Linda Qian received her BA (Hons.) in International Relations and Contemporary Asian Studies from the University of Toronto, and graduated with Distinction from the MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies program at Oxford in 2016. Her MSc thesis used the village of Heyang in China’s Zhejiang province as a case study to explore the development of rural tourism. Specifically, she used the concept of xiangchou – “rural nostalgia” – as a theoretical lens to unravel the ramifications of the rural tourism industry, looking at both the top-down intentions at different levels of government, and the bottom-up perspectives of villagers and other local stakeholders. With the support of the Clarendon Fund, Linda’s DPhil research returns to this project and Heyang, widening its lens beyond tourism to a broader understanding of contemporary rural development, and expanding its scope to incorporate the CCP’s recently unveiled Rural Revitalization Strategy.
Prior to joining the DPhil in Area Studies program, Linda was a Post Graduate Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a Vancouver-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing Canada’s relations with the Asia Pacific. During her time at the Foundation, she took the initiative to create a podcast, which resulted in an eight-part series co-produced and co-written with colleague that discusses contemporary issues from the perspectives of millennial youth in East Asia.