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Student Profile: Ziwei Yan
English doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
I am a Ph.D. candidate at Simon Fraser University, English Department. My research project centres around the posthuman phenomenon in literature and cultural representations, such as novels, movies, and art projects. For example, I presented my paper at the conference "Taboo, Transgression, and Transcendence in Art and Science" in 2020 (https://avarts.ionio.gr/ttt/2020/en/presentations/58/) and the 2021 conference organized by the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society. The methodology I am using is derived from Jacques Lacan's theory of psychoanalysis. My dissertation will focus on the representation of human-machine amalgamation in novels by Thomas Pynchon, Phillip Dick, and J. G. Ballard, to look at how technology alters our perception of the human body and the ontology of subjectivity, desire, and consciousness. The project will also investigate the development of transhumanism in the early 1900s (for example, the controversial artist Wyndham Lewis) and how the evolvement of futurism and Vorticism is entangled with transhumanism.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I came to SFU because my supervisor Dr. Clint Burnham is doing research in psychoanalysis and I am interested in this field.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
I normally tell my parents that my research involves studying English culture and literature as well as looking at how psychoanalysis helps us understand human behaviors and broader social phenomenon.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
I like the facilities provided by SFU (the library) and the knowledgeable teachers at the English Department.
HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.
Ann & William Messenger Graduate Fellowship. This research funding has encouraged me to work harder in the field of psychoanalysis. It also allows me to focus more time on cutting-edge research subjects featured in international conferences.
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