Associate Professor of History:
Phone: +1 401 863 9030
Rebecca Nedostup received her PhD in modern Chinese history from Columbia University in 2001, and then taught at Purdue University and Boston College before coming to Brown in 2012. She works at the intersection of politics. culture and society during the twentieth century in China and Taiwan. She is also interested in comparative, theoretical, and methodological issues surrounding ritual and spatial analysis and the relationship of nationalism, religion and modernity. Her main research sites to this point have been Nanjing and other parts of Jiangsu; Chongqing; Shanghai; and various places in Taiwan, some of which she lived in prior to beginning her career as a scholar. In addition to her other interests, she enjoys consuming and teaching about Asian popular culture in its various forms, historical as well as contemporary.
In the past I've worked on government projects of cultural reform; the relationship between politics and religion in the modern era; and the relationship between national cultural policy and local social dynamics and landscapes, both conceptual and literal. State secularism, political commemoration and the role of modernity in religion (and vice versa) have been and continue to be frequent topics for me.
I am now writing a book that explores displacement, home, and community formation during China and Taiwan's mid-twentieth-century "long war" -- the Japan, civil and Cold wars, 1937-1959. This research has deepened my interest in comparing migrations, diasporas and territorial partitionings, and in employing ritual and local studies as methods in these fields. I am also involved in a collaborative project to explore the social meanings of dead bodies in modern China.