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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Ramsden Room, St Catharine's College
Event date: 
Wednesday, 26 February, 2020 - 17:00 to 18:15

China Research Seminar Series talk given by Prof. Judd Kinzley, History Department, University of Wisonsin at Madison

*** Please note the change of venue for this week's talk ***

The talk will explore the resonating power of American demand for Chinese raw materials during the Second World War by examining the case of hog bristles. From 1941 to 1945, nearly 10 million pounds of Chinese hog bristles were loaded onto planes and shipped out of China over the so-called “Hump” to India and on to the United States. During the war, hog bristles were one of China’s largest exports during the war and a critical pillar in the Nationalist Government’s wartime economy. In focusing on the Chinese production and transport of bristles, the talk will show how American demand for pig hair helped shape the distribution of Chinese state capital, the circulation of Chinese labor, the construction of new infrastructure in China’s interior, and helped create a new Chinese rural elite class, including the so-called “bristle king” 豬鬃王, Gu Gengyu. The story of Chinese hog bristles offers new insights into the wartime transformation of China’s vast interior, and points to new ways of thinking about American wartime power and influence in China and beyond.

Judd Kinzley was educated at Macalaster College and the University of California at San Diego, where he received his PhD in 2012. His first book, Natural Resources and the New Frontier: Constructing Modern China's Borderlands was published by Chicago University Press in 2018. He is written a series of articles on gold mining, roads, and geological surveys. This year he is enjoying a sabbatical in France as an ACLS Fellow.

Professor Hans van de Ven FBA: