Mark Frank G'15
Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Pre-dissertation Grants for Research in China 2015
East Asian Languages and Cultures
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Rooted State: Materiality in the Making of Modern China's Xikang Province
My project examines the role of material factors in the establishment and dissolution of Xikang Province (1939-1955), situated in present-day Western Sichuan at the foothills of the Tibetan Plateau. I focus on Xikang’s modern economic, legal and educational institutions, through which the abstract notion of the province as a political entity was rooted in the unique topography and economy of this region. My project aims not merely to chronicle the history of a single province, but to provide insight into how national modernization projects in general are influenced by material factors.