Description for image 1

Brill Signs Collaboration with Fudan University Press to Publish Data on Contemporary Chinese Social Life

Leiden (NL) / Boston (MA) - 28 August 2014

Brill, an international scholarly publisher, signs a collaboration agreement with Fudan University Press in China to publish a unique set of data on contemporary Chinese social life.

Professor Zhang Letian and his team at the Fudan Data Center for Contemporary Chinese Social Life have collected a significant amount of data from grassroots society in contemporary China, either directly from the author or from collectors who work with the original author. These data all stretch for a time span of ten years or more, providing significant temporal depth for research. These non-aggregated data at the grassroots level systematically reflect the real social life of a particular community over a long time period; they are rich in details for both in-depth case studies and comparative studies. As these kinds of data have never been published before, this publication is truly unique and original.

“In the past three years, the Fudan Data Center for Contemporary Chinese Social Life has collected more than 100,000 personal correspondences, over 1,000 books of personal notes, and huge information of the history of personal life.” Professor Zhang Letian said, “We hope, by publishing this data collection, that we could open a window for the world to know ordinary Chinese people, read their stories and see the real picture of Chinese society.”

The data will be reviewed and selected for publication by Professor Zhang Letian in collaboration with an international advisory board consisting of leading scholars from anthropology, history, political science, sociology in the US and Europe. The international advisory board will be chaired by Professor Yunxiang Yan, University of California, Los Angeles.

“The aim of publishing this set of unique, rich and rare data is to fill a gap in the study of contemporary Chinese social life, that is, the absence of original, untouched and non-aggregated data that can systematically reveal the real life situations in a historical context,” according to Professor Yunxiang Yan. As almost no Western scholars were allowed to enter China from the 1950s to the 1970s, much less conducting empirical research and collecting accurate data, it is a widely shared consensus among China scholars and graduate students that accurate and original data is not only much needed but could also potentially have transformative impact on our existing theories and paradigmatic understanding of post-1949 China. The publication of this set of data “will provide for the first time a solid foundation and detail-rich ground for the teaching and research of contemporary Chinese society and culture as well as the political-social-economic changes since 1949,” Professor Yan said.

The main body of the work will remain in Chinese language, but the searchable keywords, subjects/themes and, more importantly, introductory essays will be translated into English. This combination of content in Chinese with introductions and search tools in English will assist more researchers and graduate students to get access to the data set in its original form and help them to be more efficient in their research.

The targeted readers include China scholars around the world, particularly those whose research or teaching courses focus on contemporary or post-1949 China, graduate students with a similar focus who can use this data set for both studying and research, and the general public who wants to learn more about Chinese social life by engaging in original and untouched empirical data.

For more information on this media alert, please contact Qin Higley, Acquisitions Editor on modern and contemporary China ([email protected]).

About Brill
Founded in 1683 in Leiden, the Netherlands, Brill is a leading international academic publisher in the Humanities, Social Sciences, International Law, and Biology. With offices in Leiden and Boston, Brill today publishes over 200 journals and around 700 new books and reference works each year, available in both print and electronic form. Brill also markets a large number of primary source research collections and databases. The company’s key customers are academic and research institutions, libraries, and scholars. Brill is a publicly traded company and is listed on Euronext Amsterdam NV. For further information please visit

About Fudan University Press
Fudan University Press Co., Ltd., founded in 1981, with the electronic audio-visual publishing house as a sub-branch, is affiliated with Fudan University under the administration of the Ministry of Education, China and the Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau. We aim to produce high-quality textbooks and academic works. We publish about 900 new books and 1200 reprinted books annually. After 33 years of exploration and practice, we have won more than 800 awards including 14 awards at the national level. Last year, the General Administration of Press and Publications of the People’s Republic of China awarded our press one of the "Top 100 Best National Presses" in China. For further information please visit

View this media alert online:

Organization Type: