Yi Sun, PhD

Yi Sun
Phone: (619) 260-6811
Office: Kroc Institute for Peace & Jus 270

Director, Asian Studies Program

  • Ph.D., Washington State University, American History
  • M.A., Washington State University, American History
  • B.A,  Nankai University, Tianjin, China; American Literature

Yi Sun, PhD,  has been a member of the History Department at USD since fall 1997.  She teaches a number of undergraduate courses on East Asian history and U.S.-East Asia Relations.  Currently she also serves as the coordinator for the Asian Studies Minor program.  Her research interests include Chinese women and modernization, Sino-American relations, and globalization.  She has served on the executive board of several academic organizations, including the AsiaNetwork, Chinese Historians in the United States and the Association of Third World Studies, and presently is the associate editor of the Asian section for the Journal of Third World Studies.

Areas of Expertise

East Asian history and U.S.-East Asia Relations

Scholarly Work

Sun’s research and scholarship focus primarily on the study of Chinese women, Sino-American relations and the experiences of Chinese-Americans. Her dissertation studies China-U.S.relations during the Taiwan Straits Crises in the Cold War. he has co-authored a book in Chinese entitled Mapping the Historical Path of Chinese Americans (2003). Her publications in recent years include a number of articles -- "The 'Pink Collar' Women: Resurgence of Prostitution in China's Era of Economic Modernization" (2008), “The Impoverishment of Women’s Education in China” (2007),  “Women’s Family Rights and Status in Contemporary China” (2006), “Militant Diplomacy: The Taiwan Strait Crises and Sino-American Relations, 1954-1958” (2006), “Explaining Female Suicides: An Analytical Study of the Cases at the Maple Women’s Hotline Center in Beijing” (2004), and "The Butterfly Effect and the Making of Ping Pong Diplomacy" (co-authored, 2000), among others.   She is completing her book manuscript entitled Confucianism, Communism and Commercialism: Mapping the Changing Cultures and the Poverty of Women’s Rights in Modern China.

Areas of Interest

Sun has taught a variety of courses at USD, among which are world civilization surveys, Introduction to East Asia, and upper-division courses, including Modern China, Modern Japan, Chinese Civilization, Women in East Asia, and U.S.-East Asia Relations. She has also team-taught Honors courses on contemporary China, Asian women and popular culture, and is presently collaborating with her colleague in the Theology and Religious Studies Department to develop another Honors course – Women in Islam and Confucianism.  She has also directed a number of independent studies projects on Asian histories and cultures as well as Asian American history.