UCLA-Shanghai Jiaotong University
County Archives of China in the 1950s
Summer Text and Translation Workshop
July 21-30, 2014
The UCLA Asia Institute invites applications by students from all disciplines who are interested in using newly available county-level archival materials from the 1950s to study the formation and implementation of government policies in local situations. As scholars within and beyond China have begun to discover county-level archives in the past few years which cover the implementation of policies previously understood principally from a top-down perspective originating beyond the locale, the specific ways in which the newly formed government pursued its agenda of economic change and social re-ordering promises to allow the development of generalizations based on a variety of local experiences. While reading archival sources is essential to historical research, these Chinese county-level materials should also be useful to anthropology, economics, political science and sociology students as well as those pursuing cultural studies in other disciplines who choose to examine the interface between discourse and political practice.
This ten-day intensive summer reading and translation workshop will be held at UCLA and led jointly by R. Bin Wong, Distinguished Professor of History at UCLA, and Cao Shuji, Professor of History at Shanghai Jiaotong University. The workshop is intended to serve students developing dissertation topics in an environment that brings together American-based and Chinese-based graduate students. Sessions will be conducted in a combination of Chinese and English languages. The format will consist of morning sessions reading documents in the three selected topic areas, and afternoon sessions reading recent Chinese scholarship that uses county-level archival materials with particular attention to challenges of social science translation. Meetings will be held every day of the workshop period except Sunday.
The topic areas to be considered will include
1. Socialist transformation of industry (business/economic history/productivity)
Between 1950 and 1956 the government managed to implement a process of enterprise nationalization that is surprising for its speed and absence of dramatic conflicts and protests. Subsequently, state owned enterprises became a key production unit which can be studied in terms of economic performance, social organization and political control. Reconstructing socialist enterprise management practices at the local level provides a base line for assessing how Communist policies created a new kind of enterprise which would then be further changed in the reform era.
2. Popular organizations (civil society/cultural history and thought history/social history/human rights)
Communist Party rule in China included a basic reorganization of society. Some older associational forms were disbanded, others put under Party control. To understand how people organized and how they could engage their new government at the local level through archival sources means that scholarly understanding of relations between the state and local societies can be understood in more concrete terms than possible before.
3. Land reform & collectivization (property rights/political legitimacy/ public finance)
The process of land reform was largely completed around 1950. Despite sharing common ideological principles, Chinese Communists did not implement land reform in the same manner as other Communist countries. How did Chinese officials change property rights? How did this contribute to their legitimacy on one hand and to satisfying their fiscal needs on the other? What impact did these changes have on the organization of people’s work and life more generally? How did land reform prepare the way for collectivization?
About the Instructors:
Professor Cao is a leader in assembling new archival materials and training young scholars in their use. Professor Wong has promoted active collaborations among Chinese and American-based faculty and students for the study of Chinese history, having helped initiate a UCLA-Fudan University social science translation workshop several years ago.
Applicants should submit a short statement of their research interests and how this workshop would fit into their training. Include a statement of your Chinese language background and reading level. A recommendation letter from the student’s faculty advisor is also required. Recommendation letters may be included with the application, or emailed separately to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A workshop fee of $500 is required. A deposit of $300 will be required upon acceptance to the program, with the balance due by June 15, 2014, along with any housing fees.
For an additional fee, participants may reserve housing in the UCLA DeNeve Plaza dormitory on a first-come, first-served basis. Rooms are singles or doubles, with a private bath. Breakfast is included in the room rate. Check-in is Sunday, July 20, and check-out is Thursday, July 31.
Single: $1265 per person
Double: $737 per person
Application materials should be submitted by April 15, 2014.
For questions about the workshop, please contact Prof. Bin Wong at email@example.com.
For questions about registration, please contact Elizabeth Leicester at firstname.lastname@example.org.