Alexander F. Day

Assistant Professor, History; Affiliated Faculty, East Asian Language and Cultures


  • Office Hours:
  • email: aday@oxy.edu

Education: B.A. Colby College; M.A., Ph.D. UC Santa Cruz

Awards and Grants:
Faculty Enhancement Grant, Occidental College 2015
Research Enhancement in the Arts and Humanities, Wayne State University 2012-2013
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teaching Award, Wayne State University 2011
Residency Research Fellowship, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Research, U. Michigan 2010-2011
University Research Grant, Wayne State University 2010-2011
Humanities Center Faculty Fellow, Wayne State University 2008-2009
Graduate Division Dissertation Writing Fellowship, UCSC 2006-2007
Institute for Humanities Research Dissertation Fellowship, UCSC 2005
Fulbright Fellowship 2003-2004
Institute for Humanities Research Travel Grant, UCSC 2003
Humanities Pre-Doctorate Fellowship, UCSC 1998-2002
Phi Beta Kappa, Colby College 1990

The Peasant in Postsocialist China: History, Politics, and Capitalism, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Articles and Book Chapters:
“A century of rural self-governance reforms: reimagining rural Chinese society in the post-taxation era.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 40.6 (November 2013): 929-954.

“History, Capitalism, and the Making of the Postsocialist Chinese Peasant.” In Global Capitalism and the Future of Agrarian Society, eds. Arif Dirlik, Roxann Prazniak, and Alexander Woodside. Boulder and London: Paradigm Publishers, 2012.

“The Central China School of Rural Studies: Guest Editor’s Introduction.” Chinese Sociology and Anthropology: A Journal of Translations, special issue on “The Central China School of Rural Studies,” 41.1 (Fall, 2008): 3-9.

“End of the Peasant: New Rural Reconstruction in China.” boundary 2 35.2 (Summer 2008): 49-73.

“Guest Editors’ Introduction.” With Matthew Hale, Chinese Sociology and Anthropology: A Journal of Translations, special issue on “New Rural Reconstruction,” 39.4 (Summer, 2007): 3-9.

“Lotta di classe nella Cina rurale? (Class struggle in rural China?).” Equilibri: Rivista per lo sviluppo sostenibile 11.1 (April 2007): 57-66.

Review Essays:

“Gender and the Collectivization of Rural Labor.” In a roundtable on Gail Hershatter’s The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past, PRC History Review 1.1 (May 2014): 3-5.

“Depoliticization and the Chinese Intellectual Scene.” Review essay on Wang Hui’s End of the Revolution. Criticism 53.1 (Winter 2011).

“Interpreting the Cultural Revolution Politically.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 7.4 (Dec. 2006): 705-712.

Journal Special Issue Editorship:

Guest editor with Matthew Hale, Chinese Sociology and Anthropology: A Journal of Translations, special issue on “The Central China School of Rural Studies,” 41.1 (Fall, 2008).

Guest editor with Matthew Hale, Chinese Sociology and Anthropology: A Journal of Translations, special issue on “New Rural Reconstruction,” 39.4 (Summer, 2007).


Review of China Constructing Capitalism: Economic Life and Urban Change, by Michael Keith, Scott Lash, Jakob Arnoldi, and Tyler Rooker. In Pacific Affairs 88.2 (June 2015).

Review of Drink Water but Remember the Source: Moral Discourse in a Chinese Village by Ellen Oxfeld. In Asia Pacific World 3.1 (Spring 2012).

Review of The Politics of Rural Reform in China by Christian Göbel. In Journal of Agrarian Change 12.1 (January 2012).

“Uneven Urban Aesthetics in Contemporary China,” Review of Robin Visser’s Cities Surround the Countryside. H-Urban (January 2011).

Presented Papers:

“Producing modern work: Tea production and the rural-urban split in Sichuan and Guizhou, China, in the Republican period.” The 36th Annual North American Labor History Conference, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, October 17, 2014.

“Reimagining the Chinese village 100 years after the anarchist intervention.” "Huiming Centennial” Conference, Guangzhou, China, December 20, 2013.

“Reimagining the Village: Rural Crisis, Governance, the Rural-Urban Split.” Workshop on Agrarian Development in China: Legacies and Prospects, Johns Hopkins University, November 1, 2013.

“Labor and the Rural-Urban Divide.” Lead paper presented at “The Rural, Urban and International in China,” the China Centre, Oxford University, May 26, 2012.
Workshop on “‘Deconstructing Modernization:’ Wen Tiejun and “Sannong wenti,” chapter four of my forthcoming book, The Peasant in Postsocialist China. University of Toronto, April 13, 2012.

“From Peasant to Consumer.” Paper presented at the Historical Materialism Conference, New York, May 8th, 2011.

“State, Market and Peasant: The End of Peasant Revolution.” Paper presented at the Association of Asian Scholars and International Convention of Asian Scholars special joint conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 31st, 2011.

“Peasant Studies in Postsocialist China: From Citizen-Farmer Utopia to the Crisis of Surplus Population." Keynote address presented at “The Agrarian Question and Modernization," East Asian Studies Workshop, NYU, New York, May 4th, 2010.

“History, Capitalism, and the Making of the Postsocialist Chinese Peasant.” Paper presented at the Workshop on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development, School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Renmin University, Beijing, China, June 18, 2009.

“Intellectual Politics and the New Rural Reconstruction Movement.” Paper presented at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Atlanta, Georgia, April 3-6, 2008.

“From “the People” to “the Citizen:” Chinese Peasants and the Limits of Citizen Politics.” Paper presented at “Fifth Annual Conference in Citizenship Studies: Boundaries,” Wayne State University, March 27-29, 2008.

“The Failure of the Cultural Revolution and the Contemporary Intellectual Politics of Rural China.” Paper presented at “Is a History of the Cultural Revolution Possible?” University of Washington, February 24-26, 2006.

“‘National Conditions’ and the Postsocialist Left in China.” Pacific Seminar, Soka University, Anaheim, Ca, May 12-14, 2006.

“Translated Modernity.” UC-Stanford Graduate Students in Chinese History Conference, UCSD, May 2003.

“The Global Circulation of Struggles in China at the Beginning and End of the Twentieth Century.” UC Workshop in World History, UCSC, May 2003.

“Liu Shipei, 1903 to 1908: Social Evolution and Utopian Imagination.” UC-Stanford Graduate Students in Chinese History Conference, UCLA, May 2001.

Professional Society Memberships:
American Historical Association
Association for Asian Studies

Teaching at Occidental:
Imperial China (242) Fall 2014 and 2013
Modern China (243) Spring 2015 and 2014
Peasant China in Transformation (295-002) Fall 2013
Writing World History (300-001) Spring 2015 and 2014
A Global History of Anarchism (CSP) Spring 2014

Prime Investigator (replacing Prof. Robert Gottlieb)
—Luce Initiative for Asian Studies and the Environment team Summer 2015 to present

East Asian Studies major coordinator Fall 2014 to present

Awards Committee—Luce Scholars representative Summer 2014 to present

Chan Fellows Committee, Chair Spring 2013 to present