Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Meet our 2020-2021 Student Blogger, Hannah Sorenson (MAIS '22)

Meet our new student blogger for the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, Hannah Sorenson! Hannah (MAIS '22) will be joining veteran blogger, Brandy Darling (HNC Certificate '20 + SAIS MA '21), in sharing her experiences studying at the HNC throughout the academic year.

Hello, all! My name is Hannah Sorenson, and I am a MAIS student at the HNC concentrating in China Studies. Although presently located in my home state of Minnesota, I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to join my classmates and the rest of the HNC community in Nanjing. I graduated from St. Olaf College in 2019 with a BA in Political Science, Asian Studies, and Chinese.  

While much of my life took place far from China, opportunities to study abroad in Shanghai, farm in Japan’s Tochigi prefecture, and conduct research with WWF-Hong Kong instilled in me a passion for interdisciplinary academic exploration and intentional learning communities. I first applied to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center as a college senior, eager to join a community whose stories punctuated my undergraduate experience; however, in an effort to challenge myself, I delayed my enrolment and moved to Indonesia as a Global Community Fellow with VIA Programs. While working as a journal editor at the University of Jember’s Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism, and Migration, formal and informal discussion of anti-Chinese and anti-communist sentiment in Indonesia’s political development captivated me. After only two months in Indonesia, I knew I was ready to join the HNC community 

I am currently taking four courses in addition to the bilingual MAIS tutorial: Anthropology and China Studies; East Asian Regionalism (taught in English); Social Issues of China’s Modernization; and Contemporary Chinese Film, Society, and Culture. Social science has dominated my study of China, so I am particularly excited to learn about contemporary Chinese film (and re-watch《霸王别姬》for the third time and for course credit).  

Being off-campus in the US necessitates intentionality towards not only language practice and study habits, but also building connections with classmates and professors. As many of us continue daydreaming about Nanjing, I am excited to watch our cohort community grow and share the experience with the HNC blog!