PhD Candidate, Translator, and Writer

About Me:

Hello, and welcome! On this page you’ll find my bio, and my work is listed under the “categories” column below.

I was born and raised south of Boston, where I graduated from Hingham High School in 2008. I then attended Cornell University from 2008-2012, graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature.  I am now a PhD Candidate in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, a program that I began in 2012.

Academically, I study 20th and 21st-century Chinese literature and culture. My dissertation is about the emergence of religious literary modernity in Republican Era (1912-1945) China. Although I study China professionally, I am also interested in Western European culture, in particular France, Italy, and Germany, and hope to do more transnational work encompassing two or more of these altogether four nations in the future. Another academic passion of mine besides literature is language politics, meaning decisions multilingual people make about which language to use when and with whom, and the stakes of those decisions.

In addition to writing my dissertation, I am a freelance translator of Mandarin Chinese into English. If you are seeking such a translator, please email me at ginaelia@sas.upenn.edu with requests for translation assistance, and I will be happy to consider your project.

Not surprisingly, my biggest passions outside of my profession are reading, recreational writing, and foreign language study, correlating with my academic interests. I read all kinds of fiction, travel memoir, general non-fiction, and academic scholarship, mostly about humanities and social sciences topics, but also occasionally dipping into layperson science. My writing tends to center around three themes: religion, culture and language, and the role of the humanities in society. In the past, I have written academic and travel essays, personal reflections, position papers, reviews, fiction, and poetry. Outside of my dissertation, these days I mostly focus on honing the essay form. Languages I am conversational in include English (native speaker), Mandarin Chinese (full proficiency), French (conversational), and German (limited conversational). Languages I can read but not speak include: Classical Chinese, Japanese, and Italian (all intermediate). Still on the bucket list to accomplish someday are to become conversational in Italian, as well as to learn how to read Russian, Biblical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, and Latin.

The goal of this website is principally to serve as my writing portfolio, although details of my research, work, and travel experience can also be found in my CV. The pieces on this website which have been formally published will clearly state this fact.

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