I am interested in the history of Chinese popular religion, legal history, rural society, and the Chinese communist revolution. I am currently revising a book manuscript, titled “Martial Arts, Apocalypse, and Counterrevolutionaries: Huidaomen and Rural Governance in Modern China, 1919-1961.” Huidaomen, a term invented by the Communist Party that includes all local religious voluntary organizations in China, was the largest non-state actor in local governance with over thirteen million members in 1949. Relying on untouched legal documents from the public security system under both the Nationalist Government and the PRC, this book examines the role of huidaomen in local elections, collective defense against banditry, management of natural resources, and the expansion of merchant networks. My ongoing research also includes a book project on the emergence of new religions and popular science in early modern China and several articles about the reversal of verdicts in criminal cases during the early PRC.
My research centers on early Chinese texts and textuality. More specifically, I am interested in how early Chinese elites engaged with written texts as material artifacts. My first book project, based on my recent doctoral dissertation, is provisionally titled "Writing and Materiality in an Ancient Chinese Kingdom: The Textual Culture of the Mawangdui Tombs." With this interdisciplinary project, a case study of the different kinds of writing (manuscripts on silk, bamboo, and wood as well as inscribed artifacts, paintings, and textiles) found in three southern Chinese tombs dating to the mid-second century BCE, I examine the ways early Chinese elites interacted with texts as things-- objects to be produced, used, repurposed, displayed, performed, viewed, owned, gifted, and eventually buried. In the process, I show that written texts in early China were not silent messages or inert records but formed part of the elite material and visual cultures of their time.
My research lies at the intersections of the environmental humanities, political ecology, and science and technology studies. I am currently revising a book manuscript, titled “Turning Trash into Treasure: Shadow Economies and Toxic Ecologies in Kunming, China.” The book ethnographically examines tensions between state-entrepreneurial projects that seek to bring western-style recycling systems, aesthetics, and ethics to China, and rural migrants who make a living collecting, processing, and trading scrap in informal economies. This tension illustrates two ways that Chinese waste politics engages with “recycling:” as a necessary element of urban environmental modernity, and as a polluting globalized industry reliant on cheap labor and inadequate environmental governance. The book will highlight how Kunming’s waste and the people who live off this waste do more than simply protect or threaten the environment. Together they form unruly collaborators that generate value, release toxicity, fuel differentiating forms of sociality, and challenge western notions of recycling.
I am interested in Chinese environmental and legal histories as well as the histories of East Asian frontiers. My first book project, based on my doctoral dissertation "The Veins of the Earth: Property, Environment, and Cosmology in Nanbu County, 1865-1942," uses a well-preserved county archive in western China to explore the ways in which the imperial state engaged with diverse cultural practices in administering property, which had great implications for the environment, statecraft, and religion. Building on my long-standing interest in the history of Islam in China, a second, on-going project provides an ethnography of a local Muslim community through Chinese and Japanese archival sources.
I have published and am publishing a number of articles related to these projects. In addition to serving as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford for the 2017-18 academic year, I have been elected as a Research Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.
With the rise of the Internet, smartphones, and social media, social science is becoming increasingly computational and often involves the collection and analysis of massive data. This computational trend is reflected in my dissertation. For me, one purpose of such an approach is to understand how Chinese netizens, who number more than 700 million, respond to an unprecedented political event, namely, the most recent anticorruption campaign. My analysis follows two paths. One path makes possible the identification of urban land use at a community level. Mapping the distribution of netizens onto different communities allows me to gain more precise knowledge of their social status, means of communication, and social behavior. A second analytical path complements the first and takes us further into prcise knowledge by graphing, following each official news announcement, human interaction at a micro-spatial granularity as well as temporally, from day to day and even moment to moment. My novel approach uses massive social-media data. I intend to apply to other socio-political issues in my disseration. Its merit lies in that it offers a departure from and a check on the more common sampling, "snapshot" approach in the social sciences.
Early China, historiography, rhetoric, technical arts, astro-omenology/astral sciences, ritual and liturgy, performance, modern reception of classical texts
Cyrus Chen, Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley, 2014, was the 2014-15 Chinese Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at CEAS. Dr. Chen's dissertation is The Nationalizations of "Manchuria": Jin Yufu, Manchukuo, and the Dongbei Tongshi (1887-1962). He taught "Manchuria - Cockpit of Asia, Cradle of Conflict" in winter quarter 2015. Dr. Chen was the teaching assistant for "Chinese Law and Society, Imperial China and the World", and the reader for "Traditional Korea." He also taught English and American cultures at Jilin University's College of Medicine. Dr. Chen also has extensive experience working in major archives in Beijing, Shanghai, and Academia Sinica.
Rebecca Corbett was the 2013-2015 Japanese Studies Fellow with the Center for East Asian Studies. Corbett has a Ph.D. in Japanese Studies from the University of Sydney with a dissertation on "Rediscovering Women in the History of Japanese Tea Culture, from Edo to Meiji." Dr. Corbett taught Gender, Sex, and Text in Early Modern Japan in spring quarter 2014.
Kevin Carrico received a Ph.D. from Cornell University and wrote a dissertation on "The Imaginary Institution of China: Dialectics of Fantasy and Failure in the Nationalist Experience." Dr. Carrico taught Contemporary Chinese Society Through Independent Documentary Film in spring 2014.
Leron Harrison has a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literature from U.C. Irvine, with a dissertation on "Remembrance(s) of Immortals Past: Kasen as memory and Polemic in Japanese Court Poetry." His diverse interests include Heian and Kamakura waka poetry and poetics, interactions of Chinese and Japanese poetry and poetics, Japanese imperial court music, Japanese animation, Asian martial arts, and critical theory and philosophy.
Yulian Wu holds a Ph.D. in Chinese history from U.C. Davis. Her dissertation is on "Tasteful Consumption and Social Mobility: Huizhou Salt Merchants and Material Culture in Eighteenth-Century China." While at Stanford, Wu gave a talk entitled, "Let the Comon People See and Feel: Stone Arches, Power Negotiation, and the Chastity Cult in Huizhou in High-Qing China (C. 1680-1830)". Her M.A. and B.A. degrees are from Nanjing University.
David Cheng Chang received his Ph.D. from U.C. San Diego in modern Chinese history. His M.A. is from CEAS at Stanford. Chang's research interests include POW repatriation in the Korean War, Cold War history, and elections and constitutionalism in modern China. He did archival research and oral history interviews at The Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, in Taiwan.
Suyoung Son received her Ph.D. in 2010 from the Deparment of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, with a dissertation titled 'Writing for Print: Zhang Chao and Literati-Publishing in Seventeenth-Century China." While at CEAS, she began a new project, "Between Propriety and Proprietorship: Authorship and Intellectual Property in Late Imperial China," which examines the relationships between authorship and intellectual property in late imperial China, focusing particularly on civil and legal disputes between authors and publishers, drawing on sources from legal documents, publishing contracts, market practices, and literary representations from the late sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
Wei Wang received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009. She wrote a monograph on "Migration and Health Policy in Perspective: A comparative Study of China and India." Wang conducted extensive research on China's health care reform during a 19-month fellowship at the China Center for Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research affiliated with Peking University, and led two research projects commissioned by the World Bank.
Christopher Leighton, 2009-10 CEAS Postdoctoral Fellow in Chinese Studies, received a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 2009. He wrote a dissertation exploring the fate of capitalists becoming integral parts of the nascent socialist system. This unrecognized legacy from the 1950's provided the political and cultural precedent that facilitated China's transition back to capitalism in the 1980's.
Adam Smith received his Ph.D. in archaeology from UCLA in 2008. Part of his dissertation, "The Anyang divination workshops and the transition to literacy in early China," discusses divination remains excavated from a pit at Huayuanchuang Dongdi, within the elite enclosure at the center of a major late Shang settlement at Anyang. The large turtle plastrons excavated there contain approximately 18,000 graphs, a large addition to the corpus of Chinese writing from that time.
John Osburg received his Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of Chicago's department of anthropology with a dissertation entitled "Engendering Wealth: China's New Rich and Rise of an Elite Masculinity."
Elena S. Chiu received her Ph.D. in Asian Languages and Culures from U.C.L.A. in 2007, with the dissertation "Cultural Hybridity in Manchu Bannermen Tales (Zidishu)."
Jaesok Kim received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2007, with a dissertation on "The Cultural Encounters in a Chinese Sweatshop: Transnational Movement of South Korean Enterprises and the Creation of Borderland Factory Regime," based on research in Shandong and Hebei provinces. Kim also has an M.A. in Social Anthropology from Seoul National University.
Meow-Hui Goh, assistant profesor, Ohio State University; Ph.D., Chinese literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her book project is "A Poetic of Sounds: The prosodic Invention of Yongming poets."
Guodong Lai received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2002, where he wrote a dissertation on "The Baoshan Tomb: Religious Transitions in Art, Ritual, and Text during the Warring States Period (480-221 BCE)." His research project this year is on religious belief and ritual practice in the state of Chu and adjacent areas during the Warring States and early Han periods, using recently excavated archaeological materials, such as tomb objects, funerary sculptures, bamboo slips, silk manuscripts, and paintings. He currently teaches at University of Florida, Gainesville.
Andrea S. Goldman recently received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, completing her dissertation on "Opera in the City: Theatrical Performance and Urbanite Aesthetics in Beijing, 1770-1870." She teaches at the University of Maryland, and her specialty is cultural and urban history of Ming and Qing dynasty China.
Mario Poceski, Assistant Professor at University of Florida, received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from U.C.L.A. in 2000. His research project is Monasticism and Morality in the Chan School of Late Medieval Chinese Buddhism." Before entering graduate school, Poceski left his native Macedonia and spent ten years in Asia as a Buddhist monk. His publications include works on the Avatamsaka Sutra and the Hung-chou School of Ch'an Buddhism.
Georgia Mickey, Ph.D. in History from Columbia University, expects to revise her dissertation on Politics and Reform: The Bank of China and Its Shareholders, 1911-1920," into a book while she is here. Mickey held the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Fellowship for dissertation write-up last year and the Wellington Koo Fellowship in 2002-03.
Kimberley Manning received her Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her dissertation is on Sexual Equality and State Building: Gender Conflict in the Great Leap Forward." Dr. Manning has a B.A. in Asian Studies and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia. She spent two academic years in Beijing, 1988 and 1992, doing language training.
Margaret Kuo, Ph.D. in History from U.C. Los Angeles, wrote about "Gender Equality and Modern Chinse Family Law, 1900-1949" for her dissertation. She also holds a J.D. from Georgetown University. Dr. Kuo was awarded a Blakemore Foundation fellowship and a Fulbright-IIE fellowship for language training and dissertation research in Taiwan and China during her graduate program.
Lei Guang received his Ph.D. in 1999 in Political Science from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, will research and write on state-market relations in reform-era China through the lens of rural-to-urban migration.
David A. Bello, Ph.D. in history from University of Southern California in 2001, will work on the opium problem in the Chinese interior, 1729-1850, preparing his dissertation for publication.
Kuiyi Shen received his Ph.D. in Art History from Ohio State University. He has held teaching positions at Ohio State University, State University of New York, Rice University, and University of Oregon. Furthermore, he has curated numerous exhibitions on Chinese art in American museums. He is a prolific writer and has written many exhibition catalogues, edited a number of books, published over 20 articles, and has eight forthcoming publications. While at Stanford, he plans to work on a book project called "The Cold and Sour Official: Wu Changshi's Art and the Struggle with modernity."
Nara Dillon received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation is on "Revolutionary Welfare in Modern Shanghai," which explains how and why the workplace replaced private charities as the dominant provider of welfare benefits in urban China. She has co-authored with Marcia K. Meyers, "Institutional Paradoxes: Why Welfare Workers Cannot Reform Welfare," in Public Management Reform and Innovation: Reseasrch, Theory, and Application (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of ALabama Press, 1999).