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ZHOU Yongming

Chair Professor

Center for Social Sciences


Room 203, Lynn Library

Dr. Yongming ZHOU graduated from the Chinese Department of Nanjing University in 1984 and received his doctoral degree at Duke University in 1997. He has been a tenured Professor of Anthropology at University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1999. The main research areas are media anthropology and historical anthropology.


Professor Zhou Yongming is famous for discovering unique research perspectives and opening up new research fields at home and abroad. In 1999, he published his first English monograph, The Anti-Drug Crusades in China in the Twentieth Century China: History, Nationalism and State Building, based on his doctoral dissertation. It focused on the discussion of drugs (especially opium) as a special symbol, closely related to modern Chinese history and nationalism. In this context, how is the anti-drug movement used by different rulers to serve the purpose of national construction? This book is the earliest English monograph on the drug problem in China in the 20th century. A chapter on the anti-drug campaign in the early 1950s was published with great influence. The Chinese version of the book was published by the Commercial Press in 2016.


The second English monograph entitled Historicizing Online Politics: Telegraphy, the Internet and Political Participation in China, published by the Stanford University Press in 2006, further established Professor Zhou Yongming's position in the field of Anthropology and Chinese Studies. From a historical and comparative perspective, starting with the introduction of the new technology of telegraph into China at the end of the nineteenth century, the author describes in depth how the social elite at that time used the special form of "public telegraph" to mobilize people and participate in politics, illuminating the influence of the Internet on political participation today. The book has been widely noticed and well received. The Chinese version was published by the Commercial Press in 2013.


Professor Zhou Yongming's recent work focuses on globalization and its impact on Southwest China. Funded by the National Science Foundation of the United States and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, his team has studied the impact of large-scale road construction on the ethnic economy, culture and ecological environment. Professor Zhou Yongming's "roadology" research has received more and more positive responses in the international scholarly community. Now it has formed an interdisciplinary research team with members from Asia, Europe and the Americas.


Professor Zhou Yongming is active in international academia. He served as a visiting fellow at the Needham Institute in Cambridge, UK, and East Asia Institute of the National University of Singapore. He was elected President of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs in 2012. He also served as a fellow at the Wilson Center for International Scholars, a well-known think tank in the United States (2001-2002).

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