Xinyuan (Cypress) Lyu
Project title: The Body as Medium: From the Corporeal to the Digital
Project description: The body is a mystery. Countless minds have struggled to understand the body not only as a friend but also an enemy. What is the relationship between body and mind? How can one make sense of the notion where body is construed as animalistic and deceptive while the mind must resort to a tyranny? How does one construct a theory on the perception of body itself and on body as medium between individuals and the world or the self, and in what way does variation in such constructions reflect historical and cultural developments? With a comparative survey of the conception of body from the Ancient Greece and Pre-modern China to postmodernism and post-humanism, I hope to explore the implications of diverse perceptions of body influenced by technological advancements and to propose a new discourse on existence and subjectivity actualized via body in this era with the supremacy of virtual technology.
Most important accomplishment: Learning to be through writing contemporary poems for over 10 years and striving to communicating myself with others in this way. I see my poems as both a private and public manifestation, and I urge myself to celebrate this juxtaposition and its occasional (or constant? I do not have a correct answer) irreconcilability.
Reflections on the College Scholar Program: I have been struggling with confining my excessively discursive academic interests to a strict category that corresponds with one or two major areas or subjects, and thus when my advisor dean told me about the College Scholar Program, I was excited beyond words. Since I joined the program I have had the chance to take classes as my passions lead me (Classics, Comparative Literature, German Studies, Sociology, Linguistics…), as I am invested both in language and theory courses. It also allows me to plan for study abroad programs without worrying too much about graduation, which could be overwhelming since I wanted to double major in Classics and Comparative Literature but had to learn the ancient languages from scratch. Also, I extremely appreciate the fact that I now have access to faculty advisors who are very approachable, genuinely enthusiastic about new ideas, and highly experienced in interdisciplinary studies. A conversation with them always enables me to articulate my thoughts and to receive inspiring feedbacks without which I could hardly proceed with my project.