Graduate Student Directory

Sarah Chang
  • Title
    • PhD Candidate
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History Department
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Humanities Building 1, Humanities & Social Sciences Bldg, Rm 150 (Grad Lab)
  • Mail Stop History Department

Research Interests

I study the history of the socialist factory in China from state socialism to market capitalism. My research centers on the spatial politics of leading/managing, working, and living in the Chinese state-owned factory and focuses on case studies from two steel mills in the city of Chengdu. My dissertation, "The Life and Death of the Socialist Factory: 1958-2002," examines how factory officials as well as regular workers, staff, and family members saw and experienced factory space. By bringing together a variety of perspectives and encounters with factory space, my dissertation tries to show that space as a means of creating meaning and propagating ideological conformity worked both as a top-down project and as a diffuse process made up of individual people’s embodied, spatial feelings and remembrances, ones that both engaged with the pedagogy of the state and contained agendas of their own. I pay attention to gender, urban vs. rural household registration, nonpermanent work status, and other axes of difference to make sense of how work unit space was at once a privileged and limited/limiting space of work and life. 


Prior to coming to Santa Cruz, I received a B.A. in Philosophy and Literature at Stanford University, where I also completed an honors thesis in Gender Studies.