You are here

Yiyun Peng

Graduate Student

Yiyun Peng

Educational Background

I earned a bachelor's degree of engineering from Tongji University, Shanghai, and graduated from a master program in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. Now I am an ABD in the Department of History.


Thematically, I am most interested in the history of economy and technology, although my research also extends to the issues of environment, governmentality, and modernity. I focus on China, but I have taught a course on science, technology, and society in East Asia and also study Southeast Asia as a sub-field. 

Advisors:  Victor Seow, Eric Tagliacozzo, TJ Hinrichs


China, East Asia, Southeast Asia, technology, economy


  • History

Graduate Fields

  • Modern China, medieval China, modern Southeast Asia, history of technology


My dissertation works on the highland economy in upland Southeast China, roughly from 1500-1950, and analyzes its unique economic mode different from that in lowlands. Through the lens of a few highland industries, including indigo, paper, ramie, tobacco, and iron, my work reveals how the highlanders produced, transported, and traded these goods, and made a living and sometimes a fortune from them in such a difficult environment. This project intends to demonstrate a comprehensive picture of the highland economic activities and their interactions with the society, environment, and the state.