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Matthew Noellert

Assistant Professor
Modern China
Rural society
History of communism
Historical data analysis
Digital history
272 Schaeffer Hall
Office Hours:
By appointment
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I study the social and economic history of twentieth century China, focusing in particular on communist revolution and rural collectivization. My first book manuscript currently under review is a case study of the patterns and practices of Chinese communist land reform in the late 1940s for an entire county of over 500 villages. My current project moves beyond land reform to study changes in the distribution of wealth and opportunities under rural collectivization in the 1950s and ‘60s. As a member of the Lee-Campbell Research Group, my research is based on the construction and analysis of big historical datasets that allow for the systematic study and comparison of large, diverse populations.

I received my B.A. and M.A. in Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan, and Ph.D. in Humanities (History and Anthropology) from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2014. Before joining the University of Iowa in 2016 I spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Research Center for Chinese Social History, Shanxi University, in Mainland China.


  • HIST:1602 Civilizations of Asia: China II
  • HIST:2151  Introduction to the History Major - Digital History
  • HIST:2195 Digital History Workshop
  • HIST:3655/ASIA:3655 Twentieth Century China
  • HIST:6002 History Research Methods

Awards & Service

Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017-18)
Postdoctoral Fellowship, China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2014-16)
Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme, Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (2010-14)