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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



I obtained my BA (hons.) in 2011 having completed a dissertation (under the supervision of Prof. Ian Talbot) examining Lord Mountbatten's role as governor-general of the then newly-independent India. After a period of volunteer teaching in the countryside of China's Guizhou province, I spent an academic year studying mandarin at the provincial university in Guiyang, before moving to Shanghai's Fudan University in order to complete a master's degree in Chinese History (2016-2018). It was while studying at Fudan that the foundation of my PhD research was laid, becoming manifest in a dissertation entitled "三线精神":定义黔西人民工业化(1964-1978)("Third Front Spirit": Defining The People's Industrialisation of Western Guizhou, 1964-1978). I am now looking to expand on and develop that prior work in order to contemplate more fully participant memory and official commemoration of under-studied Third Front industrialisation in the P.R.C.

Other academic interests:
Historiography and contested histories
Environmental history
Inquiry Teams (weiwentuan) deployed during the 'Up to the mountains and down to the Countryside' campaign


Key publications: 

Department: Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Supervisor: Prof. H. van de Ven
College: Gonville & Caius
AHRC subject area: Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Title of thesis: "Third Front Spirit": Maoist Industrialisation and Heritage in China's Hinterland (tentative)
 James Peter Dawson