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. 

Jeehee Hong
Jeehee Hong  |  Abstract
My book project is the first in-depth study of a rich corpus of images representing theatrical performances excavated from tombs of middle-period China. Instead of treating these images merely as visual documents of early theater, I focus on their symbolic roles in the funerary context in which they were created and used. My study reveals a densely socialized vision of death embedded in the theatrical images. Sharply diverging from the features of medieval funerary art, which often emphasized cosmological and ritual discourses, this “social turn” demonstrates how post-medieval Chinese conceptualized the sphere of the dead within the existing social framework. In so doing, this book provides a new way of looking at the religious field at the dawn of the second millennium in China.

Assistant Professor, Art and Music Histories, Syracuse University  -  Theater of the Dead: A Social Turn in Chinese Funerary Art, 1000-1400

Meiqin Wang
Meiqin Wang  |  Abstract
This art historical project investigates the rise of city life as a prevalent subject matter in contemporary Chinese art in the context of China’s transformation from an agrarian society into an urban and postmodern one. It looks into ways in which the ongoing urbanization has shaped the recent development of Chinese art and the restructuring of the art world, explores how artists have employed art as a critical tool to reflect upon and problematize a rapidly changing Chinese society while negotiating the new socioeconomic environment for cultural production and dissemination, and examines to which extent their work brings to light the current social, cultural, and natural conditions of China and the psychological state of its citizens.

Associate Professor, Art, California State University, Northridge  -  From the Countryside to the City: The Urban Turn of Contemporary Chinese Art

Timothy R. Sedo
Timothy R. Sedo  |  Abstract
My study draws on an extensive volume of quantitative/qualitative data available in Chinese sources to build a composite picture of the impact of locust infestations on Late Imperial society and culture. Examining the intersections between regional environments, the advent of new entomological understandings of locust biology, and the evolution of “statecraft” thinking, this study offers fresh insights into the environmental dimensions of state-society relations in Chinese history. Through an examination of the global dissemination of Chinese locust control techniques through Jesuit networks, this project also enters into the larger and as yet, under developed discussion regarding the westerly flow of information and statecraft knowledge from China to Europe in the Early Modern world.

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Concordia University (Canada)  -  Expelling Locusts in Late Imperial China: Environmental Governance, Statecraft, and the Creation of the Public Good (1100-1850 CE)

Richard G. Wang
Richard G. Wang  |  Abstract
This project explores the interaction between Ming Daoism and local society. Daoist lineages and priests concentrated their activities in local societies, meeting patrons’ needs and serving lay communities. For their part, lay patrons and communities had many reasons to patronize Daoism. Their, in particular the elite’s, support of a religion was crucial for its development as well as for us to understand the mainstream religious culture in early modern China. Locally the lay patron networks played an important cultural role as well by promoting the development of local religions. In order to understand a general pattern of Daoism and local society, I will select and investigate some representative regions to present a holistic picture of Daoism and local society in the Ming.

Associate Professor, Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, University of Florida  -  Daoism and Local Society in Ming China

Yudru Tsomu
Yudru Tsomu  |  Abstract
This project explores westward migration, settlement development and community formation by Han Chinese immigrants in Eastern Tibet, during the late Qing and Republican periods. Following recent trends in frontier studies that view frontiers as permeable zones of contact between migrants and indigenes, my project will examine these encounters and their effects in Eastern Tibet. This project focuses on the Han population and migration into ethnic Tibetan areas of present day Sichuan Province. My project will investigate unexplored archival sources and include extensive field-work. I will use innovative approaches to examine Sino-Tibetan relations, while expanding this scholarship from the narrow political arena to larger issues of textual and social discourse.

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Lawrence University  -  Migration, Settlements and Community Formation: Han Chinese Immigrants in Eastern Tibet

Shengqing Wu
Shengqing Wu  |  Abstract
This book manuscript examines the complex interactions between visual media techniques (photography and innovative painting) and classical-style poetry during China’s turbulent period between the 1890s and the 1930s. Integrating visual and literary studies with the recent surge of academic studies on emotion, this project delineates the trajectory of the exchange and circulation of photos and paintings with accompanying poems. It also critically analyzes the evocation and transmission of emotions involved in networking and communal life as enacted by the propagation of images and texts, a phenomenon which contributed to configuring a new public amidst an emerging global consumer culture and media economy.

Assistant Professor, Asian Languages and Literatures, Wesleyan University  -  Emotion in Transit: Text and Image in China from the Late Nineteenth Century to the Early Twentieth Century