I am very happy to share the news that my dissertation on Chinese rural youth during and right after the Cultural Revolution won another international dissertation award, the 2019 Illinois Qualitative Dissertation Award (Traditional Category). I attended the award ceremony at the 15th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, which was held at the University of Illinois in May 2019. As I said during the ceremony, it took a village to train a good qualitative methodologist. At the moment of celebrating achievements, I am particularly grateful to all my dissertation committee members for their years of support. I also take this award as a message of encouragement from the field of qualitative inquiry, which inspires me to continue the journey of turning this work into a monograph. Hopefully, it won’t take too long.
A detail about the ceremony: Indigenous scholars, culture, and rituals were very visible at the ceremony. Indigenous songs and music were played; the participants held hands to dance together following the music. Instead of celebrating individualistic achievements, I felt interconnected and encouraged. One of the indigenous scholars said at the ceremony, award in his language means “uplifting,” and that is the very reason for the gathering of that day. Yes, “uplifting,” this is the word that I was searching for. Decades later, I perhaps will forget the name of my award, but I will remember this very embodied feeling I experienced that day, UPLIFTING.