Qin Shao teaches East Asian history at the College of New Jersey. A native of Shanghai, China, she was among many whose formal education was interrupted after grammar school by the onset of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. She was sent to the countryside for six years to work as a peasant, including a brief stint as a “barefoot doctor.” Largely self-taught through books surreptitiously supplied to her in the countryside by an older sister, she successfully applied for college entrance and went on to graduate school without having attended high school. After completing her master’s degree, she was invited to join the faculty at East China Normal University in Shanghai. Teaching herself English in her spare time, she came to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. degree, which she received in 1994 from Michigan State University.
Shao’s research interests include both ancient and modern China. She has published a dozen articles in leading scholarly journals in both English and Chinese. Stanford University Press will publish her book, Culturing Modernity: The Nantong Model, 1890-1930, for which she was awarded a research grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2003. Currently she is working on a new book project that deals with the human consequence of the rapid economic change in contemporary China. In addition to her teaching duties at her home institute, Shao is a visiting professor and research fellow at several Chinese academic institutions.