Xiaoping Sun

Member Bio

Xiaoping Sun is assistant professor of Chinese history at Saint Mary’s University, Canada. She grew up in northeast China and received her Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her previous research focused on social movements in Republican China (1912-49), but she has recently started to investigate China’s efforts in achieving national food security since 1949. Her research project, Feeding the Nation from the Wilderness: Food, Migration and Environment in Northeast China,
examines the mutual transformation of the state, humans, and nature in the process of turning China’s northeastern frontier from the “Great Northern Wilderness” in the 1950s to China’s largest cluster of state farms that can feed 10% of the Chinese population in the 2000s. This project has been generously funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council in Canada (Insight Development Grant, 2015-17; Insight
Grant, 2018-23).


  • “Balancing Food Security and Eco-Security: The State and Mega Agribusiness in Developing China’s Sustainable Food System.” Article in progress.
  • “Curating China’s Pursuit of National Food Security: Propaganda and Corporate Branding through the Beidahuang Museum.” The China Quarterly, under review.
  • “‘War Against the Earth!’—Military Farming in Communist Manchuria, 1949–1975.” In Empire and Environment in the Making of Manchuria, edited by Norman Smith, 248–275. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017.
  • “New Life Meets Real Life: Chinese Women in Nation Building and State Making, 1934–1949,” Frontiers of History in China 12, no. 4 (2017): 538–565.