Blog Posts

Ethnic intermarriage in northeast China during the late Qing

Current student Bijia Chen, former student Hao Dong and I recently published a paper in Demographic Research on ethnic intermarriage in Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang, during the late Qing:

This paper grew out of Bijia’s MPhil thesis. It uses registered ethnicity of males and inferred ethnicity of wives to examine marriage between Han, Manchu, and others within the Banner populations in Shuangcheng in the late 19th century. Wife’s ethnicity was inferred from her surname. The population is a useful one to study because the Han, Manchu and others who composed it were all part of the Banners, and marriages between them were not subject to rules that forbade or discouraged marriage between Banners and non-Banners. In other words, it is an opportunity to study boundaries between Manchu and Han in a setting where they were not subject to regulations on Banner/non-Banner marriage that would have had the side effect of making Manchu/Han marriage difficult in most other parts of China.

The analysis uses the CMGPD Shuangcheng database, which is available for download from ICPSR:


Demographic Estimate of the Population of the Eight Banners

I just noticed that the final version of the manuscript of my paper with James Lee and Mark Elliott entitled “Demographic estimate of the population of the Eight Banners” is available for download at the Harvard institutional repository.

Here is the full citation:

Elliott, Mark C., Cameron Campbell, and James Lee. 2016. A Demographic Estimate of the Population of the Qing Banners. Études chinoises. XXXV-1: 9-40.

Hopefully this paper will be useful and interesting to anyone working on Qing history.


Review of Asian historical demography in the new Handbook of Asian Demography

Satomi Kurosu and I published a survey on Asian historical demography in the new Routledge Handbook of Asian Demography edited by Zhongwei Zhao and Adrian C. Hayes. In our review, we covered work on classic topics in historical demography such as population growth, fertility and mortality, as well as topics of growing interest such as migration, kinship, marriage, and reproduction.  We also introduce the various sources of data that are transforming the study of historical populations in Asia.

For more information, please visit the entry for the book at the publisher’s site.

New paper in Demography on childhood co-residence with grandparents and later life mortality in 19th century Liaoning using the CMGPD-LN

HKUST Social Science MPhil alumnae Xiaolu (Emma) Zang lead-authored a paper with me on childhood co-residence with grandparents and later life mortality in 19th century Liaoning using the China Multigenerational Panel Database-Liaoning (CMGPD-LN). The paper grew out of work she did while an MPhil student here at HKUST, and exploits the longitudinal depth of the CMGPD-LN to study how male childhood co-residence with parental grandparents was associated with mortality later in life.

The paper can be viewed here.

The CMGPD-LN is available for download at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and this paper is just one example of the many potential applications of the data.




Review of multi-generational microdata for social science research

The review of multi-generational microdata for social science research that Xi Song and I wrote for the Annual Review of Sociology has now appeared in the 2017 issue.

This comprehensive review introduces the major sources of multi-generational, longitudinal data that can be analyzed in the study of demographic and stratification processes. The emphasis is on data that are already available publicly, or by application. The review also surveys major research questions in the study of multi-generational processes, and the methods used for analyzing these data.

I am pleased to provide you complimentary one-time access to my Annual Reviews article as a PDF file (, for your own personal use. Any further/multiple distribution, publication, or commercial usage of this copyrighted material requires submission of a permission request addressed to the Copyright Clearance Center (


Regarding the above, my email from the journal says that in order to “provide interested readers with free access to your article, you may also post the above e-print URL on one personal and one institutional Web page”, so I guess it is OK to include the link.




Isle of Coll, Scotland

We were recently in Scotland, and we visited the Isle of Coll, off of the west coast. We took the ferry from Oban. The Isle of Coll is relatively small, and less than 200 people live there now. It is a lovely place, and well worth visiting. We uploaded some of our pictures of Coll to our Smugmug site. Here is a selection of favorites:

Social Science Approaches to the Study of Chinese Society, Part II – starting June 26, 2017

Part II of my Coursera course Social Science Approaches to the Study of Chinese Society will launch June 26:

The emphasis is on providing a basic understanding of key elements in the process of designing and conducting a social science research study, with an emphasis on examples related to China. It is not China-specific, and should be accessible to anyone with a general interest in acquiring some understanding of how research is conducted. The intended audience is laypersons who have not previously had a systematic introduction to social science research methods, but would like one in order to better understand research results reported elsewhere, or because they are contemplating a transition into doing social science research.

The course complements topical courses offered by HKUST which focus on China, which emphasize the presentation of important results relevant to specific subjects. Examples include courses on Chinese politics by David Zweig,  Chinese history, population, and society by James Lee, and Chinese economic development by Albert Park. This course would provide insight into how the results presented in these other courses were derived.

Part I is available here:


Photos from Kyushu, Japan

We recently had the opportunity to visit Kyushu. We visited Fukuoka, Yufuin, Kitsuki, and Kurokawa. We also made brief side trips to Aso and Dazaifu. I uploaded pictures to separate galleries. Below are links, with some samples.

Fukuoka is a relaxed and pleasant city, with great food at reasonable prices. We enjoyed our time there, and had some fantastic meals. Fukuoka photo gallery

Yufuin is a cute hot springs (onsen) town not far from Beppu. We spent one night at a ryokan. We were lucky enough to catch the tail end of the cherry blossom season. Yufuin photo gallery

Kitsuki is a lovely seaside town with nicely preserved samurai homes on hills on either side of a commercial street.  Kitsuki photo gallery

Kurokawa is a mountain hot springs town near Aso. The weather wasn’t that great on the days we were there, so I am not as happy with the pictures. But it is a lovely town. We spent time in the town, and also drove over to Aso to see the shrine, and the area around the volcano. There is no access to the Aso crater, unfortunately. Kurokawa and Aso photo gallery

Changjiang Scholar

I was named a Changjiang Scholar (长江学者) at Central China Normal University (华中师范大学) with the title of Visiting Professor of early modern and contemporary Chinese history (中国近现代史 讲座教授), 2016-2019. This is the highest academic honor conferred on individual scholars by the PRC Ministry of Education.  Only a limited number of overseas scholars are recognized every year, especially in the humanities and social sciences.

I’m the second member of the Lee-Campbell research group to so be honored. In 2006, James Z. Lee was named a Changjiang Scholar at Peking University in the department of Sociology.

In connection with my appointment, my collaborators in the Lee-Campbell Group and I will work with CCNU to advance training and research in quantitative history, with an emphasis on the construction and analysis of big social science datasets.

See the official announcement from the Ministry of Education, and 2016 list of awardees. This article introduces awardees in the field of history. In both cases, I am listed under my Chinese name, 康文林.

The Wikipedia entry for the Changjiang Scholar program provides a brief introduction to the program in English.