Office at NCSU as well as for the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) at Duke University.


Global Asia Initiative Advisory Committee

Dr. Prasenjit Duara, Oscar Tang Professor of East Asian Studies, History Department

Dr. Erika Weinthal, Lee Hill Snowdon Professor of Environmental Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment

Dr. Ralph Litzinger, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology

Dr. Carlos Rojas, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Dr. Elizabeth Lossos, Senior Fellow, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions


Global Asia Initiative Affiliates

Zhang Lianwei, Associate Professor of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing Forestry University, China

Jeffrey Nicolaisen, Candidate for Ph.D, Duke University

Takushi Odagiri, Associate Professor of Humanities, Kanazawa University, Japan