APSI Staff use their diverse professional and academic backgrounds in support of APSI’s many programs and opportunities.


Prasenjit duara

APSI Faculty Director; Oscar L. Tang Family Distinguished Professor of East Asian Studies

Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University. He was born and educated in India and received his PhD in Chinese history from Harvard University. He was previously Professor and Chair of the Dept of History and Chair of the Committee on Chinese Studies at the University of Chicago (1991-2008). Subsequently, he became Raffles Professor of Humanities and Director, Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore (2008-2015).

In 1988, he published Culture, Power and the State: Rural North China, 1900-1942 (Stanford Univ Press) which won the Fairbank Prize of the AHA and the Levenson Prize of the AAS, USA. Among his other books are Rescuing History from the Nation (U Chicago 1995), Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern (Rowman 2003) and most recently, The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future  (Cambridge 2014). He has edited Decolonization: Now and Then (Routledge, 2004) and co-edited A Companion to Global Historical Thought with Viren Murthy and  Andrew Sartori (John Wiley, 2014). His work has been widely translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and the European languages.


Eileen chow

Director of Graduate Studies; Associate Professor of the Practice of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 

Eileen Cheng-yin Chow 周成蔭 is Associate Professor of the Practice in Chinese and Japanese Cultural Studies at Duke University, and one of the founding directors of Story Lab at Duke. Eileen received her A.B. in Literature from Harvard and her Ph.D in Comparative Literature at Stanford. 



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Alex Nickley

APSI Institute Manager 

Alex manages the MA and certificate programs in East Asian Studies and assists with running APSI's programs and activities, fiscal management, and planning. He is an APSI alumnus (MA 2015) with a keen interest in China and the environment. Prior to rejoining APSI, Alex served as Assistant Director for Middlebury in China: Kunming and CET Academic Programs in Yunnan.  He was also one of the founding members of the Middlebury School of the Environment in Yunnan. Alex is a speaker of Chinese, avid birder and creator of the Franklin Center's Campus Bird of the Week.



Renate Kwon

APSI Communications Coordinator; Southeast Asia Research Group Program Manager

Renate serves as communications coordinator for APSI and as program manager for the Southeast Asia Research Group (SEAREG). In this capacity, she plans conferences and events (online as well as in person), maintains websites and social media, and helps coordinate study abroad opportunities for graduate students. She has a master’s degree in Pacific International Affairs from UC San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (now the School of Global Policy and Strategy). She is proficient in German with intermediate Korean ability and has also studied Japanese and French.


Heidi M. Rodeffer

APSI Program Coordinator

Heidi serves as the program coordinator for APSI and provides financial and administrative support for programs and events. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography from Shenandoah University. Heidi has focused her career on education administration in the arts, higher education, and nonprofits. Prior to joining APSI, she was a dance educator for over 10 years and the Director of School Administration at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. She enjoys being immersed in and learning about different cultures and communities.