Anna Zhao Awarded 2024 Luce/ACLS Travel Grant in China Studies

Submitted by Whitney Miller on

The Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies is proud to announce that Anna Zhao has been awarded a 2024 Luce/ACLS Travel Grant in China Studies. Part of the redesigned Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies, the grants provide $5,000 for graduate students in a PhD program or non-tenure track faculty at any career stage to visit research sites China or China studies-related archives, collections, and libraries anywhere in the world.

Zhao has been recognized as one of 11 Luce/ACLS Travel Grantees in China Studies, whose research focuses on cultures, histories, and societies in China, as well as their influence and impact on communities and cultures around the world. Zhao’s project explores the recent history of labor pain management in childbirth in contemporary China, and how both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical approaches participate in the medicalization of childbirth and the shaping of state discourse around reproduction. The limited access to labor anesthesia in China exemplifies the gendered experience of pain that positions women’s birthing bodies at the intersection of state population policies, development projects, and social discourse around reproduction as a feminized labor. This project also discusses how the recent attempt to promote labor analgesia reveals the state’s pronatalist ambition in response to the dropping birth rate following the termination of the One-Child Policy.

 “ACLS and the Henry Luce Foundation have partnered to advance the understanding of China for 40 years,” said Deena Ragavan, ACLS Director of International Programs. “We are excited to continue our re-envisioned Program in China Studies, which prioritizes supporting a wide diversity of scholars, institutions, and research topics and improving public understanding of Chinese cultures, histories, and societies. ACLS is proud to support the outstanding 2024 Early Career Fellows and Travel Grantees, whose research will help provide a critical, nuanced understanding of China’s past and present.”

This program is made possible by a major grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and is administered by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.