Yaowen Dong

Email: dong8@wisc.edu

Advisor: Viren Murthy

Yaowen Dong


My primary research interests revolve around the political and literary history of China’s socialist era. I seek to examine the role of traditional literature and popular religion in China’s revolutionary politics. I am interested in the ways stories about ghosts and rebellions from late imperial China were uneasily incorporated into socialist literature. In particular, I investigate the politics of fear, exorcism, appeasement, and inclusion in traditional Chinese literature and how they have shaped political movements in socialist China.


M.A., History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016
B.A., Political Science, Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013


  • East Asian History

M.A. Title

  • “Mao’s Revolutionary Ghost Stories: Socialist Imagination and Ideological Contestation in ‘Stories about Not Being Afraid of Ghosts'”

Working Dissertation Title

  • Constructing the Revolutionary Past: Mass Movements, Traditional Literature, and Cultural Memory in Mao’s China


  • Pantzer Fellowship, 2018
  • UW-Madison Department of History Research Scholarship, 2018
  • Early Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2017

Professional Affiliations

  • Association for Asian Studies
  • Chinese Studies Association of Australia

Courses Taught as TA

  • History/Asian American Studies/East Asian Studies 276: Chinese Migrations since 1500
  • History/East Asian Studies 341: History of Modern China, 1800-1949
  • History/East Asian Studies 342: History of Modern China, 1949-Present
  • Sociology 134: American Racial and Ethnic Minorities
  • Sociology 496: Supranational Governance: Eating, Drinking, Gambling, and Prostitution

Courses Taught as Instructor

  • English 100: Introduction to College Composition