Peilun Hao

Graduate Student

I study the history of modern East Asia from the 1800s to 1950, with particular interests in political economy, social history, and urban history. I consider myself primarily a historian of China, but I am also interested in transregional history and comparative history either within East Asia or on a global scale.

I received my B.A. in History with Honors from the University of Chicago. My B.A. Thesis, “The Scramble for Rice in Wartime Shanghai, 1937-1945”, focused on the issue of food supplies, particularly rice, in Shanghai during the Second World War. Utilizing archival materials in three languages, my research examined the actual extent of starvation, shifting sources of rice supplies, and the food policies of various governments. In particular, by placing Japanese and its Chinese puppet’s wartime policies within a framework of statebuilding and the context of the Pacific War, I attempt to critically reevaluate the Japanese wartime empire in occupied China. For the quality of my research and writing, I received the Asada Eiji BA Thesis Prize from the University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies and the Emil Karafiol Prize in International History from the history department.

At Princeton I plan on continuing and expanding my research into a broader project on cities in occupied China during the Sino-Japanese War (1931-1945). I am interested in both how cities functioned as nodes of movement and control within the Japanese Empire and how the urban society responded to Japanese invasion.

Outside my work, I am a diehard foodie and an avid fan of the Japanese anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Year of Study
Fifth Year
Area of Interest
Economic History
Environmental History
Imperial History
Political History
Social History
Urban History
War & Society
Home Department & Other Affiliations
19th Century
20th Century