Department of History

Yixin Chen, Associate Professor


  • Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
  • M.A., Nanjing University
  • B.A., Anhui Normal University

Academic Interests

Yixin Chen's specialty is twentieth-century Chinese socioeconomic history. He has done research on comparative modernization, on the rural economic history of Republican China, on the Great Leap Forward of Maoist era, and on China's Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976. He is currently working on a book-length manuscript on China's Great Leap famine of 1958-61, which, based primarily on his interviews with the Chinese peasants, examines the famine at villages.

Courses Taught

Significant Publications

Paths to Modern Nations: Political Modernization from a Comparative Perspective (Zouxiang xiandai guojia zhi lu: bijiao zhengzhi xiandaihua yanjiu, coauthored with Qian Chengdan:), Sichuan People's Press, Chengdu, 1987, 344 p.

"Under the same Maoist sky: the disparity in death rates between Anhui and Jiangxi during the Great Leap Forward Famine," in Kimberly Manning and Felix Wemheuer, eds., Eating Bitterness: New Perspectives on China's Great Leap Forward and Famine, Vancouver: University of British Colombia University Press, 2011:197-225.

"When food became scarce: life and death in Chinese villages during the Great Leap Forward Famine," The Journal of the Historical Society, 2010, X(2):117-165.

"Cold War competition and food production in China, 1957-1962," Agricultural History, 2009, (83)1: 51-78. The 2009 winner of the Vernon Carstensen Memorial Award for Best Article, Agricultural History.