Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History, Fordham University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Harvard University
Unearthing the Nation: Modern Geology and National Identity in Republican China, 1911-1949

My project explores the relationship between science, nation-building, and national identity by examining the development of modem geology in China during the fractured and tumultuous Republican Era (1911-1949). I propose a cultural history centered on the leadership activities of four foundational geologists: Zhang Hongzhao, Ding Wenjiang; Li Siguang, and Weng Wenhao. Based on archival material in China I will address four related questions: How was patriotism used to justify centralized geological activity when China's national identity was divided and contested? Why was geology such a popularly accepted outlet for national feeling? How did the actual practice of geology reshape its own nationalizing objectives? How did the nascent geological community respond to powerful external determinants of national identity (e.g., Japanese invasion)?