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. 

Xiaoping Cong
Xiaoping Cong  |  Abstract
This research project examines the social and cultural significance of Communist legal practice in constructing marriage and gender relations in twentieth-century China. In particular, through the analysis of a high-profile legal case of 1943 that disputed traditional arranged marriage in the Communist region, the study will shed light on how the Communist concepts of marriage and gender relations were reconstructed in a particular cultural and social setting through a complicated process of legal exercise. Furthermore, through analysis of various cultural productions (i.e. operas, movie, etc.) based on this case, this study offers a unique window into gender relations, culture and politics in China during a period of intense nation building led by the Communist regime.

Associate Professor, History, University of Houston  -  Law, Marriage, and Gender Construction in Communist China, 1940-1960
Shaanxi Normal University (Xi'An)

Jamie Monson
Jamie Monson  |  Abstract
This research project will be a study of work and technology transfer during the construction of the Tazara railway in Tanzania and Zambia. It will explore the work experience of Chinese and African workers using oral interviews with retired railway workers in China and materials located in Chinese municipal, regional and national archives.

Professor, History, Carleton College  -  Two Become Red: Chinese and Africans at Work on the Tazara Railway, 1965-1986
Institute of West Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Angela F. Howard
Angela F. Howard  |  Abstract
In spite of hosting 1000 Arhats/Luohans images, Laitan is more than a Chan (Meditation) Buddhist site. Laitan is emblematic of specifically Song period trend, thus far unrecognized, whereby deities were extrapolated from their original doctrinal affiliation and location. They became 'fellow travellers' to form under one roof - in caves and temples- for the convenience of believers, grandiose and novel pantheons of Buddhist gods. This study has relevance for both Buddhist religion specialists and art historians.

Professor, History of Art, Rutgers University-New Brunswick  -  Beyond Chan Buddhism: A New Pantheon of Song Dynasty Deities in Laitan Sichuan
Chongding Dazu shikuyishu bowuguan

Ellen B. Widmer
Ellen B. Widmer  |  Abstract
I examine the work of two brothers, both of whom wrote fiction in the rapidly evolving climate of late Qing China (1880-1911). As the imperial order began to fall, the brothers' fictions and other writings offered complementary but contrasting visions of how to keep Chinese essentials yet make best use of western ideas. Similarly, their careers combined stints in Shanghai and their remote home town of Quzhou, but in different proportions, the younger one opting for Shanghai, the older returning home for good after some years spent away. Finally, both were interested in education, but in one case only as a theme for literary exploration, in the other as a practitioner in the field.

Professor, East Asian Languages and Literatures, Wellesley College  -  Brother Novelists: Zhan Xi, Zhan Kai, and the Shape of Late-Qing Fiction
Fudan University