15 September 2021
Yingbai Fu from the Department of History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts, talks about her busy summer in learning, working, and planning for the second year of her PhD starting in October with existing and new scholarships.
In March 2021, Yingbai was awarded a studentship for her PhD project Dressing up the Manchu Way: Visual Representations of Women’s Hair and Dress in China and Beyond, 1850s-1940s from the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-east England (CHASE), one of the UK’s 10 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Doctoral Training Partnerships.
Looking forward to joining the CHASE DTP in the new academic year, Yingbai has taken several summer classes in art and languages with her current SOAS grants. As one of the lucky recipients of the 2021 SOAS BAME Doctoral Researcher Seedcorn Training and Development Grant, she began her portraiture painting and drawing lessons in August for the £500 award.
Excited to learn a new language with the help of the SOAS PhD Language Acquisition Fund, she is halfway through her beginners’ Japanese summer intensive course, and is expecting to progress to the next level in Term 1 in the autumn. Her 12-week Manchu summer refresher course with Dr Devin Fizgerald from UCLA is soon coming to an end, and she will join the new bi-weekly reading group, in addition to her existing weekly SOAS reading group, and lessons with Dr Lars Laamann in the History Department are due to resume in September.
This August, Yingbai and four of her first-year Art History PhD colleagues successfully delivered their first ‘Art History for All’ event, a project supported by the 2021 SOAS Social Action Fund. ‘This pilot scheme was partnered with the British Refugee Council. We took 11 students (12–18-year-old) under their care for a one-day museum visit, hoping to promote art history as a potential career to young people from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds in the UK.’
Working as a SOAS Student Ambassador, Yingbai has also taken various challenging tasks this summer including Virtual Open Days, A-Level Clearing support and worked as an Online Invigilator.
She is looking forward to organising the early 2022 workshop series supported by the CHASE Cohort Development Fund. The series Object Literacy II: Transdisciplinary Research and the Material Object in Chinese Art History are co-organised by two CHASE institutions, and she will be working closely with her supervisor Prof Shane McCausland (SOAS), and Dr Stephen Whiteman and PhD student Junyao He from the Courtauld Institute of Art.
‘I’m very excited about my project and great opportunities supported by the CHASE scholarship. I hope the Covid travel restrictions will be lifted next year so I can go for fieldwork. I am also looking for a placement opportunity for Year-Three, hopefully in a museum, which is also supported by CHASE.’