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Metals, Transport, Trade and Society
Editors: Ulrich Theobald and Jin Cao
The book Southwest China in Regional and Global Perspectives (c. 1600-1911) is dedicated to important issues in society, trade, and local policy in the southwestern provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan during the late phase of the Qing period. It combines the methods of various disciplines to bring more light into the neglected history of a region that witnessed a faster population growth than any other region in China during that age. The contributions to the volume analyse conflicts and arrangements in immigrant societies, problems of environmental change, the economic significance of copper as the most important “export” product, topographical and legal obstacles in trade and transport, specific problems in inter-regional trade, and the roots of modern transnational enterprise.
Peasants, Migrant Workers and Informal Labor
Editor: Chongqing Wu
This collection includes seven articles from the journal Open Times, a window into contemporary Chinese academic trends. All the articles deal with the topic of “peasants, migrant workers and informal labor,” but each has a different emphasis.

It illustrates various ways that people from a countryside make use of local social resources to seek out ways to making a living. In these models, we can still see traditional social networks, various degrees of ties based on kinship and locality, and the existence of humans as social groups. It also analyzes Dagongmei’s collective actions to fight against the capital and patriarchy, workers’ collective resistance at OEM factories, and the impacts of labor migration on rural poverty and inequality.
Editors: Thomas DuBois and Huaiyin Li
Since its founding, the government of the People's Republic of China has strived to transform rural production, the theme of this volume of History of Contemporary China. Fourteen articles translated from the Chinese journal Contemporary History (Dangdai Zhongguo shi yanjiu) offer both empirical account and theoretical analysis of a broad range of historical events and issues, such as the guiding policy framework of the “three rural issues,” the causes and consequences of the deep plowing movement and the development of public canteens during the Great Leap Forward, child care, enterprises and collectives, and private lending in the post-Mao era, and the changing dynamics of interregional flows of goods and people throughout the second half of the 20th century. These studies shed light on the historical origins of some of the agricultural and rural problems in China today.
Sichuan Boatmen and Their Work Songs,1880s - 1930s
Singing on the River by Igor Chabrowski, based on Sichuan boatmen’s work songs ( haozi), explores the little known world of mentality and self-representation of Chinese workers from the late 19th century until the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937). Chabrowski demonstrates how river workers constructed and interpreted their world, work, and gender in context of the dissolving social, cultural, and political orders. Boatmen asserted their own values, bemoaned exploitation, and imagined their sexuality largely in order to cope with their low social status. Through studying the Sichuan boatmen we gain an insight into the ways in which twentieth-century nonindustrial Chinese workers imagined their place in the society and appropriated, without challenging them, the traditional values.
Editor: ZHANG Xingxing
The first volume of Historical Studies of Contemporary China offers an examination of some key events, developments, issues, and figures in China since the founding of the People’s Republic. Drawing on rich primary and secondary sources, leading experts in the political, economic, intellectual, military and national defense, and diplomatic history of the PRC present insights and analysis on a wide range of topics, including emergency measures during the Difficult Three Year Period, the relationship between Neo-Confucianism and Marxism, the evolution of China’s international arms control policies, the Chinese government’s public opinion campaign prior to reestablishing diplomatic relations with Japan, the “Kashmir Princess” incident, and others. These accounts will help readers form a more nuanced understanding of China’s efforts to deal with an array of new problems while trying to recover from the ravages of two wars.
In: Singing on the River
In: Selected Essays on the History of Contemporary China