Sean Cronan

Class of 2019

What is your College Scholar project? 
My research focuses broadly on modern Asian intellectual and literary history, investigating questions of ethnos, nation, and culture in both colonial and imperial encounters in Asia. Specifically I study the history of Taiwan as contested both spatially and ideologically, and the roles that language and literary production play in the colonial/imperial constructions (and deconstruction) of the island. Although my research is largely on Taiwan, I employ transnational theoretical methods in looking at literary and intellectual traditions ranging throughout East and Southeast Asia.

What are your most important extra-curricular activities? 
I work at the Cornell East Asia Program, where I coordinate the Cornell Classical Chinese Colloquium (CCCC).  I am also a member of the Japanese language house on campus as well as a part of several graduate reading groups for critical Asian humanities and area studies. 

Talk about any summer internships or programs you’ve attended. 
The summer after my freshman year (2016) I attended Middlebury Language Schools for Mandarin. The immersive language experience at Middlebury helped to allow me to start
thinking in the language, which has made it possible for me to conduct research with both primary and secondary Chinese-language resources. Last summer (2017) I attended the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) for intensive study of Thai language. A similar program to Middlebury, SEASSI contributed much to my understanding of Asia broadly and put me on the track to continue studying Thai and Southeast Asian Studies in conjunction with my other research.

What do you dream of doing after graduation?
I plan to go to graduate school after graduation and continue my research. Eventually I would like to become a professor of Asian Studies and inspire other students the way my professors have inspired me.