China Beat Archive


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February 2, 2008 in The China Beat


Copyright February 2, 2008 Kate Merkel-Hess. Used by permission.


By this point, some of our readers may be wondering who the China Beatwriters are, or rather wondering who is involved beside the few names that ring a bell. I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce everyone—briefly, since this is an accomplished group, and full introductions might run rather long.

As several commentators have already noted, we have a healthy contingent of contributors from the University of California, Irvine. UCI is my own home, and other Orange County-based contributors include Ken Pomeranz (who has produced ambitious works of comparative history, such as The Great Divergence, as well as co-authoring a popularly-focused book on the way commodities circulate across borders, The World That Trade Created), Jeff Wasserstrom (who tells me he is proudest at the moment of finally breaking into the in-flight magazine racket—since he loves the notion of a captive airborne audience), Nicole Barnes (who before arriving in Irvine was involved in the lively East Asia outreach program at the University of Colorado), and Yong Chen (who recently curated an exhibit of menus from American Chinese restaurants and continues to track the links between food and culture).

Our Southern California crew also includes Yan Yunxiang, whose anthropological looks at McDonald’s influence in China have garnered a great deal of attention. Two other anthropologists contributing to the blog are Robert Weller (who has worked on religion, civil society, popular unrest, and recently published a path-breaking book on environmental issues) and Susan Brownell (who, currently in Beijing to study the Olympics, brings to the table her first-hand experience as a gold medalist in the 1986 Chinese National College Games which was the basis for her first book, Training the Body for China).