British Association for American Studies


60 Seconds with Jun Qiang

The U.S. Studies Online 60 Seconds interview feature offers a short and informal introduction to a postgraduate, academic or non-academic specialist working in the American and Canadian Studies field or a related American and Canadian Studies association. 

Jun Qiang is a a second-year PhD student in English and Related Literature at the University of York and is the Global Relations Editor for 2020-2022.

Jun Qiang (Global Relations Editor)

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am Jun Qiang, a second-year Ph.D. student in English and Related Literature at the University of York. I come from Liyang, Jiangsu Province, China, a place to wander in the bamboo sea, enjoy the lake scene, and taste delicious Jiangnan food. I have previously studied in Nanjing, Virginia, and Edinburgh. In my spare time, I relax by doing Chinese calligraphy and painting, yoga, meditation, hiking, listening to new-age music, and studying traditional medicine.

What do you research and why? 

My current research explores New York women’s places of residence in Edith Wharton’s fiction at the turn of the century, with a focus on the relationship between American women and places such as the country house, hotel, boarding house, and basement store. I have a keen interest in women, place, and space, partly because I am deeply influenced and shaped by the places I lived.

You’re throwing a fantasy dinner party for 6. Who’s invited and why? 

I hope to organize a “fantasy” themed party. Alex, Mariam and I, the co-organisers of Threshold Fantasy Conference in March 2020, have been looking forward to our post-conference fantasy dinner, which has been postponed until after lockdown. Apart from my two friends, Alex and Mariam, I will invite another three fantasy masters, Ursula K. Le Guin, Hayao Miyazaki, and Peter Jackson. In this “fantasy” themed dinner, we will wear our fantasy costume, enjoy the food in the fantasy genre, and have a nice chat about fantasy.

In a Desert Island Discs: American Studies scenario, what song and book are you taking?

Though my research interests center around the early twentieth century, I am obsessed with the counterculture of the 1960s in America. I will bring Scott McKenzie’s San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” for the music. Every time I hear that song, I feel the strong nostalgia which is important to the US. As for the book, I may choose Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other poems. I believe I will read/howl poems everyday if I am deserted on the island.

What do you hope to achieve during your time with USSO?

Inclusivity, Internationalism, Interdisciplinarity, and Multimedia. 

To make U.S. Studies Online more accessible, welcoming, and inclusive for postgraduates and early career scholars, particularly those who are marginalized and minority groups, international students, non-tenure track scholars, “alt-ac” scholars, distance researchers, and those from a wider range of institutions. 

To build an international network of researchers and institutes in a wide variety of areas.

To cover a broad range of topics and subjects, exhibiting innovative, world-class research across the arts and humanities, and to create dialogue between humanities and science. 

To extend the current reading experience by incorporating video, still images and audio into the text and build up a multimedia platform.