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Faculty and Staff

Xiaoping Cong
Professor of History


Phone: (713) 743-3096
Office: 562 Agnes Arnold Hall

Dr. Cong is a scholar of late imperial and 20th century China, focusing on women's history, intellectual history, legal 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 graduate seminars, "Education and Society in Late Imperial and Twentieth-Century China" and “China in World History.”

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Research Interests

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’s recent book, Marriage, Law, and Gender in Revolutionary China, 1940-1960 (Cambridge University Press, 2016), 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. She will continue working on rural women in the twentieth century social transformation and the legal construction in the revolutionary region of China in the 1940s.

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Selected Publications


  • Cong Yiping bainian danchen jinianji (丛一平百年诞辰纪念集) [A memorial collection celebrating Cong Yiping’s one hundred years] (ed.), Xi’an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe, 2017.  
  • Shifan xuexiao yu Zhongguo de xiandaihua: minzu guojia de xingcheng yu shehui zhuanxing, 1897-1936 (师范学校与中国的现代化:民族国家的形成与社会转型, 1897-1937) [Teachers’ Schools in China’s Modernization: the Nation-State and the Social Transformation, 1897-1937], Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan, 2014. 
  • On Women’s History in China (tentative title) (ed.), (part of the series of “Rethinking Socialism and Reform in China”), Brill Academic Publishers (under contract).




  • “From Literati to Modern Teachers: The Identity Transformation of the Educated Elites in Early 20th-Century China,”The Chinese Historical Review, 2017 (forthcoming).
  • “The Transformation of Mother-Daughter Genealogy and the Family State Relations in the 20th-Century Chinese Revolutionary Literature: Yuan Jing and Her Works,” Kaifang shidai(Open Times) (Guangzhou), No. 3 (May 2016): 64-82 (in Chinese). 
  • “Revolutionizing the Judicial System: the Innovation of the Legal Procedures and Techniques in the 1940s’ Revolutionary Base Area,” (translated by Bai Yang and Yang Bingyu), Fudan daxue falü pinglun(Fudan University law review), No. 3 (May 2016): 313-42 (in Chinese). 
  • “‘Ma Xiwu’s Way of Judging’: Villages, the Masses, and the Legal Construction in Revolutionary China of the 1940s,”The China Journal, 72:1 (July 2014): 29-52. 
  • “From ‘Freedom of Marriage’ to ‘Self-Determined Marriage’: Recasting Marriage in the Shaan-Gan-Ning Border Region of the 1940s,”Twentieth-Century China38, 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 China22, 83 (September, 2013): 905-22. 
  • “Teachers’ Schools and the Making of Chinese Modernization, 1897-1937,”Kaifang Shidai[Open Times] (China), January 2010, no. 1: 64-81 (in Chinese). 
  • “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 (in Chinese). 
  • Zuo RenWang 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 (in Chinese). 
  • “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: 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. 
  • “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 (in Chinese).
  • “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 (in Chinese).