Xiaoxuan WANG

Assistant Professor

PhD, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

Room 1106, 11/F,
Yasumoto International Academic Park

3943 1070


Xiaoxuan Wang is a social historian of modern China whose work combines archival research and ethnographical study. He is broadly interested in the question of how China’s modern encounter with the West and the ensuing reforms and revolutions have transformed the ways that ordinary Chinese people live, move, organize and interact with the state. His first book: Maoism and Grassroots Religion: The Communist Revolution and the Reinvention of Religious Life in China, published by Oxford University Press in 2020, tells the story of local communities’ encounter with the Communist revolution, and its consequences, especially the competitions and struggles for religious property and ritual space. He is working on a project that examines the urban turn and futures of religion in contemporary China. His other project explores the formation of European Chinese communities and networks and their tangled and complex relationship with the Chinese state since the turn of the twentieth century, focusing on people of southern Zhejiang origin.

Dr Wang received his Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Civilization from Harvard University. He was a visiting scholar at Columbia University and postdoctoral fellow at Max Planck Institute.

Research Interests:

  • modern and late imperial China
  • history of the People’s Republic of China
  • Chinese emigration and diaspora
  • Chinese religions

Representative Publications

Books and Edited Volumes


Wang, Xiaoxuan. Maoism and Grassroots Religion: The Communist Revolution and the Reinvention of Religious Life in China. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

Journal Articles & Book Chapters


Wang, Xiaoxuan.“Making Religion, Making the City: Religion and Urban Formation in Modern China,” Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 25, no. 1 (2023): special issue “The City in the History of Religion,”179-193.


Wang, Xiaoxuan. “Standardization, Bureaucratization and Convergence: The Transformation of Governance of Religion in Urbanizing China.” The Journal of Asian Studies 80, no. 3 (August 2021): 611-629. 


Wang, Xiaoxuan. “‘Folk Belief,’ Cultural Turn of Secular Governance and Shifting Religious Landscape in Contemporary China.” in A Secular Age in South, East, and Southeast Asia, edited by Peter van der Veer and Kenneth Dean, 137-164. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.


Wang, Xiaoxuan. “Christianity and Religious Syncretism in Early Twentieth Century China.” Cultural Diversity in China 2, no. 2 (2017): 195-210.


Wang, Xiaoxuan. “The Dilemma of Implementation: State and Religion in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1990.” In Maoism at the Grassroots: Everyday Life in China’s Era of High Socialism, edited by Jeremy Brown and Matthew Johnson, 259-278. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.


Wang Xiaoxuan. “走馬樓吳簡戶籍初論.” In 吳簡研究(第一輯), edited by Luo Xin, 143-159. 武漢:崇文書局, 2004.


Wang Xiaoxuan. “ 吳簡所見“腫足”解”. 歷史研究 4 (2001): 174-176.


Wang Xiaoxuan. “新出漢魏南北朝墓志目錄: 1990-1999”. 魏晉南北朝隋唐史資料 18 (2001): 199-217.



Wang Xiaoxuan. “異鄉, 故鄉, 僑鄉: 流動的溫州社會–一個歷史的考察” . In 講藝集:瑞安中學一百二十周年校慶紀念論文集, 1-20. Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2016.

Current Research Projects

Chinese Peasant into Global Citizen: The Formation of Transcontinental Zhejiangnese Communities 

Courses Offered

CHES1000 Introduction to Chinese Studies
CHES2106 Chinese Philosophical and Religious Traditions
CHES2110 Global China
CHES4500 Thesis Research
CHES5201 Independent Study Project
CHES6010 China Seminar 1
CHES6020 China Seminar 2
CHES8001A Thesis Guidance
CHES8001B Thesis Guidance