Past Chinese Theses


James Woodley, “Weighing the Fairness of Chinese University Admissions”

Advisor: Michel Hockx

James Woodley

Throughout Chinese history, examinations have been the cornerstone of academic achievement, and recently, the National Higher Education Entrance Examination or as it is more universally recognized: gaokao 高考 has received increased Western media attention. Articles from non-Chinese news outlets have called the test and the college admission system “deeply unfair” (The Economist - June 2nd, 2016). Why is it that many Americans believe the Chinese university admissions system is “unfair” and is it particularly “unfair” in reality, and is this notion justifiable? In my writing, I first analyze the gaokao examination system on the whole, weighing the advantages and disadvantages it brings to China’s educational system. Then I consider the university admission system on the whole, specifically regarding the provincial differences in university acceptance rates, hearing from the students who experience the system first hand. Next, I compare the overall Chinese college application process with that of the systems I know best, the United States and the United Kingdom, to show that China’s method of accepting students into universities is not as foreign as it seems. Finally, I consider what makes a university admission system “fair” and determine whether or not China’s current model meets that definition.


John Fox, “Authoritarianism and Personality Cult in Contemporary China: The Return of the Repressed?”

Advisor: Lionel Jensen

Since 2012, China observers have noted a significant concentration of the Communist government’s control over civil society that has led many to believe China has become more authoritarian under President Xi Jinping. Does this signal the return of the personality cult in China?



Rona Vaselaar

Advisor: Lionel Jensen


Maxwell Brown, "Chinese Cyber Warfare Capabilities and Espionage: Agency in an Asymmetric Era"

Advisor: Lionel Jensen





Wendy Hatch, "Challenge of the Human Landscape: Economics, Politics, and Reproduction in China's New Birth Policy"

Advisor: Lionel Jensen


Megan Hsu, "Tensions of Tradition and Modernity: TCM in China Today"

Advisors: Dian Murray & Francesca Bordogna


Hannah Pawelczyk, "Media Globalization in China: The Influence of U.S. Television"

Advisor: Lionel Jensen


Dominic Romeo, "Wukan: Chinese Approved Democracy?"

Advisor: Peter Moody



Grace Lee," Hong Kong and the Mainland in the midst of Dogs versus Locusts: How Social and Political Divides Shape Modern Hong Kong Identity"

Advisor Liangyan Ge


Brendan Melchiorri, "Chinese Democracy: Taiwanese Opinion on Cross-Strait Relations and Taiwan’s Political Future"

Advisor: Sylvia Lin


Seung Yoon Nam, "Microfinance and Financial Inclusion of Rural China, South Korea, and the United States"

Advisor: Xiaoshan Yang


Allison Wettstein, "Made in China: Human Trafficking and the Laogai System"

Advisor: Xiaoshan Yang


Caroline Hudson, “A Disease of Blood and Treasure: Poverty and the Politics of HIV/AIDS in China”

Advisor: Lionel Jensen


Mariel Lee, “Chinese International Students’ Acculturation of at Notre Dame”

Advisor: Xiaoshan Yang


Mary Longenbaker, “Countercultural Daoism: The Dialectic Between Religious Daoism and Confucianism in Ge Hong’s Traditions of Divine Transcendents

Advisor: Xiaoshan Yang


Michel Sabella: “Inequality and the Harmonious Society Concept in Postsocialist China”

Advisor: Liangyan Ge


Daniel Zebrowski, “Fashioning the Image of a Lofty Recluse: Tao Yuanming and the Zither”

Advisor: Xiaoshan Yang


Emily O'Brien

Advisor: Lionel Jensen


Brice Doyle, “Physical Height and Spiritual Elevation in the Poetry of Xie Lingyun”

Advisor: Xiaoshan Yang


Casey Kenny, “Trends in Chinese Migration: Rising Re-immigration, Circular and Transnational Migration Patterns of the Haigui and the Effect on Nationalism and Identity”

Advisor: Sylvia Lin


Sean Sasso, “The Appreciation of the Chinese Yuan and Its Impact on Sino-American Relations and the Operations of U.S. Multinational Companies”

Advisor: Xiaoshan Yang


Ryan Mingo, “Ascension in the Poetry of Hanshan and Li Bai”

Advisor: Xiaoshan Yang



Seth Hiland (2002), Timothy McKenze (2004),