Xiaoping Sun

Faculty of Arts

Faculty Member Information


I received an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Liaoning University and a Ph.D. in History from University of California, Santa Cruz. I taught at Beijing Jiaotong University and McMaster University before arriving at Saint Mary’s in 2009. My current research project, entitled “Feeding the Nation from the Wilderness: Food, Migration, and Environment on China’s Northeastern Borderland,” examines the historic transformation of Beidahuang (北大荒, the Great Northern Wilderness) from China’s largest concentration of freshwater wetlands in the late 1940s to its largest state-owned agribusiness that can feed 10% of the Chinese population in the 2000s. This research will reveal the mutual transformation between the state, humans, and nature resulted from the state mobilized migration to the frontier region in China’s pursuit of national food security and agricultural modernity.


Current Research Feeding the Nation from the Wilderness: Food, Migration, and Environment on China’s Northeastern Borderland


Ph.D., History, University of California, Santa Cruz, None
M.A., Comparative Literature , Liaoning University , None
B.A., , Qiqihar University, None

Scholarly Contributions

Journal Articles

Sun Xiaoping. "New Life Meets Real Life: Chinese Women in Nation Building and State Making, 1934-1949", Frontiers of History in China (Winter - 2018)
Sun Xiaoping. "Powerful Husbands and Virtuous Wives: The Familial Structure in the Leadership of the New Life Movement, 1934-1938", UCLA Center for the Study of Women (Winter - 2007)

Conference Proceedings

Sun Xiaoping. "Creating a Socialist Taste: Public Dining Halls in the Formation of Collective Identity", Fourth Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food: Making Sense of Taste (2017 - 2017)
Sun Xiaoping. "Socialist Space Production on China’s Northeastern Border", On Edge: China’s Frontiers in a Time of Change (2017 - 2017)
Sun Xiaoping. "Collective Amnesia about the Great Leap Famine?", Famine Stories and Survival Legends: Legacies to the Following Generations (2017 - 2017)
Sun Xiaoping. "Reconfiguring Nature in China’s Pursuit of Food Security", Canadian Association for Food Studies (2017 - 2017)
Sun Xiaoping. "The Dilemma between Food Security and Eco Security: the Changing Meanings of Wetland in China", Food, Agriculture and Environment in China (2017 - 2017)
Sun Xiaoping. "Museum of the Great Northern Wilderness: Remembering Maoist Land Reclamation in 21st-Century China", History Seminar Series (2016 - 2016)
Sun Xiaoping. "Urban Oasis: the Meaning of Eco-Agro Tourism in Northeast China", XIV World Congress of Rural Sociology (International Rural Sociology Association) (2016 - 2016)
Sun Xiaoping. "The Making of Socialist Farm Workers: Cultivating Affective Attachment to the Great Northern Wilderness", AAS-in-Asia Conference (Association for Asian Studies) (2016 - 2016)
Sun Xiaoping. "‘We Were Coaxed to Come!’—Localizing Maoist Mobilization through ‘Untold’ Stories", Canadian Historical Association Annual Meeting (2016 - 2016)
Sun Xiaoping. "Building Socialist Agricultural Modernity from the Wilderness", International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences Inter-Congress: Re-imagining Anthropological and Sociological Boundaries (2015 - 2015)
Sun Xiaoping. "Creating the Myth of the ‘Wilderness’: A Discursive Analysis of Maoist Land Reclamation in Northeast China", Canadian Historical Association Annual Meeting (2015 - 2015)
Sun Xiaoping. "‘Please Go to the History Museum!’—Remembering Maoist Land Reclamation in China", International Conference on “School vs. Memory?” (Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes) (2014 - 2014)
Sun Xiaoping. "‘War against the Earth!’: Military Farming in Communist Manchuria", Stokes Seminar (2014 - 2014)
Sun Xiaoping. "Developing the Great Northern Wilderness", The Manchurian Environment (2013 - 2013)
Sun Xiaoping. "Woman-Work in the Northeast During the Civil War", Conference of the Canadian Asian Studies Association (2012 - 2012)
Sun Xiaoping. "What Makes the New Life Woman?: Conflicting Ideals in Women’s New Life Monthly", New York Conference on Asian Studies (2009 - 2009)

International Collaboration Activities

Sun Xiaoping. "Studying Chinese History from North American Perspectives" (Spring - 2017)


<p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Teaching</span></strong></p> <p>Courses currently and recently offered:<br />HIST 1222 Introduction to the History of East Asia<br />HIST 2381 China before 1800<br />HIST 2372 China since 1800<br />HIST 2382 China in Revolution, 1800-1949<br />HIST 2383 China since 1949<br />HIST 3492 Women in Twentieth Century China<br />HIST 3416 Love and Family in China<br />HIST 4571 Engendering China<br />HIST 4572/6672 Memories of WWII in China and Japan &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />ASNT 4400 / HIST 4833 Interdisciplinary Studies: Food in Asia<br />HIST 4842/6672 Environmental History of China (*New* Winter 2018)<br />HIST 6695 Graduate Reading Course: Gender in China&nbsp; (Fall 2009)<br />HIST 6671 Graduate Reading Course: Gender in China &nbsp;&nbsp;(Winter 2010)</p>