Research Interests

Current research focuses on late Qing-early Republican industrialization efforts, exemplified by the emergence and expansion of the native mechanized flour milling industry.  Specifically, this research examines the political and economic factors which encouraged 19th century American exports of Pacific coast flour and wheat to China, and political and economic factors in China at this time which encouraged private industrialization to combat American imports.  Rather than a narrowly focused study of the modernization of this industry in China, this research employs a more global perspective.  Consequently, it includes examination of such such variables as wheat strains and mechanical innovations, inter-regional competition within the United States, flour vs. wheat exports to England, exclusionary syndicates, Hong Kong brokers, Chinese industrialists, the Rights Recovery movement, and the 1905 boycott.  This broader perspective provides a clearer understanding of the factors contributing to the failures and successes of private efforts to industrialize flour production in China.


Recent Publications

"Casting Bread Upon the Waters:  Researching China's Industrial Response to the Global Flour Trade, 1880-1910" China Business History (forthcoming). 

"Theodore Wilcox:  Captain of Industry and Magnate of the China Flour Trade, 1884-1918" Oregon Historical Quarterly 104.4 (Winter 2003): 518-541. 

"Imports and Industrialization:  China's 'War' Against American Flour Imports, 1895-1910" Twentieth-Century China 28.2(April 2003): 1-40. 

"When Li Po Is Not Li Po:  Western Stereotypes in Asian Studies" ASIANetwork Exchange 8.3 (Spring 2001): 14-5. 

“Uniting Storylines: Asia in Global Studies.”  ASIANetwork Exchange 7.2 (Winter 1999): 22-24. 

“Bridging the Pacific: California and the China Flour Trade." California History 76.4 (Winter 1997/98): 82-93.



Recent Conference Presentations

“Growing an Industry: The Role of Cartels in Shanghai Flour Milling” for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, San Diego, CA, March 4-7, 2004. 

"Imports and Industrialization:  China's 'War' Against American Flour Imports, 1870-1910"  Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, New York, NY, March 27-30, 2003 

"Staple to Commodity:  Conflict Over Commercialization of China's Wheat"  Annual Meeting of the Midwest Conference of Asian Affairs, Springfield, OH, September 27-29, 2002" 

"Clash of Civilizations?: A 'New' Cold War Paradigm" Strategies for Teaching East Asia Conference, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for International Education, Milwaukee, WI, February 16, 2002.