Boyao Zhang

PhD Candidate


Areas of Interest

  • Modern Chinese history
  • Socialist accounting and accountability
  • Political economy of revolution
  • Bureaucratic numeracy and literacy
  • Archives and paperwork
  • Business history


Boyao Zhang is a PhD candidate in modern Chinese history at the Department of East Asian Studies. His research focuses on the entanglements between social revolution and the bureaucratization of everyday life in 20th-century China. His dissertation, tentatively titled “Accounting for Revolution: Bookkeeping, Bureaucracy, and the Fate of Chinese Communism”, tells the story of the revolution in accounting in 20th-century China and its consequences for the competing modernizing projects of capitalism and socialism. He is primarily interested in how the routine bureaucratic drudgery performed by accountants and administrative clerks brought the puzzle of accountability to the heart of the revolutionary project of the Chinese Communist state.



MA, History, Peking University (2018)
BA, History, McGill University (2015)

Administrative Service

CUPE3902 Unit 1 Steward, Department of East Asian Studies (2019-2021)
Treasurer, East Asian Studies Graduate Student Union (2018-2019)