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Jian Ming Chris Chang F'17

Jian Ming Chris Chang

Doctoral Candidate
East Asian Languages & Cultures
Columbia University
last updated: 08/30/18

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2017
Doctoral Candidate
East Asian Languages & Cultures
Columbia University
Communist Miscellany: The Paperwork of Revolution

This project is a history of bureaucratic file-making and paperwork in Maoist China, considered through the institution of individual dossiers on Chinese subjects known as dang’an. Drawing upon a source base of deaccessioned case files, it examines how low-level communist bureaucrats counterbalanced contradictory imperatives to permanent revolution and socialist governance through scrupulous routines of information management and clerical labor. The investigative and file-keeping practices entailed by the dossier system illuminate bureaucratic approaches to issues of administration, local justice, and archive, while revealing fractures in a communist polity that often struggled to contain the impact of its own emancipatory ideology.