Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies: Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants

The Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies seeks to maintain the vitality of China Studies in the US and Canada through fellowships and grants designed primarily for scholars early in their careers.  Studies on and in China have developed over the last 30 years in North America into a robust field, but current conditions pose daunting problems, especially for scholars just before and just after the dissertation.

Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants provide opportunities for scholars of different disciplines to share in-depth investigation of texts that are essential points of entry to Chinese periods, traditions, communities, or events in contemporary or historical times.

This program is made possible by a generous grant from The Henry Luce Foundation.

Read more about this fellowship program.

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. 

  • Urban Space and Social Networks in a Port City: Reading a Cantonese Diary (1819 to 1829)  |  Abstract

    This workshop will use the diary of a Cantonese literatus, Xie Lansheng, to explore issues related to urban space and social networks in late imperial China. Covering the years 1819 to 1829, Xie's diary provides a unique perspective on the port city of Guangzhou (Canton) on the eve of the Opium War. In the pages of the diary, Xie's social networks are constructed by his movements through characteristically urban spaces, from yamen and academies to entertainment quarters, monasteries, and the homes and firms of the city's famous maritime (Cohong) merchants. Because of Xie's deep involvement in official, academic, literary, artistic, and commercial circles, the diary requires a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative reading to be fully understood.

    Steven B. Miles
    Steven B. Miles

    Associate Professor, Department of History, Washington University in St. Louis

    Siyen Fei
    Siyen Fei

    Associate Professor, History, University of Pennsylvania

    Yeewan Koon
    Yeewan Koon

    Associate Professor, Fine Arts, University of Hong Kong

    Winnie Won Yin Wong
    Winnie Won Yin Wong

    Assistant Professor, Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley

  • Women at Work: Reconstructing Nügong through Text and Image  |  Abstract

    This collaborative reading workshop shall add to our understanding of the everyday practices of nügong – translated variously as “women’s work,” or “womanly work,” – through an interdisciplinary approach to the texts on the production of textiles in Ming-Qing China (1550-1750). In this workshop, we reconstruct the material conditions of women’s textile work by identifying how, where, and with what women worked. We bring together social and cultural historians, historians of technology, and art historians to participate in cross-disciplinary close readings of the images and texts, which depicted how women spun and wove cloth. We aim to clarify the historical relationship between gender and labor by engaging with the underlying conditions of knowledge and skill formation.

    Buyun Chen
    Buyun Chen

    Assistant Professor, History, Swarthmore College

    Andrew Liu
    Andrew Liu

    Assistant Professor, History, Villanova University