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Margaret Elizabeth Clinton
Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT 05753-6004)
Power and Petroleum in China and the Western Pacific, 1870-Present

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the history of petroleum in China and the Western Pacific from 1870.

China’s petroleum history has yet to be written, despite its protracted duration and vast geographical reach. China and the Western Pacific region stretching from Russia’s Far East and Japan through Singapore, the Malacca Straits, and Indonesia, have been no less vital to the global history of oil than the better-known entanglements of Euro-America and the Middle East. My book-length environmental history project analyzes China’s long participation in shifting global networks of oil production alongside the changing meanings of oil consumption in daily life. A Summer Stipend will allow me to research and write the book’s third chapter, addressing the years 1949-1976. This chapter focuses on the everyday life of oil production under Maoism, particularly as lived and debated in the Daqing oil fields discovered in the northeastern region of Manchuria in 1959, and what this now-eclipsed period tells us about the possibilities and limits of fossil fuel-based energy sovereignty.

Project fields:
East Asian History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 8/31/2018