Anna Iskra


      PhD Student (Admitted in 2015 – 2016)
      Field Area: Anthropology


      G09, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong
      Tel: (852) 3917-2373

      Sharing & Experiences

      Interdisciplinary approach is highly encouraged at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. During my study, I have had a chance to engage in critical discussions with representatives of various disciplines within humanities. I am also highly impressed by the Institute’s international network that creates unique opportunities to attend courses led by distinguished visiting professors. Moreover, the Institute has provided me with abundant opportunities for learning about other researchers’ work by organizing various public lectures and weekly lunchtime seminars. I believe that the guiding principle of HKIHSS is truly humanistic — in both research and teaching it goes beyond artificial divisions between disciplines, connecting researchers of various interests and backgrounds.

      Research Interests

      Contemporary Chinese society, individualization processes in the PRC, self-help industries, anthropology of spirituality and mental health

      Thesis Project

      Healing the Nation through self-discovery: Body-Heart-Soul fever and the emergence of Homo Sentimentalis in the PRC

      Based on 10 months of fieldwork in the Southern Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen, this research project focuses on the emergence of a new self-cultivation fever in the urban PRC: the Body-Heart-Soul (Shen Xin Ling) phenomenon. Drawing on the latest literature on individualization processes in China, it examines how the emotionalization of people’s inner worlds creates new types of subjectivities, shaping their (gendered) relations to the family and the state.

      Thesis Supervisors

      Primary supervisor: Dr. David A. Palmer

      Co-supervisor: Dr. Ji Li

      Awards & Achievements

      Sin Wai-Kin Fellowship – awarded twice: May – October 2016, May – August 2017