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Yue (Mara) Du

Mara Yue Du headshot

Assistant Professor, History

Mara Du’s research focuses on the history of modern China (17th century to the present), particularly on law, gender, and state-building.

Her book manuscript in process, State Is Family: State-Sponsored Filiality and China’s Empire-to-Nation Transformation, explores how the Qing empire (1644-1911) legitimized itself and governed its subjects through the legalized cult of filial piety. In the first half of the 20th century, builders of the Chinese Republic fundamentally altered the logic of state legitimation from “ruling all under Heaven through the principle of filial piety” to popular sovereignty. At the same time, the new Republic endeavored to separate adult citizens from familial authority in order to subjugate them to direct state control, with legal reforms of family relations playing a critical role in political and social reconstructions.

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