1st Edition

Fieldwork in Modern Chinese History A Research Guide

Edited By Thomas David DuBois, Jan Kiely Copyright 2020
    332 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    332 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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 (¿¿) 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


    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.