Alexander Day (Los Angeles)
This talk looks at transformation of rural China from the 1930s in order to understand how the modern rural-urban relationship was formed. Focusing on tea production in a single county—Meitan in Guizhou Province—this talk investigates the role of the Nationalist state in modernizing tea production and building an integrated national economy during the war with Japan. It traces the break from household production and the formalization of labor, state-directed industrialization and marketing, the concentration of production, and the emergence of the plantation form for tea growing in China. While the Nationalist state failed in this project, its efforts were the grounds upon which the Socialist State industrialized tea production and created the modern rural sphere.
Alexander F. Day is Assistant Professor of History at Occidental College in Los Angeles, United States. He studies the intellectual, social, and cultural history of peasants, food, and agrarian change in China. His first book, The Peasant in Postsocialist China: History, Politics, and Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 2013), centers on the question of why the peasant, and rural China more broadly, continually reappears as a figure of crisis in Chinese history.
05.12.2016 | 18:00