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Module Reading List

Approaching China Through Ethnography, 2019/20
Timothy Thurston
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Week 1 

Pieke, Frank N. 2014. Anthropology, China, and the Chinese Century. Annual review of anthropology. ISSN: 0084-6570. 43, 123-138.  

Van Maanen, J., 2011. “Fieldwork, Ethnography, and Culture.” In Tales of the field : on writing ethnography ISBN: 0226849627 (pbk ; cased) : No price; 0226849619. University of Chicago Press.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 


Week 2

Lisa Rofel, “Liberation Nostalgia and a Yearning for Modernity” in Engendering China ISBN: 0674253310 (cloth); 0674253329 (pbk). Pp. 226-249.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Erik Mueggler, “A Carceral Regime: Violence and Social Memory in Southwest China” Cultural anthropology. ISSN: 0886-7356 13:2 (1998): 167-197. 

Susan McCarthy, “Ethno-Religious Mobilisation and Citizenship Discourse in the People’s Republic of China”, Asian ethnicity ISSN: 1463-1369 1(2)2000: 107-116.  

Fei Xiaotong. Special Characteristics of Rural Society. In From the soil : the foundations of Chinese society ISBN: 9780520077966 paperback : alkaline paper; 9780520077959 hardback : alkaline paper; 0520077954 hardback : alkaline paper; 0520077962 paperback : alkaline paper. Translated by Gary G. Hamilton and Wang Zhen, 37-44. Berkeley, University of California Press.  


 Week 3

Du, S., 2000. " Husband and Wife Do It Together": Sex/Gender Allocation of Labor among the Qhawqhat Lahu of Lancang, Southwest China. American anthropologist102(3), pp.520-537.  


 Week 4  

Greenhalgh, Susan. 2003. Planned Births, Unplanned Persons. ‘Population’ in the Making of Chinese modernity. American Ethnologist ISSN: 0094-0496. 30(2), 196-215.  


 Week 5

Arthur Wolf,Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors,” in Arthur P. Wolf (ed), Religion and Ritual in Chinese Society (Stanford U Press 1974). Pp. 131-182.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Chau, A.Y., 2004. Hosting funerals and temple festivals: folk event productions in rural China. Asian anthropology ISSN: 1683-478X, 3(1), pp.39-70.  

Norbu, K. and Stuart, K., 1999. A ritual winter exorcism in Gnyan Thog Village, QinghaiAsian Folklore Studies ISSN: 0385-2342, pp.189-203.  


 Week 6

Li, Chris Wen-Chao. 2004. Conflicting Notions of Language Purity: the interplay of archaizing, ethnographic, reformist, elitists, and xenophobic purism in the perception of Standard Chinese. Language and communication. 24, 97-133.  

Bulag, U.E., 2003. Mongolian ethnicity and linguistic anxiety in China. American anthropologist, 105(4), pp.753-763.  

Roche, Gerald. 2017. The Tranformation of Tibet’s Language Ecology in the Twenty-First Century. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 1-35.  Available online

Bilik, N. (2007). Names Have Memories: History, Semantic Identity and Conflict in Mongolian and Chinese Language Use. Inner Asia, 9(1), 23-39.  


 Week 7

Bender, Mark. “Keys to Performance in Kunming Pingshu.” CHINOPERL ISSN: 0193-7774 Papers. 18, 22-37.  

McLaren, Anne and Chen Qinjian. 2000. The Oral and Ritual Culture of Chinese Women: Bridal Lamentations of Nanhui. Asian Ethnology. 59: 205-238.  

Shepherd, Eric. 2011. Singing Dead Tales to Life: Rhetorical Strategies in Shandong Fast Tales. Oral tradition ISSN: 0883-5365. 26(1): 27-70.     


 Week 8

 Su, Xiaoyan. 2016. Reconstruction of Tradition: Modernity, Tourism and Shaolin Martial Arts in Shaolin Scenic Area, China. The international journal of the history of sport ISSN: 0952-3367. 33, 934-950.  

Blumenfield, Tami. 2018. Recognition and Misrecognition: The Politics of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Southwest China. In Chinese Heritage in the Making: Experiences, Negotiations and Contestations ISBN: 9789048534067 (e-book), edited by Christina Maags and Marina Svensson, pp. 169-194. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.  

Oakes, Tim. 2013. Heritage as Improvement, Cultural Display and Contested Governance in Rural China. Modern China. ISSN: 0097-7004. 39(4), 380-407.  


 Week 9

 Cheng, Tiejun and Mark Selden. 1999. “The Construction of Spatial Hierarchies: China’s Hukou and Danwei Systems.” In New Perspectives on State Socialism in China ISBN: 0765600420 (paper : alk. paper); 0765600412. Timothy Cheek and Tony Saich, eds. New York: M. E. Sharpe, pp. 23–50.  

Li Zhang. 2001. “Migration and Privatization of Space and Power in Late Socialist China.” American Ethnologist ISSN: 0094-0496 28(1): 179-205  


 Week 10

Wang, P. 2016. Military Corruption in China: The role of guanxi in the buying and selling of military positions. The China quarterly. 228 (970-991.  

 Bian, Y., 2018. The prevalence and the increasing significance of guanxi. The China quarterly, pp.1-25.  

Yang, Mayfair Mei-hui. 2002. The Resilience of Guanxi and Its New Deployments: A Critique of Some New Guanxi Scholarship. The China quarterly. 170: 459-476.  


 Week 11

Anagnost, Ann. "The corporeal politics of quality (suzhi)." Public culture ISSN: 0899-2363 16.2 (2004): 189-208.  

Jacka, T. (2009). Cultivating citizens: Suzhi (quality) discourse in the PRC. Positions, 17(3), 523-535.  

Notar, B.E., 2006. Authenticity anxiety and counterfeit confidence: outsourcing souvenirs, changing money, and narrating value in reform-era China. Modern China, 32(1), pp.64-98.  


This list was last updated on 17/01/2019