Groton School,
CLass of 2014

“Logically a significant part of a society’s culture and politics also derives from its historical legacy.”

Ryan Voon Photo

When did you first become interested in history?

My dad has always been interested in history, so I was exposed to the subject from an early age. Growing up as a Chinese-American in Hong Kong (and having lived in Massachusetts for 3 years), I have always been fascinated by my observed differences in culture and their impact on the politics of China and America. Logically a significant part of a society’s culture and politics also derives from its historical legacy, so I’ve focused on trying to understand better Chinese and American history.

Which period of history currently interests you the most? Why?

I don’t have one particular period in history of special interest to me. However, I am especially intrigued by the interplay between religious movements and political forces that have shaped our current societies. For example, I wrote a term paper—that was published in The Concord Review—about the Anti-Confucius Campaign in China from 1973-73 because I was interested in the Maoists’ use of anti-religious rhetoric to further their political goals. Recently, I wrote a term paper about the mid-19th century struggle between the Republican Party and the emerging Mormon Church, again examining similar issues regarding the use of anti-religious rhetoric to gain political goals.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

In college, I hope to pursue further my interests in history and religious studies. I want to deepen my knowledge in both fields and do interesting research on topics about the interplay of religion and politics.