Dr Tehyun Ma
B.A. (Pennsylvania), Ph.D. (Bristol), Postdoc (Oxford)
Lecturer in International History
The history of state- and nation-building in twenieth-century China and Taiwan
+44 (0)114 22 22588 | Jessop West 1.10
Semester Two 2018/19 Office Hours: Mondays 14:00-15:00 and Thursdays 14:00-15:00
Tehyun grew up in the old steel city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or the Sheffield of America as it is sometimes known. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in International Relations and History, she worked as a trade union organiser before undertaking a doctorate in history at the University of Bristol. Upon graduation in 2010, she became a postdoctoral fellow on the Leverhulme-funded 'China's War with Japan' project in the History Faculty at Oxford. Tehyun has taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, Bristol University, and the University of Exeter before joining the department.
Tehyun's main research interest is in the history of state- and nation-building in twenieth-century China and Taiwan, particularly under the Chinese Nationalist (Guomindang) government. She is also interested in the transnational exchange of social policy in wartime East Asia.
Membership of Professional Bodies
Tehyun's main research interest is in the history of state-building in China and Taiwan, with a particular focus on how state-building and propaganda fostered legitimacy at home and abroad. Currently Tehyun is working on two research projects.
Her first project explores the development of 'Free China' on Taiwan in the early Cold War, as well as the role of American sponsorship in regime consolidation. She focuses on how the challenge of mobilising a disaffected island population to meet an invasion by the People’s Liberation Army shaped the way Chinese Nationalist leaders tried to produce authority in the early Cold War period.
Her second project focuses on the designs for rehabilitation and reconstruction in China before and after the Japanese surrender in 1945. Tehyun has looked here at the transnational influences on Chinese social policy, such as the American Social Security Act and the British Beveridge Report, and have argued that the adaptation of such ideas became a significant aspect of Republican China's foreign and domestic policy.
Both projects are interested in questions about the performance of statecraft. Tehyun looks at reformers working within authoritarian regimes who believed that political authority came out of the process and comportment of government, rather than the legitimation of majority rule.
In keeping with her interest in state formation, she has also written on the long history of imperial rule and colonial intervention in China between the eighteenth century and the Communist takeover in 1949.
Tehyun has talked about aspects of her work on Radio 4, Chinese TV, and has been interviewed for a forthcoming documentary on the Sino-Japanese War. Work on public engagement projects have taken her to the British Consulate in Chongqing, China, and, more locally, to Historical Association talks in the UK.
In The Media
Current Administrative Duties
Widening participation schools coordinator.