Past Programs

American Research in the Humanities in China Fellows

The Committee on Scholarly Communications with China (CSCC) Program awards grants to U.S. scholars for research in China for periods of 4-12 months. Funding for the program was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The CSCC, jointly sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Social Science Research Council, was established in 1966 to promote contacts between individual American scholars and private scholarly groups and their counterparts in China.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

Terry Frederick Kleeman
Terry Frederick Kleeman  |  Abstract
This project completes the first translation into any Western language of a seminal Daoist scripture, the Demon Statutes of Lady Blue (Nüqing guilü ????, HY 790, hereafter Demon Statutes). The rituals, moral precepts, and prophecies of the Demon Statutes open a window onto the earliest decades of the Daoist faith and affords us a glimpse of this world religion at its formative stage. An integral translation of this text is accompanied by a study of the intellectual and social milieu. The research will be conducted over an eight-month period, at the Institute for Daoist Research at Sichuan University, sponsored by Professor Li Gang.

Associate Professor, Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Colorado Boulder  -  A Translation and Study of the Earliest Surviving Daoist Scripture: The Demon Statutes of Lady Blue

Chuen-Fung Wong
Chuen-Fung Wong  |  Abstract
This study involves ethnographic and biographical research on a legendary musician of the Uyghur ethnic minority in northwest China. The Uyghur are Turkic-speaking Muslims who number about nine million and reside in the far-flung Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China. The project is conceptualized, in the first place, as a thorough investigation and critical examination of the relationship between music and minority nationalism in northwest China, focusing on the Uyghur, the dominant non-Chinese group in the region. This research on Uyghur music extends beyond the terrain of traditional music to focus on popular and transnational musical genres.

Assistant Professor, Music, Macalester College  -  Peripheral Sentiments: Uyghur Music and Minority Nationalism in Northwest China

Ari Daniel Levine
Ari Daniel Levine  |  Abstract
This research project investigates cultural memory and urban space in the city of Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), which fell to Jurchen invaders in 1126-7. Members of the post-conquest literati elite responded to this political cataclysm and cultural crisis with a sense of homelessness. Relocated to South China, they left behind a literature of exile and defeat, which expressed nostalgia for the city’s street life and urban spaces. By examining this extensive corpus of published and manuscript sources, this study explains how Kaifeng became a site of collective memory, and how literati produced a refashioned past that salved the trauma of personal and national loss.

Assistant Professor, History, University of Georgia  -  Cultural Memory and Urban Space in Song Dynasty Kaifeng

Everett Y. Zhang
Everett Y. Zhang  |  Abstract
The earthquake in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province in May, 2008 caused a death toll of more than 80,000 people. Local people faced a huge challenge: How do they survive such a devastating loss of life? Among the resources that helped them cope with the loss of life and symptoms of trauma, traditional mourning rituals played an important role. Even though the disaster disrupted regular death rituals, the strong tradition of mourning rituals was quickly recuperated in various forms in the aftermath of the quake. This research, based on anthropological fieldwork in Yingxiu Township, the epicenter of the quake, examines the process of ritual reconstruction. It first examines the tradition of death and mourning rituals in western Sichuan over the past century, and then examines key elements of mourning rituals which emerged to become one of the cornerstones for the reconstruction of the local lifeworld.

Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University at Buffalo, State University of New York  -  Reconstructing the Local World after the Sichuan Earthquake: The Role of Mourning Rituals

Kenneth M. Swope
Kenneth M. Swope  |  Abstract
I intend to take a fresh look at the military reasons for the fall of the Ming (1368-1644) dynasty, examining the events within their particular context, while also considering them within the broader field of comparative military history. While much attention in the English language scholarly literature has heretofore been focused upon the political and socio-economic factors behind the Ming fall, no Western author has seriously examined the Ming-Qing conflict from a military perspective. I will do this by making use of rare primary source materials such as diaries, memorial collections, and private and local histories. In the process I will also examine the nature of the relationship between Chinese emperors and their civil and military officials.

Assistant Professor, History, Ball State University  -  The Military Collapse of China's Ming Dynasty, 1620-1644