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Stella Zhizhi Li
Stella Zhizhi Li, photo by Ilich Mejía

Stella Zhizhi Li, a UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral student in musicology, has been selected to serve as the Harold J. Glass USAF Graduate Fellow for academic year 2019-2020.

Li was chosen for the fellowship by Annegret Fauser, who holds the Harold J. Glass USAF Faculty Mentor/Graduate Fellow Distinguished Term Professorship. The three-year professorship, established within The Graduate School, includes the fellowship and mentoring for a graduate student chosen by the professor. Fauser is selecting a different student each year; Jamie Blake and Jennifer Walker, both doctoral students in musicology, were the 2018-19 and 2017-18 fellows, respectively.

“It is my great honor to be named the 2019 Glass Fellow. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Annegret Fauser, who is always passionate, rigorous and unwaveringly supportive of her students. I’m also thankful to the Glass family for providing this fellowship, which enables me to focus on preparing my dissertation proposal outside coursework, in addition to traveling off campus for archival and field research,” said Li.

Fauser, a faculty member in UNC-Chapel Hill’s music department and award-winning scholar, called Li “a bright and outstanding young musicologist whose work has opened intriguing avenues, as she has traced the transnational circulation of Western and Japanese music in China, both in her excellent seminar work and in her innovative master’s thesis.

“I am excited that I will be mentoring her as she continues her exquisite work into her doctoral studies on urban soundscapes in early-twentieth-century Japan,” added Fauser.

Li earned her bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition from St. Olaf College. Her master’s thesis, titled “The Call of Modernity: Chinese School Songs in the Early Twentieth Century,” focused on how Chinese school songs of this time period “reflected transnational musical contacts and contributed to the spread of global modernity.”

In preparation for her dissertation, Li used her UNC-Chapel Hill Center for Global Initiatives pre-dissertation exploration award to travel to Kobe, Japan, in summer 2019 to conduct explorative research on her prospective dissertation topic. Li said she hopes to study the religious sounds of modern Japan.

“I think the intersection between religion, sound and space forms a prism through which we may rediscover a dimension of Japanese and global modernity, one that echoes the negotiations of powers, ideas and identities during ages of intense cross-cultural encounters,” said Li.

Harold E. and Holly Glass provided the gift that established the professorship and fellowship, which was named in honor of Harold E. Glass’s father, a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran who served during World War II. Harold E. Glass is a UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral graduate in political science and member of The Graduate School’s Graduate Education Advancement Board.

The faculty member selected for the professorship receives a stipend and research fund. The graduate students selected for the fellowship receive a competitive stipend, full tuition, fees and health insurance.

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