Dissertation Fellows: Ruodi Duan, Melissa Redwood
Ruodi Duan is a PhD candidate in international history at Harvard University. Her dissertation examines the rise and ebb of Cold War movements for "Afro-Asia" from the vantage points of China, Tanzania, and transnational African American activist networks. Her other academic interests include Asian American history, Pacific history, and cultural and ethnic studies. She received her B.A. in Black Studies from Amherst College.
Melissa Redwood is a PhD candidate in history at Yale University focusing on the study of race and gender in the transpacific context. Her dissertation, “Exile Under Exclusion: Ayako Ishigaki and the Unstable Politics of Gender, Anti-Militarism, and Free Speech between the U.S. and Japan” follows the transnational life of an exceptional feminist writer and antiwar activist to illuminate the history of political dissidence among Japanese immigrant women in the pre-World War II era, and the Cold War narratives of reconciliation, assimilation, and domesticity that have since obscured their political participation and critiques. Following the subjects of her study back across the Pacific past the point of deportation, her research also highlights the unpredictable and uncontrollable ways in which knowledge about social repression in the Cold War United States traveled internationally, contradicting official state narratives of freedom and democracy.