Goodman receives NHC fellowship

Bryna Goodman

Professor Bryna Goodman, history, has been awarded a residential fellowship grant from the National Humanities Center (NHC) in North Carolina for her book project, Finance and Fortune: Economics, Calculation, and the Fate of the Chinese Republic.

The book project explores ideas of economics and the imagination of China as a republic. The research examines understandings of finance that developed amidst concerns about national sovereignty, risk, economic rationality, and citizenship that emerged at the turn of the twentieth century.

The project begins with the development of the idea of economic crisis. Western economic theory and Western-style financial institutions began to enter Chinese usage and everyday life in the first decade of the twentieth century, in the context of the political and economic disintegration of the Qing dynasty. With the creation of a republic in 1912, notions of national sovereignty, science, and popular participation reanimated Chinese discussion of economics, with calls for “financial revolution.” The project focuses in particular on the stock exchange, and a catastrophic financial bubble centered on Shanghai in 1921-22, which coincided with the Chinese formation of economics as a discipline.

NHC awarded more than $1.3 million in fellowship grants to 33 national and international scholars for AY 2020-21. The grants enable Fellows to take leave from their normal academic duties to pursue research at the Center. According to their website, NHC is “devoted to advancing significant humanistic study and reflection and to making those insights available both inside and outside the academic world.”