DEALL Graduate Student Jennifer Marie Nunes receives Prestigious Fulbright-Hayes Award

November 13, 2020

DEALL Graduate Student Jennifer Marie Nunes receives Prestigious Fulbright-Hayes Award


“Fulbright-Hays funding offers me the opportunity to develop relationships with the women whose poetry I am reading and translating. Because I’m interested not just in the writing these women produce, but also in how the practice of writing is meaningful to them, how it inflects their day-to-day lives both as a physical practice and as a creative one, being able to take part in their daily lives in any capacity is key to my research. I’ve imagined myself as a Fulbright scholar since I started studying Chinese as an undergrad, but what is truly exciting is the way Fulbright-Hays support will allow me to pursue the particular direction—toward embodiment—that my research in contemporary Chinese poetry has taken.” 

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Jenn Marie Nunes, a doctoral student in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at The Ohio State University, has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship by the U.S. Department of Education, International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office. Doctoral candidates can engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies through the DDRA grant. Nationwide across all disciplines only 90 Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships were awarded.

Nunes will conduct research for her dissertation in Taiwan for twelve months, examining the topic Writing Practices and Gendered Subjectivities of Women Migrant-Worker Poets in Taiwan and South China.

Nunes’ research examines the impact writing and writing practices have on the dynamic subjectivities of migrant worker women in the Pearl River Delta and the greater Taipei area. By exploring writing and translation practices located among migrant worker communities in Taiwan and engaging with migrant worker (dagong) women poets on mainland China via popular social media platforms, this project allows a newly comparative approach to understanding the way poetry writing acts at the intersection of embodiment and representation for marginalized migrant women in the South East Asian region. Combining extended ethnographic research with literary studies, Nunes’ project addresses the gap between sociological and literary studies of migrant workers and their writing by taking seriously migrant worker women as writers and seeking to understand how they view their own work and how writing practices, both the material and the imaginary, affect their lives.

Nunes will address three primary questions: (1) Why do migrant worker women chose to write poetry? (2) How does this choice impact their lived and imagined realities? (3) What are appropriate English translation strategies for poetry written by these migrant worker women? The case of migrant worker women’s poetry in the South East Asian region has implications for our understanding of current trends in mass migration at the intersection of class and gender, as well as  for Mandarin Chinese-English translation practices and both the category “Chinese” and the category “literature.”

Nunes earned her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University (2005), a Master of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University (2009), and an interdisciplinary Master of Arts from The Ohio State University (2015). Her Faculty advisor is Kirk Denton.