Amidst rapid urbanization and massive emigration from rural areas in recent decades, the countryside has suffered from increasing neglect. Yet growing urban-rural polarization around the world today tells us that the countryside remains as relevant as ever. American politics and European politics are now utterly divided between urban and rural areas. Similarly, urban-rural inequality bears profound consequences for Chinese society and politics. A substantial amount of the world’s population will remain in the countryside for decades to come, and their lives, livelihoods, and political participation will continue to affect the fates of societies as a whole.
This conference brings together scholars from various disciplines to engage in an in-depth discussion about society and politics of the Chinese countryside. A central theme of this conference is to highlight the Contemporary Chinese Village Gazetteer Dataset assembled by the University of Pittsburgh Library System (ULS). Participants are encouraged to present preliminary findings using this dataset, although other kinds of intellectual contributions are also welcome.