Historians are being increasingly attracted by the methodology of historical anthropology, an approach which combines observations in the field with documentary analysis, both of official documents and of documents collected from local society. In China, historians have been pursuing such local historical research for a generation, with very little of this work being available in English hitherto. This series makes available in English research undertaken by the Historical Anthropology of Chinese Society project based at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and related work. The books argue that top-heavy, dynasty-centred history is incomplete without an understanding of how local communities were involved in the government process and in the creation of their own historical narratives. The books argue that Chinese social history needs to be rewritten from the bottom up.
Lineage and Community in China, 1100–1500: Genealogical Innovation in Jiangxi
The Transformation of Yunnan in Ming China: From the Dali Kingdom to Imperial Province
March 11, 2020
This book, based on extensive original research, provides evidence that the practice originated much earlier than previously understood. It shows that in the eleventh century, in southern China under the Song dynasty, the method of compiling a genealogy in the form a table, that is to say a family...
Christian Daniels, Ma Jianxiong
December 18, 2019
This book examines how the Ming state transformed the multi-ethnic society of Yunnan into a province. Yunnan had remained outside the ambit of central government when ruled by the Dali kingdom, 937-1253, and its foundation as a province by the Yuan regime in 1276 did not disrupt Dali kingdom style...
Thomas David DuBois, Jan Kiely
December 06, 2019
This book explores how fieldwork has been used to research Chinese history in the past and new ways that others might use in it the future. It introduces the previous generations of scholars who ventured out of the archive to conduct local investigations in Chinese cities, villages, farms and...
Xi He, David Faure
January 12, 2018
Although most studies of rural society in China deal with land villages, in fact very substantial numbers of Chinese people lived by the sea, on the rivers and the lakes. In land villages, mostly given to farming, people lived in permanent houses, whereas on the margins of the waterways many people...
June 16, 2017
This book argues that as colonialism brought the concept of individual, as opposed to collective, land ownership to indigenous society, along with Western surveying techniques, the changes that resulted altered the relationship of the state to its citizens, and, thereby, the structure of local...