The Center for East Asian Studies congratulates Department of History graduate students, Matthew Lowenstein and Jiakai Sheng, who were awarded the Percy Buchanan Prize.
Matthew's paper, "Return to the Cage: Money and Monetary Policy in Wenzhou Municipality During China’s First Five Year Plan," was recognized as the best graduate student paper in China & Inner Asia Region at the 66th Annual of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs. His paper argues that local cadres articulated a much more active monetary policy than had previously been understood. Specifically, Party and Bank cadres deployed Rural Credit Cooperatives to soak up excess cash in the countryside, thereby mitigating queuing, scarcity, and black market activity.
His research interests include Modern China and transnational history; financial, business, and social history; and the history of Sichuan.
Jiakai's paper was recognized as the best graduate paper on Northeast Asia by the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs. Jiakai's paper entitled, "Reconciliation and Assimilation: Local, National and Transnational Educations of Japanese Children in Hawaii, 1890-1915)," was also selected by the Council of Conferences of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) to be presented at the 2018 annual meeting in Washington, D.C next spring.
Jiakai's research interests include modern Japan, transational history of East Asia, identities, ideologies, state-society relations, and expatriate communities.