Aaron Su

Contemporary East Asia
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B.A. in Anthropology from Columbia University

Aaron is a PhD student specializing in anthropology and cultural studies, focusing on post-socialist China with an attention to the afterlives of the twentieth century. His research has thus far analyzed the politics of vernacular, non-prestigious visual forms – propaganda, infrastructures, images, advertisements, decor, writing and script – in order to make the argument that the brunt of large-scale geopolitical transformation is often lived out in such ordinary and intimate arenas. Aaron’s dissertation will move to explore questions of gender and sexuality in China, and how they manage to traverse dominant political traditions: Marxist, nonliberal, or otherwise. In particular, he would like to think about how openness (kaifang) in sexual politics also accrues sticky ties to questions about borders, internationalism, the economy, and the future of the state.

Before coming to Princeton, Aaron earned a B.A. with honors from Columbia University and conducted fieldwork in Shanghai.