Stephanie Xu recently completed a minor in Diaspora and Transnational Studies as part of her undergraduate studies. Taking DTS200 in the 2018-2019 academic year allowed her to explore the various themes and ideas apparent in transnationalism that extends beyond the movement of peoples. Stephanie’s final project for DTS200, called “in her dress in my skin” really stood out as she created a photographic essay to depict the Chinese immigrant diaspora in Toronto. In contemporary settings, her subject is seen wearing her grandmother’s traditional dresses while conducting daily activities; hence this embodiment contributes to both cultural preservation and ancestral stories.
In July 2018, Stephanie embarked on a one month research trip to Ecuador. Having received funding from both UofT Arts and Science, and the Munk School of Global Affairs, she examined the labour relations of Chinese migrant workers in the oil industry, and how indicative it is of a broader geopolitical dynamic. This research interest stems from a previous research trip to Ecuador where she examined the structure and agency of documentation photography in depicting the failed Yasuní-ITT initiative.