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Students and Alumni
DING Ling

B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature, Anhui Normal University, 2009
M.A. in Folklore, East China Normal University, 2013
Home town: Anhui, China
Email: dinglingecnu’at’163.com

Born and grew up in mainland China, I got my academic trainings in folklore, Chinese literature and language. My master’s thesis focused on the ways people use incense in their lives. Particularly, I explored why people today choose to use incense to re-identify themselves and how the ways of burning incense have spread and developed along with this process of identification in Shanghai.

During the fieldwork, I became familiar with agarwood business and Liaobu, a third tier city in Guangdong, which has succeeded in making itself “the modern agarwood capital”. My current PhD project in anthropology, CUHK, is a continuous research on agarwood in order to better understand why and how this happened.

Particularly, I focus on the agarwood trade and social transformation in Liaobu. Packaging tradition represents a new development strategy in China which aims to set new prices for local products. My ethnographic research will take Liaobu(寮步) as example, to describe the dynamics and trade network behind the related activities of packaging tradition and to examine how local government in Liaobu make use of its history to enhance the value of the city’s production and compete with other agarwood markets during the process of urban development promotion.

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