Yue Liao

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.