Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Illinois, Urbana, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10323

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Liao, Yue (Illinois, Urbana, U. of) "Feeding Shanghai: Chinese Greenhouse, Affect, and the Making of “Supply Chain qua World” in Post-socialist China"

The proposed dissertation project is an ethnography of the circuit of a “supply chain qua world” connecting Shanghai city to Lanling countryside, with a focus on how regional economies are shaped and woven together through affective connections. Such an emerging lifeworld is a “socio-technical/material assemblage” composed of different kinds of materialities and values and is of both economic and socio-cultural significance for people engaged in the vegetable business. Through 12 months of multi-sited fieldwork in Lanling and Shanghai, this research investigates how a trans-local set of materialities, relationships, and affects configured through processes of marketization and the government’s food-provisioning campaigns shape the dynamics of the economic circuit. The Shanghai-Lanling “supply chain qua world” exemplifies the contemporary rural-urban dynamics by which China is pursuing an integrated, self-contained domestic food supply system, reducing, and replacing dependence on global commodity flows. The stakes of this study are not merely to demonstrate that regional economies and post-socialist market reforms are shaped by sense of place, ethical commitments, and desires, but to address the enduring issue of how China feed itself under current conditions of neoliberalism.