History major Zi Yang presented two projects at the 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research, held in April in Lexington, Kentucky.
In "Campaigns for the Land of the Great Khan: The Chinese and Russian Struggle for Hegemony over Outer Mongolia, 1911-1922," he analyzed and assessed the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the Republic of China’s strategy in establishing hegemonic control over Outer Mongolia during the eventful decade of 1911 to 1922. In the light of the current crisis in Ukraine, this research seems especially timely since states often inherit foreign policy behaviors from their predecessors. This research project was originally conducted for Professor Rex Wade's section of the HIST 499 seminar.
Yang's second presentation, "Blood Red Yangtze River: The First Ten Days of the Nanking Massacre," emerged from research mentored by Professor Marion Deshmukh and funded by the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, & Research (OSCAR). This work focuses on the period from December 13-23, 1937, when the Imperial Japanese Army perpetrated its worst war crimes. Utilizing Chinese, Japanese, European as well as American sources, this research documented Japanese war crimes that consisted of mass slaughtering of Chinese POWs, widespread arson, destruction of private property, sex crimes, and the massacre of Chinese civilians. In addition, the project aims to decipher the reasons behind Japanese soldiers’ tolerance and enthusiasm for violence against Nanking’s civilian population. Yang is now revising the project as his thesis for Mason’s history honors program.
Yang credits Fenwick Library for helping him obtain the books he needed for both projects.
April 14, 2014