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Dr. Cong is a scholar of late imperial and 20th century China, focusing on women's history, intellectual history, and the history of modern education in China. She received her Ph.D. from UCLA in 2001 and joined the University of Houston community in the same year.
Dr. Cong teaches survey courses on the histories of China, from early civilization up to the present, and Japan since 1600. She also teaches upper division courses on "Women in Late Imperial and Twentieth Century China"; "East Asian Women in Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspectives"; "Perceptions of China in the West"; "Confucianism and Chinese Modernity"; "Chinese Women in Twentieth-Century Revolutions and Reforms," as well as a graduate seminar, "Education and Society in Late Imperial and Twentieth-Century China".
Dr. Cong's previous research focused on the special role of teachers' schools in the social and political transformation during the first four decades of twentieth-century China. Her book, Teachers' Schools and the Making of the Chinese Modern Nation-State, 1897-1937, was published by British Columbia University Press (2007). This book has received the Academic Excellence Award from the Chinese Historian in the US (CHUS) Association in 2008.
Dr. Cong is working on her new book project in which she examines how a 1943 legal case of marriage dispute in a small village in the Communist controlled region developed into a series of national cultural products which helped the construction of communist gender ideology. This project has received a number of research grants from various sources, including the Fulbright Research Scholar Grant to China (2008-09) and a grant of ACLS-American Research of Humanities in China (2008-09) sponsored by NEH.
- Teachers' Schools and the Making of Modern Chinese Nation-state, 1897-1937, Toronto: the University of British Columbia Press, 2007.
- Shifan xuexiao yu Zhongguo de xiandaihua: minzu guojia de xingcheng yu shehui zhuanxing, 1897-1936 [Teachers’ Schools in China’s Modernization: the Nation-State and the Social Transformation, 1897-1937], Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan, 2014 (in press).
- “‘Ma Xiwu’s Way of Judging’: Villages, the Masses, and the Legal Construction in Revolutionary China of the 1940s,” The China Journal, July 2014 (forthcoming).
- “From ‘Freedom of Marriage’ to ‘Self-Determined Marriage’: Recasting Marriage in the Shaan-Gan-Ning Border Region of the 1940s,” Twentieth-Century China 38, 3 (October, 2013): 184-209.
- “Road to Revival: A New Move in the Making of Legitimacy for the Ruling Party in China,” Journal of Contemporary China 22, 83 (September, 2013): 905-22.
- “Shifan yuanxiao yu Zhongguo de xiandaihua, 1897-1937” [Teachers’ Schools and the Making of Chinese Modernization, 1897-1937], Kaifang Shidai [Open Times] (China), January 2010, no. 1: 64-81.
- “Zhong Gong hefaxing lunshu de xin dongxiang” [A New Trend in Constructing the Theory of Legitimacy for the Communist Party: the Political Connotations of Three Musical Epics for the Chinese National Days], Si-hsiang Reflexion (Taiwan), January 2010, no. 14: 233-254.
- “Zuo Ren su Wang Yinsuo: ershi shiji sishi niandai Shaan-Gan-Ning bianqu de funü, hunyin yu guojia jiangou” [Zuo Ren Vs. Wang Yinsuo: Women, Marriage and State-Making in the Shaan-Gan-Ning Border Region of the 1940s], Kaifang Shidai [Open Times] (China), October 2009, no. 10: 62-79.
- “From ‘Cainü’ (Talented Women) to ‘Nü jiaoxi’ (Female Teachers): Female Normal Schools and the Transformation of Women’s Education in Late Qing China, 1895-1911," in Nanxiu Qian, Grace Fong, and Richard J. Smith (eds.), Different Worlds of Discourse: Different Worlds of Discourse: Transformations of Gender and Genre in Late Qing and Early Republican China (Leiden/Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2008): 115-44.
- “Planted the Seeds for the Rural Revolution - Local Teachers' Schools and the Reemergence of Chinese Communism in the 1930's." Twentieth Century China, 32: 2 (April 2007): 135-65.
- “Tong xiang xiangcun geming de qiaoliang: sanshi niandai difang shifan xuexiao yu Zhongguo gongchanzhuyi de zhuanxing” [The Bridge to the Rural Revolution - Local Teachers' Schools and the Transformation of the Chinese Communist Revolution in the 1930's], Ershi yi shiji [Twenty-First Century] (Hong Kong), 2006, no. 8: 38-51.
- “Cong muqin dao guomin jiaoshi: Qing mo minzu guojia yu gongli nüzi shifan jiaoyu” [From Mothers to Teachers of Nation - Nation-State Building and Normal Schools for Women during the Waning Years of the Qing Dynasty], Qing shi yanjiu [Studies in Qing History] (Beijing) no. 1 (January 2003): 87-97.