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Faculty Fellow

Jacob Eyferth

Associate Professor of Modern Chinese History in East Asian Languages and Civilizations, History, and the College University of Chicago


Jacob Eyferth is a social historian of China with research interests in the life and work experience of nonelite people throughout the twentieth century. Trained at the universities of Berlin and Leiden, he has held postdoctoral fellowships at Oxford, Harvard, and Rutgers and taught at Simon Fraser University. Most of his work has focused on the countryside and on the mid-twentieth century, c. 1920–1970. His first book, Eating Rice from Bamboo Roots, is an ethnographic history of a community of rural papermakers in Sichuan. It won the 2011 Joseph Levenson Prize for the best book on China in the post-1900 category. He is currently working on a second book, tentatively titled Cotton, Gender, and Revolution in Twentieth-Century China, that uses cloth and clothing as a lens through which to analyze how the monumental changes of the twentieth century—revolution, collectivization, industrialization, etc.—transformed the lives of rural women.


Knowing and Doing: Text and Labor in Asian Handwork

2014 – 2016