Yanping Ni Awarded the Mr. and Mrs. Yan Huo *94*95 Graduate Fellowship

July 1, 2024

Fourth-year graduate student Yanping Ni has been awarded the Mr. and Mrs. Yan Huo *94*95 Graduate Fellowship from the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. This fellowship is awarded to qualified Princeton Ph.D. students who are conducting field work outside the United States, especially in or related to China.

Yanping’s dissertation project is titled, “When the Market is Shuffling Cards: New Human and Fibrous Players in the Chinese Textile Economy.” Her fourteen-month-long fieldwork will examine the emergence of experiments in fiber and textiles among young entrepreneurs in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China. It explores how shifts and anxieties around foreign trade, access to markets, changing tastes, and environmental challenges are expressed in textiles as ongoing material experiments; and how extensive networks of workers, supply chains, market strategies, and environmental relations in the textile industry articulate the possibilities and perils of a prospective post-pandemic economic and social order in places once oriented toward the ever-opening global market for Chinese manufactures. She will trace new fibrous experimentation through business dinners, factory floors, design studios, showrooms, and so on. She hopes her ethnography will enhance a deep understanding of how human and material agency plays out during what she calls “the times of geopolitical rivalry and tactical disconnection.”

Yanping’s dissertation committee includes her co-advisers Serguei Oushakine and Jerry Zee. Her research is supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation.