Maggie Clinton
Office
Axinn Center 237
Tel
(802) 443-5648
Email
mclinton@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Fall 2022: On Zoom, email for appointment
Additional Programs
History International and Global Studies

Maggie Clinton joined the Middlebury faculty in fall 2009. She received her BA from Wesleyan University and her MA and PhD (2009, History) from New York University. At Middlebury, she teaches classes on the history of modern China and East Asia, fascism, imperialism, and historical methodology. She is currently working on two new projects: one on the history of petroleum in modern China, another on intersections between historical and psychotherapeutic interpretations of evidence.

In 2019, Clinton returned to school to pursue her MSW at the Columbia University School of Social Work. She completed the degree in 2021, following year-long internships in the health clinic at Forestdale, Inc. (Queens) and at the Blanton-Peale Institute & Counseling Center (Manhattan). Clinton earned her licensure (LMSW) in July 2021 and continues to see clients for individual psychotherapy at Blanton-Peale.

Clinton’s work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Fulbright IIE, the Blakemore-Freeman Foundation, the Center for Chinese Studies (Taipei), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Middlebury College.

Courses Taught

Course Description

Questions of Evidence: Historical, Legal, and Psychotherapeutic
How do historians marshal evidence and to what ends? How does this intersect with psychotherapeutic and legal approaches? In this seminar we will ask “questions of evidence.” What is evidence? How do we find it? How do we decide to believe it? In the first half of the course we will examine the role of social and institutional power in shaping what we understand to be evidence. In the second half of the course, we will explore a recent historical controversy or a single historical study for its argument and presentation of evidence. Readings include works by historians, philosophers, legal scholars, psychotherapists, journalists, and activists. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

CW, HIS

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Course Description

Modern East Asia
In this course we will examine East Asian history from 1800 to the present. We will study the “Chinese World Order,” the patterns of European imperialism that led to this order’s demise, the rise of Japan as an imperialist power, and 20th century wars and revolutions. We will concentrate on the emergence of Japan, China, and Korea as distinct national entities and on the socio-historical forces that have bound them together and pried them apart. We will seek a broader understanding of imperialism, patterns of nationalism and revolution, and Cold War configurations of power in East Asia. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Modern China
In this course we will examine the history of China from the early 19th century through the end of the Maoist period. Readings, lectures, and discussions will familiarize students with the cultural and social structures of the late Qing Empire, patterns of semi-colonialism, the rise of nationalist, feminist, and Marxist movements, and key events in the People’s Republic of China. Students will emerge from the class with a broader understanding of forms of empire and imperialism, anti-colonial nationalism, non-Western Marxism, and the tendencies of a post-socialist state. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Oil, Opium, and Oligarchs: Modern Asian Empires
In this course we will examine dynamics and legacies of imperialism in East and Southeast Asia from the nineteenth century through the present. We will consider the role of opium in securing British influence, the rise of Japan as an imperialist power, struggles to control regional markets and natural resources, and China’s expansionist efforts past and present. By engaging with novels, films, treaties, and historical scholarship, class participants will gain a broad understanding of empires and imperialism, and how this heritage continues to inform Pacific-regional relations. Not open to students who have taken IGST/HIST 0475. (Counts for HSMT credit) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA

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Course Description

Global Fascism
What was, or is, fascism? How do we know it when we see it? Can fascism be understood as an exclusively European phenomenon, or did it become manifest in movements and regimes in other parts of the twentieth-century world? In this seminar, we will engage with such questions via a range of texts including manifestos, films, and scholarly works. The first part of the course will interrogate seminal theories of fascism, the second will examine historical instances of fascism with particular emphasis on East Asia, and the final part will engage with debates about the contemporary resurgence of authoritarian populism. 3 hrs. Sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, CMP, HIS, NOA

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Course Description

With Friends Like These: A History of Modern US-China Relations
Present-day dynamics between the United States and China appear particularly consequential, yet trans-Pacific relations have long shaped global affairs. In this seminar we will examine the history of China-US relations from the late 19th century into the 21st. Topics will include imperialism, American orientalism, the Cold War, trade wars, and shifting perceptions of hegemony. Through critical reading and discussion we will pay particular attention to how their “special” relationship has shaped China and the United States’ respective evolutions. Students who have taken HIST 479 should not register for this course. Course materials include memoirs, political tracts, Hollywood and Shanghai films, oral histories, and a variety of visual works in complement with scholarly texts. Seminar

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, HIS

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Course Description

Approaching Historical Truth: Methods and Evidence in History Writing
In this seminar we will learn about how historians have approached problems of evidence and explanation. We will consider methodologies that historians have adapted from other disciplines, including the natural and social sciences as well as literary and cultural studies. We will also consider what distinguishes historical from fictional narratives. In the first part of the course we will explore the role of social and institutional power in shaping historians’ approaches to evidence, with special attention to the role of archives. In the second, we will examine a recent historical controversy or a single historical study for its argument and presentation of evidence. In the final part, students will design and execute their own research projects. Seminar.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

HIS

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Course Description

Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism in Asia
What was, or is, imperialism? In this seminar we will examine the dynamics and violence of imperialism in East and Southeast Asia during the 19th and 20th centuries. We will focus on ways in which scholars and historical actors have made sense of imperialism, the social changes that it brought about, and how people have sought liberation from it. With particular attention to the trajectories of China, Japan, Vietnam, and Indonesia, students will gain a broad understanding of how imperialism has been challenged and defended, as well as the ways in which its legacies continue to shape our present. (Not open to students who have taken HIST 0303). 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

AAL, CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Special research projects may only be taken during the Junior or Senior year, preferable after taking HIST 0600. Approval of department chair and project advisor is required.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Independent Study I
The optional History Senior Thesis is written over two terms, with the final grade applying to both terms. Approval is required. Students submit thesis proposals in the spring before the year that they choose to write their thesis. Students generally begin their thesis in the fall and complete it during winter or spring. Approval is required to begin the thesis in winter or spring. All students must attend the Thesis Writer's Workshops in fall and winter semesters and work with a faculty advisor to complete a 55-70 page paper. Please see detailed guidelines under history requirements.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Independent Study II
With departmental approval, senior history majors may write a two-term thesis under an advisor in the area of their choosing. The final grade is applied to both terms. Students must submit thesis proposals in the spring before the academic year that they choose to write their thesis. They must attend the Thesis Writers' Workshops held in the fall and winter of the academic year in which they begin the thesis. The department encourages students to write theses during the fall (0700) and winter terms (0701), but with the permission of the chair, fall/spring and winter/spring theses are also acceptable. Under exceptional circumstances, the department may approve a thesis initiated in the spring of an academic year and finished in the fall of the following year. Further information about the thesis is available from the department.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

East Asian Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023

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Publications

Recent Publications

“Subjects of a New Visual Order: Fascist Media in 1930s China,” in Julia Adeney Thomas and Geoff Eley, eds., Visualizing Fascism: The Twentieth Century Rise of the Global Right. Duke University Press, 2020.

“The New Life Movement and National Sacrifice,” in Alan Baumler, ed. The Routledge Handbook of Revolutionary China, 2019.

Revolutionary Nativism: Fascism and Culture in China, 1925-1937. Duke University Press, 2017.