Fieldwork in Modern Chinese History: A Research Guide, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Fieldwork in Modern Chinese History

A Research Guide, 1st Edition

Edited by Thomas David DuBois, Jan Kiely


306 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367263911
pub: 2019-11-21
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429293078
pub: 2019-11-19
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This book explores how fieldwork has been used to research Chinese history in the past and new ways that others might use in it the future. It introduces the previous generations of scholars who ventured out of the archive to conduct local investigations in Chinese cities, villages, farms and temples. It goes on to present the techniques of historical fieldwork, providing guidance on how to integrate oral history into research plans and archival research, conduct interviews, and locate sources in the field. Chapters by established researchers relate these techniques to specific types of fieldwork, including religion, the imperial past, natural environments and agriculture. Combining the past and the future of the craft, the book provides a rich resource for scholars coming new to fieldwork in the history of China.

Table of Contents

Editors’ preface: Fieldwork in Modern Chinese History

Thomas DuBois and Jan Kiely

I: History and fieldwork in historical perspective

Chapter 1. They went to the people but did they hear them? Comments on Field Research in China the 1920s and 1930s

David Faure

Chapter 2. A brief history of Japanese field research on China

Linda Grove

Chapter 3. The Traditionalist Phase in Taiwan Anthropology: 1960-80

Myron L. Cohen

II: Work reflections: Fieldwork in the mirror

Chapter 4. Fieldwork for Ming historians

Michael Szonyi

Chapter 5. Conducting fieldwork as a local: Perspectives from Hulunbuir

Guan Yuxia and Zhang Wei

Chapter 6. Who Are They, and Who Am I?: Discovering Gender and Ethnicity in the Sino-Tibetan Borderland

Xiaofei Kang

Chapter 7. Ritual performance in changing local society

Stephen Jones

Chapter 8. Beyond the border of disciplines and societies: From fieldwork among the Lahu to the history of bazi basins

Jianxiong Ma

III. Walking the ground, talking to people

Chapter 9. Basic Questions for Fieldwork on Pre-1949 Chinese Society

John Lagerwey

Chapter 10. Festivals in the Field--A Social Historical Perspective

Paul R. Katz

Chapter 11. Doing historical-anthropological fieldwork in Jiangnan: gazetteers, newspapers, and real life

Vincent Goossaert

Chapter 12. Incorporating historical GIS in fieldwork on Chinese culture and religion

Kenneth Dean

Chapter 13. Walks in Canton: Doing Historical Anthropology in a Chinese City

May Bo Ching and Zhiwei Liu

Chapter 14. Contextualizing Ethnic Classification: The Case of hemu (合亩) among the Li of Hainan

Xi He

Chapter 15. Mud on Your Boots: Researching the Social and Environmental History of Conservation in Baishui County, Shaanxi during the 1950s

Micah S. Muscolino

Chapter 16. Medicine, health and disease: Among the barefoot doctors of Hangzhou

Xiaoping Fang

Chapter 17. Discovering the Cultural Revolution through oral history

Guoqiang Dong

Chapter 18. Walking a production chain: An interdisciplinary approach to the history of things

Thomas David DuBois

IV. Finding and working with grassroots documents

Chapter 19. Field research using contracts (qiyue): Legal archives of late Qing and early Republican-era Longquan, Zhejiang

Zhengzhen Du

Chapter 20. Account books (zhangben) in local history studies

Yonghua Liu

Chapter 21. Land and property deeds and urban studies: A case study of deeds collected by Ms. Liu,

Sujuan Huang

Chapter 22. Genealogies and Revolution in the Jiangxi Soviet

Weixin Rao

Chapter 23. Using local and Public Security Bureau archives from the 1950s—Poyang county, Jiangxi,

Shigu Liu

Chapter 24. Exploring a northern Jiangsu County Intangible Cultural Heritage Archive

Jan Kiely

About the Editors

Thomas David DuBois is Professor of Humanities at Beijing Normal University.

Jan Kiely is Professor and Associate Director of the Centre for China Studies and Associate Director of the Universities Service Centre for China Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

About the Series

The Historical Anthropology of Chinese Society Series

Historians are being increasingly attracted by the methodology of historical anthropology, an approach which combines observations in the field with documentary analysis, both of official documents and of documents collected from local society. In China, historians have been pursuing such local historical research for a generation, with very little of this work being available in English hitherto. This series makes available in English research undertaken by the Historical Anthropology of Chinese Society project based at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and related work. The books argue that top-heavy, dynasty-centred history is incomplete without an understanding of how local communities were involved in the government process and in the creation of their own historical narratives. The books argue that Chinese social history needs to be rewritten from the bottom up.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / China
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies