Department of History

Zhaojin Zeng

Zhaojin Zeng joins us in Fall 2018 as a Visiting Assistant Professor of East Asian History. Zeng is a historian of modern China and East Asia, with research and teaching interests in transnational economic and business history, the interactions between industry, technology, and state-building, and US-China economic engagement.

Currently, Zeng is completing a book manuscript entitled “Nourishing Shanxi: Indigenous Entrepreneurship, Regional Industry, and the Transformation of a Chinese Hinterland Economy, 1907-2004.” This book provides a new economic history of modern China by focusing on ground-level subjects: local businesspeople and regional industrial factories. Drawing on research in nearly a dozen archives in China, Japan, Taiwan, Sweden, and the United States, including the 30,000-page Baojin Company Archive, this book explores how China’s local factories dealt with the five successive states: Qing, Republican, Japanese, Communist, and Post-Mao.

Zeng’s other research projects include a digital project on Chinese factory and enterprise gazetteers and essays on technology transfer in Cold War China and business dispute resolution in the Reform era. His research has received funding from Harvard Business School, Stanford University, University of Michigan, University of Texas at Austin, the Association for Asian Studies, the Business History Conference, the D. Kim Foundation for the History of Science and Technology, and the China Times Cultural Foundation, among others. His research articles are published in journals such as World Development and Entreprises et Histoire.