Associate Professor Pierre Fuller from Sciences Po Paris was Invited to Give an Academic Lecture


(Correspondent: Wang Tianjian) On April 19th, 2024, Associate Professor Pierre Fuller from Science Po Paris gave a lecture entitled “What Happens When History Is Left Out of Social Scientific Study: The Case of 1930s and 1940s Rural China” to our students and faculty. The lecture was presided over by Professor Guan Yongqiang. Dr. Gong Guan, Lei Ming, Zhang Wei, Sun Chengjiu, Shi Shuang, and more than ten postgraduate students of our school also participated in the discussion. In addition, dozens of students from Wuhan University and other universities also attended the lecture via online platform.

In the first part of the lecture, Pierre Fuller reviewed several well-known Chinese social-economic surveys from the early 20th century to the 1930s, and pointed out that the depth and focus of a survey depend on the motive and identity background of the investigator. Due to the limitation of language ability, personal relationship and research perspectives, as well as the lack of historical sense and historical background materials, investigators in this period tended to overlook the interactions between disaster relief organizations and residents within rural areas, thus depicting rural areas as backward, which failed to present the veritable face of modern China as a whole.

In the second part of the lecture, Pierre Fuller took a notice published in Shuntian Daily as an example to show how historical materials can be used to understand the disaster relief activities of rural families during the Republican period. These activities were usually not covered in official documents and major periodicals, but contained a great deal of cultural and institutional background information needed for the comprehensive understanding of disaster relief. After the lecture, our faculty and students had a heated discussion with Associate Professor Fuller on the topic of the lecture and the research methods of social sciences.


Associate Professor Pierre Fuller got his Ph.D. Degree in History at the University of California, Irvine. He has taught at the University of Manchester and Monash University, and he is currently an associate professor at the Department of History, Science Po Paris. His main research focuses on Chinese economic and social history since the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republican period, especially on disaster relief in rural areas during the Republican period. His books Famine Relief in Warlord China and Modern Erasures have been published by Harvard University Asia Center and Cambridge University Press, respectively. He has papers published in international academic journals such as Journal of Asian Studies, Twentieth Century China, Modern Asian Studies, and European Review of History. The visit of Associate Professor Pierre Fuller further promoted the friendly relationship between Sciences Po Paris and the School of Economics of Nankai University, and paved the way for future academic exchanges and mutual visits between the two schools’ faculties and students.