- Harvard University
The dissertation examines the politics of Sino-Russo-Japanese collaboration and the nature of the Manchurian borderland intellectual space before and during the early years of Manchukuo (1932-1945). It explores how Sinophone intellectuals mobilized legacies of the Qing empire and the transnational Manchurian borderland to resist global imperialism, both Japanese and Western, in a transient window of political uncertainty in southern Manchuria shortly before and after the Mukden incident. From the local self-governance movements to the drafting of the Manchukuo constitution, these intellectuals experimented with various anti-imperialist projects to challenge received notions of nation and modernity from their margins. Although doomed by militarism, these defiant utopias still find resonance today.