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Yi Wang

Assistant Professor 
PhD, University of Chicago, 2013
Late Imperial China, Borderlands, Migration, Nationalism

Office: LT 611
Phone: (607) 777-3336

My research focuses on social and cultural history in late imperial and twentieth-century China, borderlands, nationalism, and trans-regional migration. I am particularly interested in the dynamics of frontier-making in relation to the political and social processes of empire and nation building. I am currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively entitled "Transforming the Frontier: Land, Commerce, and Chinese Colonization in Inner Mongolia, 1700-1911," that examines Chinese migration and settlement in what became today's Inner Mongolia. This study illustrates the parallel development of unprecedented Chinese expansion into the peripheries and China's increasing integration into the global frameworks of capitalism and the nation-state. I approach these historical conjunctures from a peripheral perspective, by reconstructing the socioeconomic and cultural history of this understudied region, while addressing issues that are central to our understanding of late imperial and modern China. My teaching interests include East Asian borderlands, trans-regional trade and migration in East Asia, empire and nation, and colonialism.


"Irrigation, Commercialization, and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Inner Mongolia," International Review of Social History, Vol. 59, Issue 02 (2014), pp. 215-246.
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Book Review of Shinjilt, Minzoku no katari no bunpō: chūgoku seikaishō mongoruzoku no nichijō bunsō kyōiku (The syntax of narratives of ethnicity: daily lives, disputes and education of the Mongols of Qinghai Province in China; Tokyo: Fukyosha, 2003), Inner Asia 7 (2005): 133–137


• "Across the Western Pass: Han Commercial Expansion in the Mongolian Steppe during the Qing," Chinese History Cluster, University of British Columbia, March 2013
• "Irrigation, Migration, and Frontier Entrepreneurism: A Case Study of Nineteenth-Century Hetao of Inner Mongolia," Critical China Studies, University of Toronto, November 2012
• "Han Migration and State Building in Inner Mongolia during the Late Qing Era," The 2nd Chinese Political Sociology Workshop, Renmin University of China and The University of Chicago Center in Beijing, July 2012
• "Solidifying the Frontier: Han Colonization and State Making in Inner Mongolia in the Late Qing Era," Annual Meeting, American Historical Association, Boston, January 2011
• "Land, Boundaries, and Christianity: Catholic Missions in Ordos during the Late Qing Era," Beyond the Great Wall: Christianity and Chinese-Western Cultural Exchange in Modern China International Symposium, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, May 2009
• "Colonization and Its Discontents: A Case Study of Ordos/Hetao," Annual Meeting, American Historical Association, Washington D.C., January 2008
• "Narrating the Frontier: Colonization and Exploration in Hetao/Ordos," Euro-Asian Borderlands in Theory and Reality: People, Borders, and the States Workshop, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, April 2007


• Center for Chinese Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 2013-2014
• Center of Eastern Asian Studies Dissertation Writing Scholarship, University of Chicago, 2006-2007
• Monbukagakusho Scholarship, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan, 2003-2005
• Language School Scholarship, Middlebury College, Summer 2003
• Doctoral Fellowship, University of Chicago, 1999-2003

Last Updated: 8/12/16